Still greedy after all these years

Sure, he’s already got more than $10 million stacked up, but when he leaves the White House he’s going to make speeches for money. Feh.

George W. Bush’s post-Presidential ambition: cashing in.

Yes, he’s already got an eight-figure fortune (made mostly at the expense of the taxpayers of Arlington, TX and the landowners whose property was taken to build the Texas Rangers stadium), but he still feels the need to “replenish the ol’ coffers.” Just the plain, folksy, mulitimillionaire next door. You’d like to have a beer with the guy, y’ know?

Oh, but he’s going to keep his finger in the public’s business, too. He’s going to run “a fantastic Freedom Institute,” which presumably means a place for W and his friends to fantasize about how to spread freedom without actually taking any action. But in any case, freedom isn’t the sort of thing to hold President Attention Deficit’s interest for very long: “I can just envision getting in the car, getting bored, going down to the ranch.”

As to what was arguably the worst blunder among the many that compounded the original blunder of invading and occupying Iraq &#8212 the dissolution of the Iraqi Army &#8212 Mr. Bush doesnt recall making that decision:

Mr. Bush acknowledged one major failing of the early occupation of Iraq when he said of disbanding the Saddam Hussein-era military, “The policy was to keep the army intact; didn’t happen.”

But when Mr. Draper pointed out that Mr. Bush’s former Iraq administrator, L. Paul Bremer III, had gone ahead and forced the army’s dissolution and then asked Mr. Bush how he reacted to that, Mr. Bush said, “Yeah, I can’t remember, I’m sure I said, ‘This is the policy, what happened?’ ” But, he added, “Again, Hadley’s got notes on all of this stuff,” referring to Stephen J. Hadley, his national security adviser.

The sad thing is, I don’t believe he’s just covering his butt. He genuinely doesn’t remember making a decision that meant death for thousands of Americans and tens or hundreds of thousands of Iraqis. Maybe he genuinely didn’t make it at all, but let the Cheney-Rumsfeld-Feith-Wolfowitz Axis of Lunatics make it for him, on the advice of Ahmed Chalabi.

What a sad sick of ….

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

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