“Clearly, putting a “mission accomplished” on a aircraft carrier was a mistake. It sent the wrong message. We were trying to say something differently, but, nevertheless, it conveyed a different message.”
– George W. Bush today in his final press conference.
You don’t — you don’t get to have information after you’ve made the decision. That’s not the way it works. And you’re — you stand by your decisions and you do your best to explain why you made the decisions you made. There have been disappointments. Abu Ghraib, obviously, was a huge disappointment, during the presidency. You know, not having weapons of mass destruction was a significant disappointment. I don’t know if you want to call those mistakes or not, but they were — things didn’t go according to plan, let’s put it that way.
And, anyway, I think historians will look back and they’ll be able to have a better look at mistakes, after some time has passed. I — one of Jake’s questions — there is no such thing as short-term history. I don’t think you can possibly get the full breadth of an administration until time has passed. You know, where does a president’s — did a president’s decisions have the impact that he thought they would — or he thought they would, over time? Or how did this president compare to future presidents, given a set of circumstances that may be similar or not similar? I mean, it’s just impossible to do and I’m comfortable with that.
I would give the guy credit for bringing up Abu Ghraib, but then he characterizes it as a disappointment? I’d say the fact that innocent people were raped, tortured and murdered should bring about stronger feelings than “disappointment.” How about profound disgust and sadness?
7 more days…