As we all know, the problem with writing your memoirs is that it might actually get published, and everything you say is out there in the broad light of day and subject to response.
That's why most of us avoid writing our memoirs. It's a really bad place to lie. George W. Bush is...or more likely isn't...learning this lesson the hard way.
Today, British officials are denying Bush's claims in his new book that waterboarding saved lives and foiled terrorist plots. Of course, we all remember these claims, used for years by Dick Cheney and other members of the Bush administration to justify torture.
British officials are having none of it.
British officials said today there was no evidence to support claims by George Bush, the former US president, that information extracted by "waterboarding" saved British lives by foiling attacks on Heathrow airport and Canary Wharf. In his memoirs, Bush said the practice – condemned by Downing Street as torture – was used in CIA interrogations of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the 9/11 attacks on the US.
A bonus quote from this same article in Guardian UK:
Human rights lawyer Geoffrey Robertson QC said that, by confessing to ordering torture, Bush risked prosecution. "George W Bush has confessed to ordering waterboarding, which in the view of almost all experts clearly passes the severe pain threshold in the definition of torture in international law."
MediaMatters also has the story, and their take on Fox "News" using Bush's claims to say "We told you so!".
It's obvious that Bush himself will simply ignore all this as usual. And it's a safe bet that no journalist will actually get him to answer for it. They don't do that kind of "journalism" anymore.
But let this be a lesson to all you Kossacks out there. Rewriting history through your memoirs is a very difficult and dangerous thing to do. Unless, of course...you're a Republican.
UPDATE: Thanks everybody, first time on the reclist. Reading your comments, it occurs to me that in the "good old days"...when there were only three television networks, an explosive story like this would have led their nightly broadcasts. For a week. And every newspaper in America would have it as their headline story. At CBS News, Walter Cronkite would have pursued it nightly like a pitbull until he got some results. Now...in the age of a gazillion TV channels and the Internet...it just becomes buried in all of the white noise like everything else. Maybe too much of a good thing ISN'T such a good thing after all, and we're paying the price for it. Thanks again for the recs.