As bits of information about what former President George Bush’s wrote in his soon to be released book, “Decision Points” are published, the stark difference between our former President and today’s commander-in-chief becomes incredibly apparent. One is a true leader who grabs responsibility, the other is someone who looks for a way to transfer responsibly to other people
For years, the left has been screaming for an investigation to determine who approved the CIA’s use of enhanced interrogation techniques (EITs) against Sept. 11 plotter Khalid Sheik Mohammed. Through the use of those techniques our government learned of additional terrorist plots against the US and other western targets potentially saving thousands of innocent lives.
With the official release of his book next Tuesday, President Bush saves the progressive lynch mob time and money. He make it clear that he personally approved the use of EITs to be used against the 9/11 plotter.
In his book, titled “Decision Points,” Bush recounts being asked by the CIA whether it could proceed with waterboarding Mohammed, who Bush said was suspected of knowing about still-pending terrorist plots against the United States. Bush writes that his reply was “Damn right” and states that he would make the same decision again to save lives, according to a someone close to Bush who has read the book.
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Bush previously had acknowledged endorsing what he described as the CIA’s “enhanced” interrogation techniques – a term meant to encompass irregular, coercive methods – after Justice Department officials and other top aides assured him they were legal. “I was a big supporter of waterboarding,” Vice President Richard B. Cheney acknowledged in a television interview in February.
According to the Washington Post that use of waterboarding saved American lives:
After enduring the CIA’s harshest interrogation methods and spending more than a year in the agency’s secret prisons, Khalid Sheik Mohammed stood before U.S. intelligence officers in a makeshift lecture hall, leading what they called “terrorist tutorials.”
In 2005 and 2006, the bearded, pudgy man who calls himself the mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks discussed a wide variety of subjects, including Greek philosophy and al-Qaeda dogma. …Speaking in English, Mohammed “seemed to relish the opportunity, sometimes for hours on end, to discuss the inner workings of al-Qaeda and the group’s plans, ideology and operatives,” said one of two sources who described the sessions, speaking on the condition of anonymity because much information about detainee confinement remains classified. “He’d even use a chalkboard at times.”
These scenes provide previously unpublicized details about the transformation of the man known to U.S. officials as KSM from an avowed and truculent enemy of the United States into what the CIA called its “preeminent source” on al-Qaeda. This reversal occurred after Mohammed was subjected to simulated drowning and prolonged sleep deprivation, among other harsh interrogation techniques.….. the evidence is clear: Mohammed cooperated, and to an extraordinary extent, only when his spirit was broken in the month after his capture March 1, 2003, as the inspector general’s report and other documents released this week indicate.
That’s right, they guy who planned 9/11 spent two years singing like a canary, and teaching a CIA “al Qaeda 101 Class” and all it took is a little water (and maybe use of Nancy Pelosi’s favorite pair of handcuffs).
Since President Obama has entered office his Justice Department repudiated some of the underlying legal analysis done for the CIA to answer the question whether the use of EITs were legal. The repudiation was done to placate the President’s progressive base who want President Bush to be tried as a war criminal.
It is interesting that despite the progressive Democrat’s desire to blame Busy personally, along with administration for what they consider torture, President Bush is being a stand up guy and taking responsibility for his actions.
Now compare Bush’s taking responsibility to that to President Obama’s avoidance of responsibility at his press conference yesterday. Instead of taking the blame for his party’s poor election day showing, Obama attempted to shift responsibility to the American people’s misunderstanding of his message, the fact that he “has a strange name and has lived in lots of places,” and of course my personal favorite “If right now we had 5 percent unemployment instead of 9.6 percent unemployment, then people would have more confidence in those [my] policy choices.”
My friend Avi was a tank commander in the 1973 Yom Kippur War. He once explained to me the difference between a good and a poor leader. When a poor leader sends his men into battle he screams Charge!, but a good leader takes responsibility for his actions, he shouts Follow Me!
Barack Obama has proven himself to be the kind of leader that pushes responsibility on to others, he screams Charge! George Bush was the type of leader who screams Follow Me (or in this case Damn Right!). If America is going to face down all of the threats confronting us today (economic and security) we need to have more of that Follow Me kind of leadership.