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April 27th, 2009
05:00 PM ET

Why has former Pres. Bush been silent on torture debate?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Since the release of those Bush-era interrogation memos, former Vice President Dick Cheney hasn't been able to stop tallking. This was a guy who we barely saw or heard from for eight years. Cheney insists the harsh techniques kept the country safe and President Obama should release more documents to prove that.

As president, George W. Bush denied that his administration authorized torture of prisoners.

Bush's former top political adviser, Karl Rove is accusing Mr. Obama of seeking "show trials" of former administration officials. Even Senator John McCain, who fought for limits on interrogation during the Bush administration, says any talk of prosecution is about "settling old political scores." I guess the fact that laws may have been broken doesn't matter to McCain.

But with all the talk - one person we haven't heard from is former President Bush himself. Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy insists an independent commission is needed to find out who exactly authorized this stuff, saying: "I want to know who was it who made the decisions that we will violate our own laws; we'll violate our own treaties; we will even violate our own Constitution."

While president, Bush repeatedly denied that his administration authorized torture of prisoners. But just last week a Senate report showed top Bush officials as early as 2002 gave the CIA approval to use techniques like waterboarding - which has been considered torture since the Spanish Inquisition.

Here’s my question to you: When it comes to the torture debate, why has former President Bush been silent?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Raymond from Charlotte, North Carolina writes:
Bush has probably "lawyered-up" and his lawyers have told him to remain silent on everything until the smoke settles from his administration's disastrous policies.

Deb from Nauvoo, Illinois writes:
George Bush is hoping that one old saying is true: out of sight, out of mind… and that one old saying isn't: the buck stops here. Just who do you think is ultimately responsible for the acts of torture committed in the name of The United States of America? I think George Bush knows too.

Adam from Thousand Oaks, California writes:
My guess is: he is at peace with the decisions he's made and believes they are no small part of what has kept our country safe since 9/11/2001. I agree with John McCain that it is a slippery slope when we start prosecuting people for their political views and interpretations.

Jay writes:
Because Bush knows that he is not as smart as Cheney. And when he hears how absolutely stupid Cheney sounds when he tries to defend this nightmare, he understands how much dumber he will come off if he opens his mouth.

Lesley writes:
I was never a fan of George W. Bush. I would love to write something not so nice about him. However, in the case of torture, I have always believed that it was Cheney who was pushing all the torture buttons, along with his pal Rumsfeld. Cheney feels the need to defend himself, and Bush has nothing to defend.

Jim from North Carolina writes:
Former President Bush's silence is very simple: he doesn't believe waterboarding is torture. Torture is Nancy Pelosi lying about what she knew.

Jack from Nice, California writes:
Jack, Who cares? I spent over eight years wishing President Bush would remain silent, so now I just want to enjoy it while I can.

soundoff (300 Responses)
  1. Tina Tx

    His puppet master won't let him speak but I think he is saving his wind for if there is ever a trial and then he will speak.

    April 27, 2009 at 3:36 pm |
  2. Jay in Texas

    President Bush, unlike Dick Cheney, is doing the smart thing by exercising his "right to remain silent". He knows he blatantly violated the laws of our Constitution as well as international laws.
    Brownwood, Texas

    April 27, 2009 at 3:40 pm |
  3. Vinnie Vino

    Jack,

    Mr. Bush is so stupid he thinks by not saying anything about the torture debate might make it magically disappear...

    Central Islip, NY

    April 27, 2009 at 3:40 pm |
  4. Susan Frost

    He's too busy helping Rick Perry organize the Texas secession movement so that when he's finally indicted for war crimes he can fight extradition to the United States without leaving his new house in Dallas.

    Susan
    Tuscaloosa, AL

    April 27, 2009 at 3:42 pm |
  5. Paul Austin, Texas

    Two reasons Jack. One he does and always did know what was going on. Second he has never had the art of speaking well to the public has he.

    April 27, 2009 at 3:43 pm |
  6. Greg Key West

    Easy, no one has told him what to say....

