November 10th, 2010
08:50 AM ET
4 years ago

Bush lying, says ex-German leader

(CNN) -George Bush's memoir only hit bookshelves Tuesday, but already one prominent ex-world leader says the former president isn't being truthful when it comes to his description of a 2002 conversation about the possible use of force in Iraq.

Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, who left office in 2005, is disputing a passage in Bush's new book that claims Schroeder privately offered the president full-fledged support in 2002 should he decide to invade Iraq.

"The former American president is not telling the truth," Schroeder said Tuesday according to the German newspaper Der Spiegel.

In his new book "Decision Points," Bush writes that in a January 2002 White House meeting with Schroeder, the German leader said of possible force in Iraq: "What is true of Afghanistan is true of Iraq. Nations that sponsor terror must face consequences. If you make it fast and make it decisive, I will be with you."

"I took that as a statement of support," Bush writes of the conversation. "But when German elections arrived later that year, Schroeder had a different take. He denounced the possibility of using force against Iraq."

Speaking Tuesday, Schroeder said the 2002 meeting was actually focused on the mere possibility former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein had anything to do with the September 11 attacks, and said he made no unequivocal commitments

"Just as I did during my subsequent meetings with the American president, I made it clear that, should Iraq ... prove to have provided protection and hospitality to al Qaeda fighters, Germany would reliably stand beside the US," Schroeder said of his comments to the president. "This connection, however, as it became clear during 2002, was false and constructed."

Bush, whose relationship with Schroeder quickly turned frosty after the chancellor expressed opposition to the war, writes he was "shocked and furious" with the actions of his ally, especially after the German justice minister accused Bush of acting like Adolf Hitler in his efforts to "divert attention from domestic political problems."

"It was hard to have a constructive relationship again," Bush writes of his future relations with Schroeder.


Filed under: President Bush
soundoff (191 Responses)
  1. CTYank

    His lips are moving. What more do you need to know?

    GW has never demonstrated respect for the truth, and ... routinely expressed his disdain for most anyone who spoke up to argue against him as being "a politician." A bit haughty for a draft-dodger.

    November 10, 2010 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  2. John

    We had 8 years of Bush lies, and he ruined the Economy so want 1 more lies. I sure some were down the road there be more we find out about. But you people voted the Republican back in the control of the house. So now we will have you economy get worst again.

    November 10, 2010 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  3. capnmike

    George W. Bush, the ONLY president in US History with an Arrest record, was a spoiled brat of a rich family, whose daddy pulled strings to get him out of service in "Nam, who was acceped to college as a "legacy" because daddy went there, and graduated at the bottom of his class. His entire "administration" was one of lies, subterfuge, and corruption. Why am I not surprised that his book is full of lies too? He never learned to be honest about anything.

    November 10, 2010 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  4. ken

    No WMD's for Germany either!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 10, 2010 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  5. Jill American

    Hmmm, gotta go with Schroeder on this one.

    "Why of course people don't want war. That is understood. But after all it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag people along ... All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country"
    Hermann Goering at the Nuremberg Trials of Nazi war criminals in 1946

    November 10, 2010 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  6. Hot Dog

    This man is a liar period. It will take years for Amierica to recover from the damage that his administration did to this country.

    November 10, 2010 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  7. Edmond

    How can you prove Bush is liar and the German guy is telling the truth?

    November 10, 2010 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  8. revisionist

    According to some responses here, one should allow Bush to write anything he wants, true or not....
    And that anyone that challenges Bush's statements is a liar and should stop 'bashing Bush'?
    'I think the German is lying" is a fine example of the American thinking process..
    Let Bush 'open' his administration's closed correspondence with Germany at that time and show America that he is not lying.

    November 10, 2010 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  9. ch

    Hmmm..."I made it clear that, should Iraq ... prove to have provided protection and hospitality to al Qaeda fighters, Germany would reliably stand beside the US" that sure does sound a whole lot like "Nations that sponsor terror must face consequences. If you make it fast and make it decisive, I will be with you." Sounds like Mr. Schroeder just doesn't like the fact that he is being painted as someone who went back on the initial support he promised. No surprise there, typical European would rather be swept up with the current trend of political correctness than actually having steadfast principles. As for the Hitler accusation, yes diverting attention from universally important topics such as gay marriage in order to protect the nation from terrorism is very Hitleresque (sarcasm). You know what sounds Hitlery to me...a socialist leader of Germany that goes back on political promises and then tries to scapegoat others for his failures.

