The publication of George W Bush's memoirs, Decision Point, and the accompanying media blitz reveal some bizarre anecdotes from one of the most controversial presidents in US history.
Some of more tasteful vignettes include his recounting of the time his mother showed him the remains of a foetus, saved in a jar after she suffered a miscarriage. This, Bush recalled in an interview with MSNBC's Matt Lauer, was intended to show that
It's important to understand my relationship with my mom . . . She says to her teenage kid: "Here's a foetus!"
On his troubling relationship with alcohol in the early part of his life, Bush recalls with enthusiasm the saucy repartee that endeared him to many. He suggests:
OK, so here's one of the worst . . . I'm drunk, at the [family] dinner table . . . I'm sitting next to a beautiful woman, a friend of Mother and Dad's. I said to her out loud: "What is sex like after 50?" Total silence. Not only silence, but serious daggers . . . From my wife.
On a more serious note, Bush argues in his book that the waterboarding of al-Qaeda operative Khalid Sheikh Mohammed helped prevent terrorist attacks on US targets and Heathrow and Canary Wharf. He writes:
Their interrogations helped break up plots to attack American diplomatic facilities abroad, Heathrow Airport and Canary Wharf in London, and multiple targets in the United States.
In an interview with James Harding, editor of the Times, Bush makes similar points (£). His tome covers many other topics, from considering replacing Dick Cheney as vice-president during the 2004 elections to other statesmanlike quandaries such as having to pick up his dog Barney's mess after he left office.
Oh, and contrary to what we all believed, he was, in his words a "dissenting voice" on the invasion in Iraq in March 2003.
I was a dissenting voice. I didn't want to use force . . . I mean force is the last option for a president. And I think it's clear in the book that I gave diplomacy every chance to work.
George, you old rascal, you!
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