In his latest exit interview, President Bush continued to shirk any responsibility for the problems in Iraq or for the severe economic recession. When CNN’s Candy Crowley asked whether the problem with pre-war intelligence was “a matter of interpretation” or “a matter of just bum information,” Bush admitted “it was just bad analysis” — done by others, not himself. In fact, he lamented the bad intelligence not because it led to a misguided war but because it made it harder for his administration to promote the war:
CROWLEY: Did you find out what went wrong? Was it a matter of interpretation? Or, was it a matter of just bum information?
BUSH: I think it was just bad analysis. But, it wasn’t just our CIA. It was intelligence services all over the world that believed the same thing. And you know, obviously it made it harder to sustain the public in the — support in dealing with Saddam and in Iraq. … It was just afterwards that it was difficult to sustain support when we didn’t find any weapons.
Bush also refused to take any responsibility for the economic downturn. Crowley specifically asked where the “blame” lay. Bush pointed at “the housing market,” and people who invested “without understanding the nature” of financial products, before settling on “the whole system.” Of course, he leaves himself and his administration conspicuously absent from those deserving blame. Watch it:
Bush’s “pity party” about the “bad analysis” ignores the fact that the bad analysis was conducted by him and his administration. In his desire for war with Iraq at any cost, the Bush administration deliberately ignored warnings that the weapons of mass destruction they so frequently cited to scare the American public probably did not even exist. Beyond that, he and his team actively fabricated “intelligence” that provided the justification they wanted to invade Iraq.
As far as the economy goes, Bush “ignored remarkably prescient warnings” about the collapse of the financial system, eliminated key financial checks and regulations, and bankrupted the country with massive tax cuts for the wealthy while waging two unending wars. Moreover, his hardly-veiled finger-pointing at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is a conservative trope that has been thoroughly debunked.
When asked about any “regrets” he had in an interview with ABC News this week, Vice President Cheney replied, “Oh, not a lot at this stage.”