    November 10, 2010 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  10. Otto

    Bush LIED, hundreds of thousands died; tens of thousands maimed for life. Children growing up with out parents, thanks GWB and the ignorant fools who believed in you and have shown their senseless stupur while voting the same arrogant people back into office in less than 24 months. Oh foolish people who listen to the hardline money hungry 1% that rules this country. Idiiotic voters!

    November 10, 2010 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  11. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    GWB lie? You can't be serious. He only lied to us about WMD in Iraq and Al Queda having safe harbor there.

    November 10, 2010 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  12. Brian

    Man people still hating on Bush. He admitted mistakes, give the guy a break. The economy wasnt all his fault, I believe people spending money they didnt have and the banks had something to do with it to. But thats just me I guess.

    November 10, 2010 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  13. Tom Legare

    Gee WOW, Bush lied, imagine that. He wouldn't have told the truth if his life depended on it. A "natural born liar"!!!!!!!!

    November 10, 2010 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  14. Jim

    Mr. Bush has never had any trouble with ignoring the truth and saying whatever Dick Cheney or whoever else had their hand up his rear end wanted him to say while they operated his mouth and threw their voices so it looked like him saying it. Maybe that's why I always thought he reminded me of Howdy Doody...

    November 10, 2010 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  15. Just Me

    Tell me something I do not know already CNN. We all know Bush is a liar...a big whopping one too. Nothing new here. I would not buy his book even if it were on sale at a 99 cents store.

    November 10, 2010 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  16. Phlyphishingphreak

    Imagine that, Bush accused of lying.

    November 10, 2010 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  17. nick2

    Having watched three interviews in the last few days, between Bush and different interviewers, I was left with the very uncomfortable feeling that there was a lot of 'rewritten' history. There was really no ring of truth to his 'patriotic' rather than logical reasons for many of his actions – besides which using 'patriotism' as a reason for any kind of Presidential policy is a bit like pandering to the masses.

    November 10, 2010 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  18. Brent Sherman

    Gerhard Schroeder is a dispicable coward, who loved his double talk, and running from every true challenge that his country faced. Just like Harry Reid ran when President Bush confronted comprehensive immigration 'head on'. Cowards always run from the truth. Take our current congress and president for example. They aren't going to tell you that the US is steps away from bankruptsy. They aren't going to tell you that they are puppets, doing the will of the wicked George Soros.

    November 10, 2010 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  19. marty

    My hunch is that the German is angry that Bush would print a private conversation that proves to be embarrassing to the Germans. To those of you calling Bush a liar, when??? On WMDs? Let me inform you-at the time we went to war, ALL 16 members of the U.N. Security Council agreed that Hussein had WMDs. Clinton and Gore also agreed...then. Only after the lunatic left started applying pressure, did those two start backpedaling. So let's stop the lies about Bush, it only points out your lack of information.

    November 10, 2010 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  20. Fair is Fair

    How do we know that Wolfgang or Hans or whatever this dude's name is isn't the one who's lying?

    November 10, 2010 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  21. Sara

    I saw him being interviewed about his book and the interviewer said that 50% of people polled think that Obama bailed out the banks and lending institutions!!! Wonder how this has happened? Hmmm. 50%, wow that is truly a misinformed population.

    November 10, 2010 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  22. Conrad

    Bush was an idiot and still is an idiot; did anyone actually expect his book to be anything but a pack of lies? For his ties to the Saudis alone he ought to have been arrested for treason in mid-term.

    November 10, 2010 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  23. Scott

    Doesn't sound like a lie to me. Not a Bush backer, but Schroeder seems to be trying to save face here with his former constituents.

    November 10, 2010 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  24. JMK

    Let's be honest with ourselves for a just a little bit... All Presidents lie, it's kind of part of their job, and most of it is due to National Security. Loose lips, sink U.S. Navy ships. Anyhow... If someone said to you "Hey if you can get apples and oranges together, we'll help you eat the oranges...", one would think that maybe you're willing to eat some oranges. Be more decisive with your words and say what you really mean, so that there isn't any confusion. especially when it could mean war or not.

    November 10, 2010 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  25. sandi

    ...and with the publication of these lies the foundation for bush-era revisionist history has begun.

    It has become REAL embarrassing to be an american. The hope was that President Obama will make a difference, but his lack of ***** gives much doubt.

    November 10, 2010 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
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