    April 27, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
  7. Kerry Diehl

    Perhaps he's smart enough to realize that Obama and his far left following do NOT need help in digging their own political grave!

    They (Senator Levin and others) keep digging and will soon be totally consumed by what is uncovered (if not covered back up)! (Pelosi will probably be the first of the dominos to fall I’m sure.)

    – kerry
    grosse ile, mi

    April 27, 2009 at 3:45 pm |
  8. Jack Martin

    Former President Bush has been silent because, at long last, he must face facts. He must have thought he would be president for life and that he and his henchmen would never face any retribution. I remember well the war crimes trials after World War II. Our country was then rightly justified in executing or imprisoning the criminals found guilty of war crimes. Can we now ignore these events and have to admit we were wrong back then?
    Jack in Boynton Beach Fl

    April 27, 2009 at 3:47 pm |
  9. Tom in New Hope, MN

    He is trying desperately to keep a low profile wanting to make it look like statesmanship. The jig is nearly up Mr. Bush. It is time to pay for past egregious decisions you and your administration made because you wanted to go to war to finish daddy’s job.

    April 27, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  10. Diana NJ

    President George W. Bush has been a better ex President than he was a President and is doing the right thing.

    April 27, 2009 at 3:51 pm |
  11. Sherri Illinois

    The talking heads have always been Rove & Cheney anyway, so its no surprise President Bush is silent because he had no clue what was going on, he just spoke in-front of the cameras & read the scripted information he was given. Its appears like the economy has been put on the back burner with this torture-gate fiasco and thats just fine with the Republican party. Washington & President Obama- please get back to the #1 issue THE ECONOMY and JOBS!. President Bush is laughing at all this crap taking place while he sits pool-side at his $2.3 million estate, he could care less to get caught up in what was and is no more-torture! MOVE FORWARD!

    April 27, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  12. Mark from Calgary

    I'm sure he's read the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution, and he is merely invoking his right to not incriminate himself (any further, at anyway, than the written documents already do).

    Even if the US decides to grant blanket pardons to Bush, Cheney and their yes-men underlings, they will be subject to World Court adjudication their next trip outside the USA.

    April 27, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  13. Harold from Anchorage,AK

    It's called taking the 5th.Jack.

    April 27, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  14. Dick in Minnesota

    He is completely and utterly in a state of confused lunacy. He probably doesn't even know that the memos were released yet alone that they exsisted in the first place.

    April 27, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  15. Mike S., New Orleans

    The only thing former President Bush could possible add to the debate is "Yes, I authorized torture, and I don't care, so what?"
    That was his attitude toward practically every thing he did in eight years. His arrogance is not missed, so his slience is a blessing.

    April 27, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  16. Gail, Plano Texas

    Former President Bush keeps silent about the torture this country under his watch, practiced because he unlike Cheney, is not a professional liar. Add to the mix the fact that he can barely string together enough words to make a complete sentence, and you have your answer.

    April 27, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  17. Chris in Ks

    Hi Jack,
    It's nice to see that you don't put torture in quotation marks. Perhaps you could inform the rest of CNN that waterboarding has been considered torture (in the U.S.) since the Spanish-American war.

    April 27, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  18. Jane (Minnesota)

    Maybe he's thinking if I ignore it – it will go away.

    April 27, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  19. Marion in SC

    Because he is guilty as sin and not a very good liar !! It is better to be thought a liar than to open his mouth and remove all doubt !!

    April 27, 2009 at 3:56 pm |
  20. SHIRLEY-OHIO

    I don't Bush had too much to say after they lied about the WMD. Secretary Poluson made him help him beg for money for the banks or he would not have said anything about that. I think Bush knows that noting is going to happen to him so why should he say anything.

    April 27, 2009 at 3:57 pm |
  21. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Hi Jack,

    let me add to my last comment maybe President Bush is silent because he enjoys torture by making people ask this question! Which is why moving forward, a nation of laws gives voices to real principles!

