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Dan Speers

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The Legacy of Empty Coffins

George Bush Keeps Promise

To Fill Empty Family Coffers

 

In an interview for Robert Draper's 2007 book Dead Certain, The Presidency of George W. Bush,

Bush said that he planned to “replenish the ol' coffers” on the lecture circuit,

where he could make “ridiculous money.”

 

“I don’t know what my dad gets. But it’s more than fifty, seventy-five [thousand],” Bush told Draper.

When I read the book, Dead Certain, by Robert Draper, in 2007, I was angered by George

Bush's revelation that he intended to hit the lecture circuit after his Presidency--not to

justify or explain or even to attempt to shed light on his actions as President but for the

sole purpose of making money. Of course, I was angry. George Bush had led us into what

I felt was an illegal and unjust war in Iraq in search of Weapons of Mass Destruction that

didn't exist, a war that was justified on lies, false and misleading information, and deliberate

distortions of the truth. But what was more disturbing than anything else was George Bush's

conviction that he was acting on behalf of his God--that his God wanted him to go to war--

that his God wanted him to order thousands of America's finest soldiers into a war that

cost thousands of lives and injuries. That is when I wrote the following poem, Dead Certain.

 

 

George W. Bush (REUTERS/Luke Frazza/Pool) 

 

 

 

http://tiny.cc/d6qop

 

 
           Dead Certain
  
  We trusted you then, what you said,
  In tower dust, three-thousand dead.
  So when you claimed a terrorist connection
  To drones and weapons of mass destruction
  From smallpox to lockjaw to castor disaster
  And you warned us of impending doom,
  In gun smoke clouds that mushroom,
  We rallied to your call for war
  To protect us from terrorists at our door.

  You’re dead certain you had the nod:
  You sought your counsel from your God.
  You told the Amish, “I trust God speaks through me.”
  To Abu Mazen, stating: “God told me
  “To strike [at] al Qaeda and I struck them and then
  “He instructed me to strike at Saddam.”
  And you did, Mr. Bush. But damn,
  If your God can’t predict the score,
  Why listen to you or your God anymore?
 
  You announced an end to major
  Combat operations. Wager
  You’d like to take that back. Along with “Mission
  Accomplished,” “Turning point” and “Bring ‘em on.”
  What else you got? As they stand up, we’ll stand down?
  Stay the course? Though you deny it.
  Did Australia’s PM buy it?
  “We’re kicking ass” is what you swore.
  Kicking ass? We don’t believe you anymore.

  Came the surge, you did it again.
  Saying with that dead certain grin,
  As if going AWOL had no precedent,
  You’ve left the war to the next President,
  While you pursue lectures and fees, your legacy.
  Replenish the coffers you said.
  Yes. Filling coffins with the dead
  Of those you order into war
  Certainly raises the bar markedly more.

  Ah, but you’re not willing to name
  Yourself or your cronies to blame.
  Nor do you explain the inconsistency,
  Between God and laurels of victory.
  The only thing dead certain is this certainty:
  There’s nothing left for you or for
  All those toadies who once praised you
  And that lying God you prayed to
  But a bitter grave to lie in evermore.
 
--By Dan Speers, 2007
 

 
 
Dubya's Quiet $15 Million Payday
by Peter H. Stone
May 20, 2011 | 6:41am

 

George W. Bush said after bin Laden’s killing that he wanted to stay out of the public eye. But Peter H. Stone of the Center for Public Integrity's iWatch News says 43's becoming a high-profile figure on the buck-raking circuit.

 

  When George W. Bush declined President Obama’s invitation to a ceremony at New York’s ground zero after Osama bin Laden was killed, the former president cited his desire to keep a low public profile.

 

  But Bush has been raising his profile in a different, and lucrative, way: He has raked in millions of dollars since leaving office by making scores of speeches that typically earn him six figures a pop.

 

  In the week after Obama’s May 5 ground zero event, the 43rd president made time for three separate speeches to hedge-fund executives, a Swiss bank sanctioned for keeping secret bank accounts, and a pro golf event underwritten by the accounting firm involved in the Tyco International financial scandal.

 

Bush’s standard speaking fee is reportedly between $100,000 and $150,000.

 

  David Sherzer, a spokesman for the former president, said that since Bush left office he has delivered nearly 140 paid talks, at home and abroad. Those speeches have earned Bush about $15 million, following in the golden path blazed by his predecessor, Bill Clinton.

 

  Almost all of Bush’s speeches are closed to the press. Bush uses the Washington Speakers Bureau to arrange his paid speaking gigs.

 

  To some presidential historians, Bush’s numerous high-priced speaking engagements don’t sit well. “I find it puzzling,” said Stanford University historian Robert Dallek. “He says he wants to keep a low profile. What is he doing except enriching himself? It sounds like it’s self-serving. It’s following the good old American adage to make as much as you can.”

 

  Other historians say Bush’s ride on the lecture circuit has become somewhat commonplace for former presidents, but is still troubling.

 

Continue reading this article here . . .

 

 

 

 

Peter H. Stone leads the money and politics team at the Center for Public Integrity, a nonpartisan investigative journalism group in Washington. Stone is the author of the recently released paperback Casino Jack and the United States of Money.



Copyright of this article resides with the respective holders, see The Daily Beast and Peter H. Stone.