An Apology to Every Single American (Excerpt from VICE News’ Interview with Michael Morell) – Published on Jul 8, 2015

When al Qaeda terrorists attacked the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, Michael Morell was with President George W. Bush at an elementary school in Florida as the CIA’s daily briefer. The events that unfolded on that fateful day are just some of the many national security disasters that Morell, the former acting director of the CIA, has been at the center of since 9/11. The veteran intelligence official has spent much of his 30-year career out of the public eye, but he’s stepping out of the shadows to talk about his new book The Great War of Our Time: The CIA’s Fight Against Terrorism — From al Qa’ida to ISIS.

VICE News met with Morell at the Richard Nixon Library in Yorba Linda, California, and spoke with him about the Iraq war, the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation” program, and what he refers to as “the new era of terrorism.”

In this excerpt, Morell admits that the intelligence the CIA produced about Saddam Hussein’s nuclear intentions, which paved the way to war, was flawed. Morell is one of the first CIA officials to come clean about this fact, and to apologize for getting the intelligence wrong.

Watch the VICE News Interview with Michael Morell –

President George W Bush ‘knew everything’ about CIA interrogation 11 December 2014 Last updated at 03:50 ET

Former US President George W Bush was “fully informed” about CIA interrogation techniques condemned in a Senate report, his vice-president says.

US President George W Bush speaks to Vice President Dick Cheney by phone aboard Air Force One in 2001

President George W Bush wrote about CIA interrogation techniques in his memoir

Speaking to Fox News, Dick Cheney said Mr Bush “knew everything he needed to know” about the programme, and the report was “full of crap”.

The CIA has defended its use of methods such as waterboarding on terror suspects after the 9/11 attacks.

The Senate report said the agency misled politicians about the programme.

But the former Republican vice-president dismissed this, saying: “The notion that the committee is trying to peddle that somehow the agency was operating on a rogue basis and that we weren’t being told – that the president wasn’t being told – is a flat-out lie.”

In the interview on Thursday, Mr Cheney said the report was “deeply flawed” and a “terrible piece of work”, although he admitted he had not read the whole document.

President Bush “knew everything he needed to know, and wanted to know” about CIA interrogation, he said. “He knew the techniques… there was no effort on my part to keep it from him.

“He was fully informed.”

US Vice President Dick Cheney in 2007

Fomer US Vice President Dick Cheney said the Senate report was “deeply flawed”

The story of the report – in numbers

Mr Bush led the charge against the report ahead of its release on Tuesday, defending the CIA on US TV.

“We’re fortunate to have men and women who work hard at the CIA serving on our behalf,” he told CNN on Sunday.

A summary of the larger classified report says that the CIA carried out “brutal” and “ineffective” interrogations of al-Qaeda suspects in the years after the 9/11 attacks on the US and misled other officials about what it was doing.

The information the CIA collected using “enhanced interrogation techniques” failed to secure information that foiled any threats, the report said.

But Mr Cheney said the interrogation programme saved lives, and that the agency deserved “credit not condemnation”.

“It did in fact produce actionable intelligence that was vital in the success of keeping the country safe from further attacks,” he said.

The UN and human rights groups have called for the prosecution of US officials involved in the 2001-2007 programme.

“As a matter of international law, the US is legally obliged to bring those responsible to justice,” Ben Emmerson, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Counter-Terrorism, said in a statement made from Geneva.

He said there had been a “clear policy orchestrated at a high level”.

Correspondents say that the chances of prosecuting members of the Bush administration are unlikely, not least because the US justice department has said that it has already pursued two investigations into mistreatment of detainees since 2000 and concluded that the evidence was not sufficient to obtain a conviction.

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Documents Show the VA Debacle Began Under George W. Bush The Bush administration was aware of the backlogs and secret waiting lists but failed to fix the problem. – By Mariah Blake | Fri May 30, 2014 6:00 AM EDT

President Barack Obama embraces former President George W. Bush after the 2013 dedication of the George W. Bush presidential library. 

Update, Friday, 11:30 a.m. EDT: President Barack Obama has accepted the resignation of Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki.

President Barack Obama and his administration have come under fire following a string of revelations about the huge backlogs of patients at Department of Veterans Affairs clinics and the underhanded tactics many of them used to hide the long wait times for medical care. As of Thursday evening, more than 100 lawmakers were calling on Secretary of Veterans Affairs EricShinseki to step down. But according to VA inspector general reports and other documents that have gone overlooked in the current firestorm, federal officials knew about the scheme at the heart of the scandal—falsifying VA records to cover up treatment delays—years before Obama became president. VA officials first learned of the problems in 2005, when George W. Bush was entering his second term, and the problems went unfixed for the duration of his presidency.

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George P. Bush slams ‘ignorant statements’ – By ANDREA DRUSCH | 1/16/14 2:42 PM EST Updated: 1/16/14 5:11 PM EST

George P. Bush is pictured. | AP Photo

Bush says he hopes the state’s party leaders would stand up against offensive comments. | AP Photo


George P. Bush is slamming Texas Republicans for making “ignorant statements” regarding Hispanics.

“If we’re going to be successful and be considered credible in the Hispanic community, we’ve got to denounce some of the ignorant statements that are made about Hispanics and the contributions we make,” Bush told the Texas Tribuneon Wednesday. “Whether it’s to the military, our nation’s economy or to the history of Texas.”

Bush, a Republican candidate for Texas land commissioner, said he hoped the state’s party leaders would stand up against what he called offensive comments like ones made last week by Denton County Republican Chairwoman Dianne Edmondson.

Edmondson referred to the state’s Democratic gubernatorial ticket, including Wendy Davis, as “abortion Barbie with Hispanic Sen. Leticia Van de Putte as her running mate.”

“I just think that it’s disappointing that people resort to those types of tactics,” Bush said.

Van de Putte is a Latina pharmacist from San Antonio. Her husband, Pete Van de Putte, traces his roots to Belgium.

Bush, co-counder of the Hispanic Republicans of Texas PAC, addressed a GOP Hispanic outreach event on Wednesday. In an effort to emphasize the need for Hispanic involvement in the party, he said it was important for the GOP to reach out to Hispanics all year round, not just during elections.

He also spoke on the need for public education reform in Texas, which he said has failed Hispanics.

Bush is the son of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and the nephew of former President George W. Bush.

Double Take ‘Toons: Filamentarists? January 04, 2014 5:52 AM

As of Jan. 1, under an energy-savings law signed by President George W. Bush in 2007, the production of 40- and 60-watt incandescent light bulbs is banned. (75- and 100-watt bulbs have already been phased out.) Chip Bok claims it is an encroachment on personal freedom, while Jen Sorensen’s 2011 critique of that argument is still current.

Obamas to Attend Mandela Memorial in Johannesburg

Washington — President Barack Obama will attend the national memorial service in Johannesburg on Tuesday for former South African President Nelson Mandela who died on Thursday, the White House said.

Other details of the trip and the U.S. delegation will be announced soon, the White House said on Saturday.

Obama and his wife, Michelle, will be joined by former President George W. Bush and his wife, Laura, on Air Force One on the trip to South Africa next week, the White House said on Friday. Former President Bill Clinton will also attend Mandela events in South Africa, but his travel plans have not been announced.

There has been an outpouring of tributes from Americans to the 95-year-old Mandela, whose battle against white minority rule in South Africa was followed closely in the United States and helped fuel Obama’s interest in politics.

A state funeral will take place on Sunday, December 15, at Mandela’s home.

(Reporting by Jeff Mason; editing by Jackie Frank)