Ronald Kessler began his tenure at Newsmax by being one of the biggest Bush fluffers in the media, promoting his administration and explaining away his failures.
Now that former President Bush ahs a new book out,Kessler is ready to fluff Bush anew, and he does exactly that in his Nov. 9 column:
In press conferences, Bush was stiff, closed, and combative. He often mangled his words.
The real Bush was just the opposite: In a small group, he was candid, articulate, and displayed a mastery of the issues.
In his book “Decision Points,” the real Bush comes out.
Bush acknowledges obvious mistakes: Doing an Air Force One fly-over of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Standing in front of a banner that said “Mission Accomplished” in Iraq. Failing to recognize the pitfalls in nominating Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court.
But what is far more revealing is the character of the man, the thinking behind his decisions, and his command of the issues as revealed in the engrossing pages of this book. When Laura asked if he could remember the last day he hadn’t had a drink, he got her point and soon gave up drinking.
“Quitting drinking was one of the toughest decisions I have ever made,” Bush writes. “Without it, none of the others that follow in this book would have been possible.”
While President Obama has made criticizing his predecessor into a cottage industry, Bush never says a negative word about him. In contrast to Obama, who unleashed the Justice Department on CIA officers who followed instructions to use enhanced interrogation techniques, Bush says he did not want to criticize “the hardworking patriots at the CIA for the faulty intelligence on Iraq.”
Bush’s character, in turn, enabled him to take the bold steps needed to prevent another attack. That included approving waterboarding, which elicited information that led to plots being rolled up. That included taking out Saddam Hussein, who would be threatening the U.S. today and murdering innocent Iraqis if he were still in power.
Many think the fact that we have not had a successful attack since 9/11 is an accident or luck. They are wrong. The reason we have not had a successful attack is the infrastructure Bush put in place to detect plots and the hard work of the men and women of the FBI and CIA.
Just as Ronald Reagan was portrayed by the media as a fool and is now recognized for having been instrumental in ending the Cold War, I believe Bush one day will be seen as a great president.
He may have done it his way, but it was the right way.
Ah, just like old times...