Former president details “Decision Points”

Former President George Bush at a book signing for his new memoir, Decision Points. Photo courtesy allvoices.com.

Former President George Bush at a book signing for his new memoir, Decision Points. Photo courtesy allvoices.com.

Former President George W. Bush’s new book Decision Points was released Tuesday, chronicling the parts of his presidency that gained the most attention.

Bush, who has been relatively out of the spotlight the last two years, has planned a U.S. tour to promote the book, including several television appearances.

“This will come as quite a shock to some,” Bush said at a conference in Chicago last month, “They didn’t think I could read, much less write.”

Bush begins the book by revealing to readers his early on problems with alcoholism, citing his decision to quit drinking as the decision that made all others possible.

Bush takes readers back to decisive moments in his presidency, including on Sept. 11, 2001 when Karl Rove told him on his way into an elementary school that a plane has crashed into the World Trade Center.

“That sounded strange,” Bush writes, “I envisioned a little propeller plane horribly lost.”

Bush decides to continue down the hall and read to the class, where Condoleezza Rice calls to let Bush know that the plane is a commercial jet airliner.

“I was stunned.  That plane must have the worst pilot in the world,” writes Bush.

Bush also takes readers back to Hurricane Katrina.  The disaster left thousands of New Orleans residents, many African-American, homeless and displaced. The national government’s slow response to the disaster sparked Kanye West to say in 2005 that “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.”

In an interview with NBC’s Matt Lauer, Bush declared this the lowest moment of his presidency.

“I resent it, it’s not true, and it was one of the most disgusting moments of my presidency,” Bush said.

Bush also addressed the topic of water boarding in his memoir, calling it an “enhanced interrogation technique,” and not torture.  Water boarding, and other practices, have since been banned by President Obama, who refers to the procedure as torture.

Bush also recalls in his memoir his dealings with former President of Iraq Saddam Hussein, and the weapons of mass destruction that he ultimately did not possess.

“No one was more shocked or angry than I was when we didn’t find the weapons,” Bush writes.

Overall, Bush views his presidency as a success, and is happy with the man he has become.

“When I looked in the mirror when I got home, I was proud of what I saw,” Bush said.

A book review by The New York Times pointed out several controversial key moments in Bush’s presidency that he chose to omit from the book, and The Christian Science Monitor described the memoir as “an uneven and mostly boring read.”

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