    April 27, 2009 at 3:57 pm |
  22. aspenfreepress

    Why was Bush silent in the wake of Florida's presidential election vote debacle in the year 2000? Bush had been campaigning so hard, then he buttoned up during the recount controversy. Sterling Greenwood/Aspen Free Press

    April 27, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  23. Jerry - Toronto, Ontario.

    Simple answer, Jack, because he's guilty as all hell! By opening his mouth all the heat will be directed at him and he knows it. Let's face it, the man is a sham, a con artist who pretended to be a President. Now that the heat is being ratcheted up and the American people are learning about all his lies and deceits, the former “The Buck Stops Here” President is running for cover. One other reason is that W is so silent is that there is also no GOP majority to get him off the hook. Daddy can't save his butt this time.

    April 27, 2009 at 3:59 pm |
  24. Ed Woodbridge,Va.

    I guess because all of you in the liberal media have been talking about it so much he can't get a word in edgewise, even if he did want to comment on it! You guys along with your buddies in MoveOn.Org, are not going to rest until you beat this issue of waterboarding into the ground! You guys talk about torture by waterboarding but you don't have the guts to approach repressive regimes like North Korea, Zimbabwe, Iran just to mention a few and ask them about their "methods" of gaining information! Senator Leahy of Vermont runs his mouth about waterboarding torture simply because he is a radical partisan Democrat who has always had disdian for the former President! Leahy should get a life, and start working for the people of Vermont who put him where he is now! Period, end of story!

    April 27, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  25. Patty.D. Bristol, Pa.

    Dear Jack. I believe Pres. Bush will shun public life after his fiasco of a Presidency. As for his silence, regardless of Chaney's fingerprints on the whole torture issue, Bush was the President. What is that famous saying," The buck stops here."

    April 27, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  26. michael armstrong sr.

    from sherman tx. dear jack havnt you ever heard that silence is golden especialy if you dont have your attorny close by.

    April 27, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  27. Jim from Chicago

    Jack, to quote Abraham Lincoln, who himself was totally against torture, it's ...
    "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt."

    April 27, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  28. JS

    He is leaving Darth Cheney to do it for him, just as Darth pushed torture, Bush was just a mouthpiece.
    JS NC

    April 27, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  29. Jim from Asheville

    Because Cheney, Rove and Rumsfeld were calling the shots. Bush was just a puppet.

    April 27, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  30. Jenny from Nanuet, New York

    He doesn't want to say anything that can (further) incriminate him.

    April 27, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  31. Paulette,Dallas,PA

    Well Jack,I think his legal counsel has told him to not say anything and more importantly – Dick Cheney probably has told him to go hide in a corner somewhere and that he'll take care of this.

    April 27, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  32. ken jefferson city mo

    Jack , w realizes that when he opens his mouth no one listens so he won't talk ,we could only wish that cheney would realize the same thing.

    April 27, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  33. J Georgia

    Who cares? As long as he keeps his trap shut, that's plenty good enough for me.

    April 27, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  34. Ronald Holst

    Wwhen his father confronted him once he wanted to go omono omono with him.( sorry about that I do not really speak or write spanish. less I degress ) he no longer has the power to threaton any one much less the majorty of this nation, so like he did in the days of his service to his nation he shuts up and disapears .And hopes it will just all go away.
    Besides he is a lousey lier and he knows it .
    Ron
    San Antonio TX.

    April 27, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  35. Markel, Houston, TX

    Because he has no one to ghost write his script for him ...and he is incapable of forming a complete sentence on his own.

    April 27, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  36. Anthony..Swedesboro, NJ

    President Bush was never at the helm and relied too heavily on his nefarious neo-conservative cabal to smooth out the rough edges.
    He now feels betrayed and embarrassed by his moronic aides and their obvious ineptitude. Wouldn't you hide under a rock when your presidency is considered the worst in our history. We all know now that he ran just to prove to daddy dearest that he was more than just a drunk. I'd love to be a fly on the wall when these two failed presidents enjoy a holiday dinner together.

