George W. Bush Begins Publicity Tour : The Two-Way The former President is promoting his new book, "Decision Points." In it, he is unapologetic about the decision to invade Iraq and the use of waterboarding on prisoners.
NPR logo George W. Bush Begins Publicity Tour

George W. Bush Begins Publicity Tour

President George W. Bush's new book "Decision Points." J. David Ake/AP hide caption

toggle caption
J. David Ake/AP

President George W. Bush is starting to do the rounds promoting his new book "Decision Points." He spoke with NBC's Matt Lauer on the Today Show. In the book and in the interview he defended the decision to invade Iraq, even though the casus belli, weapons of mass destruction, was a mirage.

“Was there ever any consideration of apologizing to the American people?” Lauer asked.

“I mean, apologizing would basically say the decision was a wrong decision,” Bush replied. “And I don't believe it was the wrong decision. I thought the best way to handle this was to find out why. And what went wrong. And to remedy it.”

In his book, Bush writes, “There were things we got wrong in Iraq, but that cause is eternally right.”

Bush also spoke with the Times of London. Both in the book and the interview he strongly defended the use of waterboarding.(yes, they have a pay wall)

In an interview with The Times, the former US President offered a vigorous defence of the coercive interrogation technique: “Three people were waterboarded and I believe that decision saved lives.” He denied that waterboarding, which simulates drowning, amounted to torture.

Asked if he authorised the use of waterboarding to get information from the captured al-Qaeda leader Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, he was unequivocal: “Damn right!” In his new book 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.”

Bush was also bluntly honest about his relationship with alcohol and shared stories of his drunken foolishness.