GOOD

Did George Bush Steal Passages of His Memoir?

The Huffington Post is reporting that many passages from our former Decider's new memoir were lifted from the books of his advisers.


America's former Decider just released his memoir, Decision Points. The Huffington Post is reporting that many passages from the book have been lifted from the books of his advisers.

Here, for example, is a passage from Ahmed Rashid’s The Mess in Afghanistan, which describes an exchange between Hamid Karzai and an Afghan warlord at Karzai's inauguration.


At the airport to receive [Karzai] was the warlord General Mohammad Fahim, a Tajik from the Panjshir Valley …. As the two men shook hands on the tarmac, Fahim looked confused. "Where are your men?" he asked. Karzai turned to him in his disarmingly gentle manner of speaking. "Why General," he replied, "you are my men—all of you are Afghans and are my men..."

\n

And here's the same event (which Bush didn't even attend), described by Bush in Decision Points:

When Karzai arrived in Kabul for his inauguration on December 22 – 102 days after 9/11 – several Northern Alliance leaders and their bodyguards greeted him at an airport. As Karzai walked across the tarmac alone, a stunned Tajik warlord asked where all his men were. Karzai, responded, "Why, General, you are my men. All of you who are Afghans are my men."

\n

In another example, here's General Tommy Franks talking about strategy in Iraq in his book American Soldier:

"For example, if we have multiple, highly skilled Special Operations forces identifying targets for precision-guided munitions, we will need fewer conventional ground forces. That's an important lesson learned from Afghanistan." President Bush's questions continued throughout the briefing.... Before the VTC ended, President Bush addressed us all. "We should remain optimistic that diplomacy and international pressure will succeed in disarming the regime." ... The President paused. "Protecting the security of the United States is my responsibility," he continued. "But we cannot allow weapons of mass destruction to fall into the hands of terrorists." He shook his head. "I will not allow that to happen."

\n

And here's a passage on the same event, from Decision Points:

Tommy told the national security team that he was working to apply the same concept of a light footprint to Iraq... "If we have multiple, highly skilled Special Operations forces identifying targets for precision-guided munitions, we will need fewer conventional grounds forces," he said. "That's an important lesson learned from Afghanistan." I had a lot of concerns. ... I asked the team to keep working on the plan. "We should remain optimistic that diplomacy and international pressure will succeed in disarming the regime," I said at the end of the meeting. "But we cannot allow weapons of mass destruction to fall into the hands of terrorists. I will not allow that to happen."

\n

The bulk of the "lifted" passages The Huffington Post found are actually direct quotations, so in fact they should be identical or else something's wrong. In that sense, I think The Huffington Post is over-hyping the plagiarism charge.

That said, it seems really unlikely that multiple parties were transcribing these conversations perfectly. My guess is that Bush (or his ghostwriters) just relied very heavily on previously published material for inspiration and "research," and as a result, his memoir may simply not be very original.

Articles
Ottawa Humane Society / Flickr

The Trump Administration won't be remembered for being kind to animals.

In 2018, it launched a new effort to reinstate cruel hunting practices in Alaska that had been outlawed under Obama. Hunters will be able to shoot hibernating bear cubs, murder wolf and coyote cubs while in their dens, and use dogs to hunt black bears.

Efforts to end animal cruelty by the USDA have been curtailed as well. In 2016, under the Obama Administration, the USDA issued 4,944 animal welfare citations, in two years the numbers dropped to just 1,716.

Keep Reading Show less
Science
via I love butter / Flickr

We often dismiss our dreams as nonsensical dispatches from the mind while we're deep asleep. But recent research proves that our dreams can definitely affect our waking lives.

People often dream about their significant others and studies show it actually affects how we behave towads them the next day.

"A lot of people don't pay attention to their dreams and are unaware of the impact they have on their state of mind," said Dylan Selterman, psychology lecturer at the University of Maryland, says according to The Huffington Post. "Now we have evidence that there is this association."

Keep Reading Show less
Health
via Real Time with Bill Maher / YouTube and The Late Late Show with James Corden / YouTube

A controversial editorial on America's obesity epidemic and healthcare by comedian Bill Maher on his HBO show "Real Time" inspired a thoughtful, and funny, response by James Cordon. It also made for a great debate about healthcare that Americans are avoiding.

At the end of the September 6th episode of "Real Time, " Maher turned to the camera for his usual editorial and discussed how obesity is a huge part of the healthcare debate that no one is having.

"At Next Thursday's debate, one of the candidates has to say, 'The problem with our healthcare system is Americans eat shit and too much of it.' All the candidates will mention their health plans but no one will bring up the key factor: the citizens don't lift a finger to help," Maher said sternly.

Keep Reading Show less
Politics

There is no shortage of proposals from the, um, what's the word for it… huge, group of Democratic presidential candidates this year. But one may stand out from the pack as being not just bold but also necessary; during a CNN town hall about climate change Andrew Yang proposed a "green amendment" to the constitution.

Keep Reading Show less
test
Me Too Kit

The creator of the Me Too kit — an at home rape kit that has yet to hit the market — has come under fire as sexual assault advocates argue the kit is dangerous and misleading for women.

The kit is marketed as "the first ever at home kit for commercial use," according to the company's website. "Your experience. Your kit. Your story. Your life. Your choice. Every survivor has a story, every survivor has a voice." Customers will soon be able order one of the DIY kits in order to collect evidence "within the confines of the survivor's chosen place of safety" after an assault.

"With MeToo Kit, we are able to collect DNA samples and other tissues, which upon testing can provide the necessary time-sensitive evidence required in a court of law to identify a sexual predator's involvement with sexual assault," according to the website.

Keep Reading Show less
Health