    April 27, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  37. Lourene

    Cheney is doing enough for both of them. One fool speaking talking trash is all the American people can handle.

    April 27, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  38. Jason, Koloa, HI

    If you were considered the worst president in history. If your fraudulent election was followed by disaster after disaster. What would you do Jack.? That's right, you'd slink into the shadows and hide there until everybody forgot about you.Let Bush hide in the dark with nothing but his endless shame.

    April 27, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  39. Rich, Kankakee, IL.

    Simple becasue they know that they are guilty of war crimes and crimes agaisnt humanity! Would you if you knew that everything that you would say would be used in your future trial. If only Cheney had gotten the memo, then he would not be making things worse for the whole Bush crew!

    April 27, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  40. Mark

    Easy Jack, he has the right to remain silent.

    April 27, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  41. Rich, Kankakee, IL.

    Simple becasue they know that they are guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity! Would you if you knew that everything that you would say would be used in your future trial. If only Cheney had gotten the memo, then he would not be making things worse for the whole Bush crew!

    April 27, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  42. Bernie of Lowell, MA

    George W. Bush sent his 'grunt' Dick Cheney out to fight the fires.

    Besides, George W. Bush is intoxicated and cannot even stand up, let alone speak, without revealing his alcoholism.

    Bernie
    Lowell, MA

    April 27, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  43. Rich, Kankakee, IL.

    Simple because they know that they are guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity! Would you if you knew that everything thing and word that you would say would be used in your future trial. If only Cheney had gotten the memo, then he would not be making things worse for the whole Bush crew!

    April 27, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  44. Steve Canada

    Because Dick and Karl haven't told him what to say. They probably didn't tell him about it.....

    April 27, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  45. Chris in Philadelphia

    Probably because he swore repeatedly that his administration never authorized torture only to have it come out that it did. Numerous times since many administration members are documented approving the behavior. I guess just another oops in the history of the Bush years...

    April 27, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  46. missy nj

    He probably saying " leave those guys alone, they are all crazy like cheney"

    April 27, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  47. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Jack,

    I hear you about border security but it would not have stop the spread of this flu because of all the people travelling around the world...legally! In fact, we should question why the cluster of people in Mexico have more respiratory disease...is it possible that it is also link to how poorly we are taking care of our environment! This is the reality we all need to face: the challenges we are and will continue to face are linked together i.e. environment-education-physical health and economic security ! I surely wish not seeing such obvious links of not facing such links! Just as we have to question how people are less immune because of taking over the years too many antibiotics when not necessary and how this creates bigger bugs! We have to face not just the flu but all our decisions in health, education- environment for the sake of our global security!

    April 27, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  48. Ronald Holst

    Jack ,Even He can not defend the indefensible unlike Channy who is to frightened not to try to lie his way out of it .his excuse is the only crime that was committed was they got caught.
    How sad How very very sad not only for his wife and daughters but the entire nation. But Then Again we all know that Lynn will stand by her man and the rest of the nation are all Baaaad men .
    Ron
    San Antonio.
    Texas

    April 27, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  49. DrFrann in CA

    He's been silent because he was a bad boy and he's hiding.

    April 27, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  50. Granny, Battle Creek, Michigan

    Is this a trick question? Everyone knows King George can't say anything until someone hands him a script. That's why he was so easy for Tricky Dick and Pope Rumsfeld to manipulate. Every time George opened his mouth, I expected to see Chaney's hand stuck in the back of his shirt.

    April 27, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  51. Tim H. Royal

    George W. Bush said nothing important or memorable for eight years, why should he start talking now. Read it all in his book, "Fun with Dick and Laura", The White House Fiasco.

    April 27, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  52. Mike of Hot Springs.

    There is that famous admonition. You have the right to remain silent. If you cannot afford an attorney one will be appointed for you.

