November 10th, 2010
08:50 AM ET
12 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. Bob Dog

    Its delightful, super entertaining to see Bush make an idiot of himself even AFTER leaving office. He will go done as one of the dumbest, most destuctive presidents in US history. What a fool.

    November 10, 2010 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  2. rdepontb

    The book is so full of BS that it deserves no comment beyond that. And certainly minimal sales; our history writing is screwed up enough as it is.

    November 10, 2010 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  3. Lee

    George Bush told a LIE? Didn't that stop being news almost a decade ago?

    November 10, 2010 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  4. Peace

    I suspect the entire book is full of lies. My plans to read the book has been scrapped now. Not worthy reading it!

    November 10, 2010 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  5. truth

    Everyone knows Bush is a liar.

    November 10, 2010 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  6. Clancy

    Bush lying? Jeez, I'm shocked...

    November 10, 2010 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  7. Riley

    Never trust the Germans.

    I ordered 14 of Pres Bush's new book. Gonna make great Christmas gifts. WE MISS YOU PRESIDENT BUSH. Obama is CLUELESS!!!

    November 10, 2010 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  8. rantandrave

    No surpise! He has ALWAYS Lied! As do most politicians; especially Republicans.

    November 10, 2010 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  9. trevorinmidstream

    I don't care what he writes in his little book, he's still a war criminal.

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

    Nothing really new here. Bush is a LIAR. News at 11.

    November 10, 2010 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  11. Ron

    And is anybody surprised? I'm not, he is a Republican. That is what they do...lie!

    November 10, 2010 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  12. Michael

    Wow. Bush lying? Sorry, I never trusted him. He's the worst president in US history. The world will spend decades recovering from "The Bush legacy". How sad.

    November 10, 2010 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  13. Jon

    Bush is a proven liar. This is but the latest example.

    November 10, 2010 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  14. Billy, NYC

    We the people will forever mourn the loss of thousands young lives in the war in Iraq.
    Where is the WMD? Where is the mushroom clouds Bush used to induce fear into our head?
    He owes the families had lost their young men and women in this unjust war a LONG and SINCERE apology, IF he has any remorse. Parents are still crying to sleep thinking of their dead children who trust this president and gave their lives to US.

    November 10, 2010 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  15. Dave

    I would believe Schroeder before I would ever believe Bush. Everything that came out of his mouth was either a lie, spin, or an effort to avoid responsibility for anything.

    November 10, 2010 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  16. JoeT

    File this article under "News that really isn't news". Reporting GW Bush making untrue statements and sticking by them is like reporting that the sun will rise in the east.

    November 10, 2010 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  17. John

    George Bush lied?...No, what a surprise!

    November 10, 2010 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  18. getreal

    This is one of the things W does best – lying.

    November 10, 2010 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  19. Robert

    Bush lying? Nah!

    November 10, 2010 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  20. Canuck

    Bush lied?? Wow, who'd have thought that ???

    November 10, 2010 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  21. Former Republican - Now Independent

    One should always remember that presidential memoirs are NOT written with historical accuracy in mind. They are written by former presidents in a selfish attempt to SECURE their perceived place IN history.

    In this matter G.W. Bush is no different than any other president who wrote, or had ghost-written, his memoirs.

    November 10, 2010 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  22. Jersey Bob

    Bush never did let facts get in the way of his desired paths.

    November 10, 2010 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  23. Roy

    Looks like this was more a misunderstanding at worst, not an outright lie. Big difference. Regardless of what you think about Bush, the French and the Germans are morons.

    I am sure this guy has to try to save some face back home anyway by Bush-bashing.

    November 10, 2010 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  24. Anonymous

    There appear to be several missing pieces in the Ex- Presidents memory. The most glaring to me was Katrina. He claims to have been waiting for the Governors request for help, yet FEMA was already there due to the expected Category 5 hurricane. Obviously someone had asked for federal help and the feds were just unprepared.
    Others in the administration have said they knew before the Iraqi invasiton there were no WMD, yet the US entered anyway.
    I aplauded Mr. Bush for trying to be honest about his adminstration, but i think time and circumstances got clouded in his mind

    November 10, 2010 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  25. wildman

    How could anyone believe anything that Bush says at this point.

    November 10, 2010 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
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