Even his own party hoped he’d just disappear, and he promised to do so, saying that he was glad to be out of the public eye. I was afraid it wouldn’t last. He spoke to CNN about Snowden, Mandela, and Obama.
George W. Bush accomplished many things in his eight years in office, but not one of them was for the good of the American people. In the CNN interview, he spoke proudly of his initiation of the NSA program “PRISM.”
“I put the program in place to protect the country and one of the certainties is civil liberties were guaranteed,” Bush said.
In other words, by invading our privacy, one of our most important freedoms, he made us more free?
Asked about what he thought of Snowden, and if he damaged the nation’s security, he said: He “damaged the security of the country” by revealing a broad swath of details on the agency’s surveillance programs that began under the Bush administration.
“I know he damaged the country,” Bush told CNN’s Robyn Curnow in an interview in Zambia, Africa, where he and former First Lady Laura Bush are renovating a health clinic. “The Obama administration will deal with it.”
Proving that nothing has changed with Bush, he continued to say things that produced more questions than answers.
When asked if he truly believed that it was possible for a single person to damage the security of a nation, he responded: “I think he damaged the security of the country,” Bush said.
Well, he’s right on that one. He let Cheney destroy our security by accepting his hawkish influence, and by invading sovereign nations, therefore increasing the threat of terrorist attacks, making the world a less safe place.
“So you don’t think there’s a compromise between privacy and security?” CNN’s Curnow asked.
“I think there needs to be a balance, and as the President explained, there’s a proper balance,” Bush said.
He was asked about Mandela’s legacy, and if he harbored ill feelings because of his criticism of the war in Iraq.
“Sometimes, there are leaders who come and go. His legacy will last for a long time,” he said.
(About Iraq) “He wasn’t the only guy,” he said. “It’s OK. I made decisions that were the right decisions. History will ultimately judge. I never held someone’s opinion against him; I didn’t look at him differently because he didn’t agree with me on an issue.”
He surely wasn’t the only one, including the majority of Americans.
Bush was asked about the extremely low approval rating he suffered at the end of his presidency.
“The only time I really cared was on Election Day,” he said.
Then, drawing laughter from his wife, he checked himself and said, “You know, I guess it’s nice. I mean, let me rephrase that: Thank you for bringing it up.”
When asked if he thought President Obama was handling the Snowden situation well, and if he had any criticism to offer: “I don’t think it does any good,” he said. “It’s a hard job. He’s got plenty on his agenda. It’s difficult. A former president doesn’t need to make it any harder. Other presidents have taken different decisions; that’s mine.”
Bush’s comments on Snowden, Mandela, and Obama are, if nothing else, interesting. It was a little disappointing that he didn’t utter a single “Bushism.”