November 10th, 2010
08:50 AM ET
11 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. stufthis

    Bush is having a terrible time telling the truth. You have to give him credit for trying to rewrite history and his ugly presidency.

    November 10, 2010 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  2. nick

    It comes as no surprise to me.... Bush is, was ans will be a pathological liar.

    November 10, 2010 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  3. hannah

    We all know that the Bush gang lied to Americans and the world repeatedly, but in America if you are wealthy and have connections you can get by with anything. Even mass murders and the raping of American taxpayers. Bush is a criminal.

    November 10, 2010 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  4. Ferret out the B.S.

    Memory is a funny thing, you always remember your self in the best light. In GW'S case it'll always be on the side of right and freedom.

    November 10, 2010 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  5. Bruce

    Sour grapes on Schroeder's part apparently along with memory loss. He was a typical politician. Agreeing when he thinks it will make him sty popular.

    November 10, 2010 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  6. proud military mom

    It would be hard for the German's or the French to speak the truth about anything connected to Iran or Iraq without implicating themselves.....the two countries are supplying and have supplied the technology for uranium enrichment.

    November 10, 2010 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  7. informed voter

    I'm sure there will be many "untruths" discovered in this piece of revisionist history. The only way GWB can try to bleach his stained legacy is through lies and distortions. I must say, however, at least he has the decency to keep his trap shut when it comes to the new administration, and the challenges they face cleaning up the mess he left this country in.

    November 10, 2010 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  8. James Brooklyn N.Y.

    Bush lied??????
    What a shock.

    Lying is the only thing the village idiot is good at.

    November 10, 2010 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  9. stufthis

    Bush kept us safe after 9-11, if you don't count the 200 domestic terrorist attacks from 2001-2002. That is like Tim Pawlenty saying he kept Minnesotans safe as there has not been a bridge collapse lately.

    November 10, 2010 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  10. Nick San Diego

    Aw come on. Bush lies. He will learn that his book will not wash away his 8 terrible years of torture,war crimes,surplus to deficit spending, ect,ect

    November 10, 2010 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  11. Pat

    What a surprise!! As if we didn't already know that Bush is a big liar.

    November 10, 2010 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  12. Qwerty Ytrewq

    Bush is a war criminal. Why is it a surprise that he should lie? Ask him what he had for breakfast and he'll lie about it.

    November 10, 2010 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  13. Douglas

    Bush? A liar with hidden ulterior motives behind the invasion of Iraq? This should not surprise anyone at this point. The Iraq war was nothing more than a personal vendetta against Saddam, and the most expensive assasination in history.

    November 10, 2010 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  14. ja

    are we surprised

    November 10, 2010 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  15. Dan

    Chancellor Schroeder is a weasel and President Bush called him out. Nuff said.

    November 10, 2010 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  16. Eddieboy

    No surprises here. Yet another instance of Bush attempting to frame the acenario to meet his own agenda.

    November 10, 2010 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  17. Joy

    Obviously one of them is lying but does it really matter who at this point in time? It's over. Done. Let's move on.

    November 10, 2010 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  18. Randy McLeod

    Don't know much about the German Chancellor, but after living thru 8 yrs. of Bush and his lies, I believe the Chancellor. Feel real bad for the men and women who gave their lives on a lie. Same to the disabled vets, who came home and some who don't know their famlies. As Bush was quoted in a Newsweek magazine, "They tried to kill my Daddy."

    November 10, 2010 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  19. Jeff, Ohio

    Does this come as a surprise to anyone? Three initials sum up this epic failure of a president. W.M.D.

    November 10, 2010 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  20. JOhn

    Nothing new here. Republicans do not care when Republicans get people killed, grow government, raise taxes, spend or lie. The needs of the GOP outway the needs of the country or its people.

    November 10, 2010 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  21. Steve Oehmen

    Ouch!! Selective memory recall, I guess? Wonder who else will come out of the woods to dispute details in Bush's tome?

    November 10, 2010 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  22. midwestmatt

    "This connection, however, as it became clear during 2002, was false and constructed." – Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder

    Sorry, Georgie, you can try and rehabilitate your image with your base of voters but the rest of us still aren't buying it. You either lied or were stupid enough to listen to liars. Thanks but no thanks. Now go home.

    November 10, 2010 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  23. mdn

    The German's are in the best position to identify "Hitleresque" behavior. Bush is no stranger to lying. Of course the relationship turned frosty after the Germans decided not to go along for the "WMD tour of Iraq"...which still goes on and is now proven to be false.

    November 10, 2010 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  24. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    But he was on Oprah! Doesn't mean that he had to be honest with his book? Or at least what he believed to be true that Rove and Cheney told him?

    November 10, 2010 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  25. Ellid

    And this surprises anyone why? It's been known for years that Bush lied to get us into the war with Iraq in the first place.

    November 10, 2010 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
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