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. NVa Native

    Although I see Bush/Cheney presidency as a failure and his being the worst president ever, I have a hard to calling him a liar. But he did lie (or was a complete idiot) throughout his presidency, and he has denied reality every time he was proven to be doing so. So why would he change now?

    November 10, 2010 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  2. mesamick

    Bush the war criminal lied? I'm shocked I tell you – SHOCKED?

    We should put this piece of crap Bushie-42 along with Cheney and Rummy on trial for crimes against humanity...The slime.

    Bushie can go around bleating and braying with false piety about how much he loves jeezuz and how he was "protecting" America (9/11...Never forget who was POTUS!) trying to re-write history in his favor but most real Americans are not rethugliecants. We dont swallow because they are told to by their "leaders" and we ain't buyin' his spin... He is a lying killer of innocent men, women and our troops for political gain – plain and simple.

    November 10, 2010 09:57 am at 9:57 am |

    Of course, Bush is a genocidal lier. He knows that the Zionists pushed him to work with the pretext of "Weapons of mass deception". Bush is a WAR CRIMINAL>

    November 10, 2010 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  4. ronnyg

    Bush lied? I'm astounded. He was always so truthful, especially when he asked Cheney to testify by his side so that he didn't forget what the truth was.

    November 10, 2010 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  5. Rich

    Of course Bush is lying.

    November 10, 2010 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  6. Jaywing

    What? Bush lied about Iraq? Was deceptive about his intentions? No... I'm sure Mr. Schroder simply misunderstood him, just like all the rest of us here in the good old USA. WE just didn't understand what Bush and Cheney were saying. WMD didn't mean Weapons of Mass Destruction - it meant "Where are My Donuts". It was a completely innocent suggestion. Those Iraqics have too many donuts. Must invade their country to save them from the horrors of ingesting too much coelesteral.

    November 10, 2010 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  7. stufthis

    What would be a headline, would be if someone found that Bush told the truth.

    November 10, 2010 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  8. WB

    no surprise there,... Bush twisted the law to make Waterboarding legal, it is not hard to twist what a German leader has said. It seems to me that Bush has his own fantasy world where everything had to be per his thoughts,... almost like dictators do...

    November 10, 2010 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  9. Robin Bray

    Well he lied while in office. So why would he change now? At least someone has the strength to point out the truth.

    November 10, 2010 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  10. PAUL W

    A Republican caught in a lie? How is this news?

    Go find one telling the truth about anything and you might have a story.

    November 10, 2010 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  11. Seattle Sue

    Bush lied to us for 8 years, why do you think he would not lie in his book?

    November 10, 2010 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  12. RVH

    This article reflects a tendency by his administration to bend reality to match its intentions. Any outlandish hint of a relationship with Al'Qaeda was elevated to become definitive proof just as this statement from President Schroeder was exaggerated to mean unequivocal support. The end result is that sadly, many Republicans still tie Saddam Hussein to Al'Qaeda and the 9/11 attacks. These folks also firmly believe that the Iraqi Dictator had weapons of mass destruction. These erroneous beliefs have a drastic effect on a person's view with respect with the necessity of pouring blood and treasure into this region.

    The same group of voters now believes that the Obama administration has raised taxes, destroyed the budget with needless spending and eroded our freedoms through attempts to tighten gun laws when in effect, taxes are the lowest in 50 years, the bailouts to the auto industry are getting paid back and more laws were passed to permit concealed weapons than in the previous administration.

    Perception is reality in these frustrating times.

    November 10, 2010 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  13. bcrunner

    Surprise!! Bush lied... No, there is no surprise. He never told the truth. I wish he would go away again... I don't want to see this man who cause so much grief and pain again on television... Hundereds of thousands of lives lost because of him and he ruined the economy... Just go away please!!!!

    November 10, 2010 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  14. Mike

    Funny!!! the guy is himself a lie, yet these leaders just started to realize that he lies?

    November 10, 2010 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  15. A. Goodwin

    Does this really surprise anyone? Bush is a pathological liar!!. I cannot wait for the Bush sympathizers to come out in droves and tell us all how wonderful he Obama is so much worse than Bush...yada...yada...yada. Republican's like to make it seem like us Dems are deadbeat, pot smoking, ignorant fools – seems to me like psychological projection to me!! After 8 years of sending the country down the tubes financially...after focusing all our attention on Iraq and Afghanastan and barely no time on domestic issues...after giving tax cuts for the rich...TARP...torture...and invading our privacy...Yes...Bush was the best president EVER (eyes rolling)...

    November 10, 2010 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  16. Clark Wilhelm Griswald

    Bush is a war criminal, as are others of his administration. Iraq was an illegal invasion, and torture was authorized at the highest levels (though they play childish semantic games and call it "enhanced interrogation" to pretend it was something different.

    After World War II, America prosecuted and executed numerous Japanese and German officials who did exactly the same thing as Bush and his staff and generals.

    However, American politicians are apparently above the laws that they enforce on others.

    November 10, 2010 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  17. ThinkAgain

    Gee, GW Bush lied ... whoda thunk it? Folks, Bush is a dry alcoholic and his self-serving delusions and inability to be accountable for his own actions are very typical of this personality type.

    Who else could look at their presidency which involved starting two wars, one of which was under completely false pretenses, sanctioning torture, illegally wire-tapping Americans, not to mention ignoring the August 6, 2001 Presidential Daily Briefing that explicitly warned of an attack by al Qaeda using airplanes and think that his only "mistakes" were:

    2 photo-ops! (Him on the plane looking down at the destruction of Katrina and standing in front of the "Mission Accomplished" banner.)

    No wonder Karl Rove and Cheney told him to lay low these last two years; what a train-wreck of a person GW is!

    November 10, 2010 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  18. Jim in Florida

    Not surprising. The German leader was a leftist. Also not surprising that CNN would run with this story like a kid to a candy store.

    Just can't stop bashing Bush can you?

    I think the German is lying. Print that.

    November 10, 2010 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  19. Jack

    Anyone who's followed this issue knows that Bush made the connection between Iraq and Al Qaeda even though no one else had.

    November 10, 2010 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  20. Margaret Hawkins

    I heard Geo W Bush say in a speech in 2002 say, (which I was watching on TV), "that man (Saddam Hussein) tried to kill my daddy, and I'm gonna git him." I was shocked to hear him say such a thing. But I never thought we would actually go to war with Iraq.
    I also blame Hussein for some of the war, because he refused to allow the search for weapons of mass destruction to be found. If he allowed that search, we may not have gone to war in Iraq. We should have remained focused on Afghanistan. I believe there are better ways to settle differences in this world without having to kill innocent people who are voiceless and defensless to stop our leaders who remain safe in their domains. There is so much grief out there with the loss of troops and innocent people. I know that grief as the result of losing my only daughter to Hodgkins disease at age 20. That kind of grief never goes away even after 34 years.
    Margaret Hawkins

    November 10, 2010 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  21. Lisa P

    Bush misremembered? What a surprise! Not.

    November 10, 2010 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  22. DandyStryker

    Bush lied during his entire presidency. Why would anyone expect him to do anything differently today?

    November 10, 2010 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  23. Julie C

    Did we honestly expect the truth, c'mon now!

    November 10, 2010 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  24. Dave

    Bush lied? What else is new? And he got re-elected, and his progeny is returning to power. Shame on the voters!

    November 10, 2010 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  25. Ben in Texas

    The Ex-War-Criminal-in-Chief should have called the book "Delusion Points". Just write a book, Georgie, and that'll make it all better.

    I will never forgive this criminal for what he did to my country.

    November 10, 2010 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
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