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George W. Bush's life is presented in chronological order--from infancy to the beer-soaked floor of a Yale fraternity house, and from blowing off his questionable tenure with the National Guard to blowing off his presidential duties.

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Inspired quotes from the president's inner circle reveal long-simmering tensions between George H. Read more Show all links. Allow this favorite library to be seen by others Keep this favorite library private. Find a copy in the library Finding libraries that hold this item George Walker , Quotable George W.

Kansas City, Mo. Instead of focusing on the malapropisms and verbal stumblings for which George W. Reviews User-contributed reviews Add a review and share your thoughts with other readers. Be the first. Add a review and share your thoughts with other readers. Bush : a portrait in his own words". Presidents -- United States -- Quotations. Presidents -- United States -- Messages. United States -- Politics and government -- -- Quotations, maxims, etc. Quotations, American. Speeches, addresses, etc.

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All rights reserved. Privacy Policy Terms and Conditions. Remember me on this computer. Exactly detainees were held at CIA sites in various countries from 17 September to 22 January It is the first official tally since Michael Hayden, a CIA director under Bush and Cheney, ordered that no matter how the facts changed the reported numbers should never climb above Of all who were held and interrogated, 22 per cent were found to be innocent. There was no process for freeing them. Some of the methods employed were atrocious in ways that are scarcely imaginable.

Another was chained to a wall for 17 days. A third, subjected to sensory and sleep deprivation and chained to a concrete floor, died of hypothermia. The secret programme was placed under the guidance of two former instructors in resistance to torture, James E. Mitchell and Bruce Jessen.

Like the agents they supervised, Mitchell and Jessen are protected by pseudonyms, but earlier reporting in their case has made it possible to penetrate the disguise.

Occasionally in that period, the press had hints of the abuse which it declined to follow up. The Washington Post disclosed the existence of the torture programme in November How were the journalists cowed? The same thing is now being said about the committee report. No disgrace is deep enough, it seems, to stand up to the knock-down question: will it be good for America if people learn the truth? The US national security state is the lengthened shadow of Dick Cheney.

He made himself a master of the levers of government when he was secretary of defence under George H. He did it with a tireless diligence of manipulation behind the scenes, commonly issuing his orders from a bunker underneath the Naval Observatory in Washington. The element of fear in Cheney is strong: a fact that is often lost in descriptions of him as an undiluted malignity. His words and actions testify to a personal fear so marked that it could project and engender collective fear.

Due process of law rests on the acknowledged possibility that a suspect may be innocent; but, for Cheney, a person interrogated on suspicion of terrorism is a terrorist. To elaborate a view beyond that point, as he sees it, only involves government in a wasteful tangle of doubts. Cheney concedes from time to time that mistakes can happen; but the leading quality of the man is a perfect freedom from remorse. In a Daily Mail interview concerning details of the programme, Mitchell was prompted to recall that he saw British agents at some of the CIA black sites. In effecting this rupture of morale, Tony Blair had an importance second only to Cheney.

His demeanour lent to the campaign for war a presumption of humility that Cheney could never have supplied. Bush of any last residue of doubt that he was right to set the entire Middle East on the path of war. Two wise and experienced politicians, so different yet speaking now in a single voice: how could they be wrong? Cheney has dogged the Obama administration from its earliest days, and he has continued in interviews that seek to discredit the committee report.

He is a team player to the death, and the team he plays for is the greatest power. Leahy and Rockefeller had their chance to subject him to investigation when the Democrats became the majority party in They chose to do nothing.

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No Senate hearings of any substance were conducted during the last two years of the Bush-Cheney administration. Before Obama became president, he seems to have had some exposure to this literature. He denounced torture and implied, early on, that the practices fomented by Bush and Cheney fitted the international definition of torture; yet Obama also told workers at the CIA, in early , that under no circumstances would they be prosecuted.

He paired the words of responsible acknowledgment with a policy of non-accountability. This show of forbearance was high-sounding in its way — hate the crime, pardon the criminal — but if it makes a generous line to take with vices such as a gambling habit or heavy drinking, the hands-off resolution seems radically unsuited to crimes such as rape, torture and murder. Obama was leaving someone like Feinstein to do the investigative work of justice when he declared his recognition of a crime and in the same breath avowed that he would stand in the way of its being punished as a crime.

At the very outset of his government, he pulled into the White House an ambiguous figure from the Bush-Cheney years, John Brennan.

The Quotable George W. Bush

As a high official of the CIA under George Tenet, Brennan had registered a dissenting view of the interrogation techniques in and , but took care to do so in a way that would maintain his status. He quit the agency in the second term of Bush-Cheney and offered his services to Senator Obama. Yet Obama was unwilling to part with an insider so potentially useful in dealing with the CIA, and he elected to move Brennan inside the national security apparatus of the White House itself.

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Bush ordered fifty drone strikes; Obama has ordered four hundred. Brennan has defended the drone strikes in terms as wildly improbable as those Cheney used in defending the CIA protocols for torture.

Noam Chomsky

The CIA, as Cheney tells it, squeezed, smashed, deafened, hounded, shocked and drowned its inmates into giving up truths that assisted the US effort to fight al-Qaida. Later, slowly, he revised that estimate. In recent days he has also tempered his response to the Senate committee report whose publication he resisted. Brennan seems to have read it with care where Cheney boasts of not having read it at all and the findings have prompted him to alter the agency explanation that the torture of Hassan Ghul produced the lead that opened the trail to Bin Laden.

A misguided love of our country and a justified panic caused many persons — between and especially, and with decreasing intensity thereafter — to do things which if rightly understood would naturally be forgiven. Like the interrogators who were spared any penalty, the lawyers who twisted the law were said to have done their best to serve the president in a time that was hard on everyone.

The promise of impunity that has greeted the lawless conduct of government officials obeys the ancient maxim fac et excusa. The deeds in fact are free to recur because the excuses are potentially limitless. The truth of course is that we know nothing about the motives of the torturers or the motives of those who wrote up the exculpating rationale for torture before the fact.

Selfless patriotism may be part of it.