    April 27, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  53. Eric Godfrey

    Why should he have to comment on torturing 2 terrorists that were involved in the killing of over 3,000 Americans? I think that Bush was to soft on these Thugs. Bush should have done to them what they did to our soldiers. I know the ACLU and the other cowards on the left are going to comment on this because "WE ARE BETTER THAN THEM". Wake up you cowards!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 27, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  54. Ralph Nelson

    Because unlike Dick Chenny, he has a little bit of class and knows when to keep his mouth shut. I salute him. Chenny by asking for the release of his files on the subject confirmed he is involved big time. I want to see his files on overseeing an assassination group too reported by New York Times. Ralph, Yakima, Wa.

    April 27, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  55. Robert Thomson Southfield, MI

    Bush knows that he's not smart enough to make any brilliant and cutesy public comments which would probably screw up Cheney's massive and deceitful efforts to keep the whole rotten mess of Bush administrators out of prison. Besides that Cheney has probably told Bush to keep his mouth shut and cut more brush on the ranch!

    Robert Thomson – Southfield, MI

    April 27, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  56. Jackie in Dallas

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    I don’t think that there is much doubt that the author of the torture policy was really Cheney. President Bush, while not all that bright, is also not all that evil, either. I think his biggest mistake was Cheney. He will not, I don’t think, come out in defense of Cheney, but he can’t very well let the world know just how little control he DID have over his upper echelon of staff and his VP. I think his silence is the smartest thing he’s done in 8 years.

    April 27, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  57. steve

    Silence is golden, once W. opens his pie hole he'll no doubtly put all his feet in it. This is the smartest he has been in years, and on a personnal note, I'm happy I haven't heard a peep out of him. Steve o
    barstow,ca

    April 27, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  58. Billy G in Las Vegas

    he's too busy trying to find a country that doesn't prosecute war criminals or extradite to the United States.

    April 27, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  59. Tom in Desoto, Tx

    Apparently no one has called to tell him what his opinion is now that he's out of office.

    April 27, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  60. Linda in Arizona

    He knows he's guilty as sin and may have to testify in the future. He doesn't want to say anything that could make things even worse for him. I notice we haven't heard from rummy either. All of these war criminals should be brought to trial and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. They did it to lie us into an illegal invasion of a sovereign nation that hadn't done anything to us. That, in itself, is a war crime. Cheney is puking his lies because he doesn't think he has anything to lose. I think he's running scared.

    April 27, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  61. Bryan in Colorado

    He probably realizes he tortured the american people long enough, eight years to be exact. To hear him lie about how he tortured detainees again would only keep his failed legacy in the headlines.
    He knows the damage and suffering his policies have caused this great country of ours. Lets enjoy the time we have without having to listen to more lies.

    April 27, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  62. B in NC

    He doesn't know the english language well enough to lie his way out of anything. Without Cheney's hand up his butt, he's just a dumb puppet.

    April 27, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  63. Gigi

    I doubt that President Bush new anything about the torture and It's VP Cheney that handled all the little problems for the President. He is probably scared to death and trying to breath very slowly into a paper bag. And hoping VP Cheney will shut up.

    Oregon

    April 27, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  64. Jim/NC

    Former President Bush's silence is very simple: he doesn't believe waterboarding is torture. Torture is Nancy Pelosi lying about what she new.

    April 27, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  65. Susan from Twin Falls Idaho

    He dudn’t kiss and tell.

    April 27, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  66. Jeff Crocket

    Bush respects the office of President unlike loud mouth Carter and now Obama. Bush also understands the value of silence at war time, which not to many people understand including Jack!!

    Jeff in New Britain, CT

    April 27, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  67. Mari, Salt Lake City, Utah

    Because, Jack, he knows he sanctioned torture, breaking both Domestic and International laws. IF I were him, I would be quiet too...... unlike run-at-the-mouth-Cheney!

    April 27, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  68. Tareem Warren

    Jack, it is simple Pres. Bush knows he messed up and is trying to stay far away from what is evident. HIS LIES TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE! Toledo, Ohio

    April 27, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  69. KIM, Dodge City

    Probably because he would have to invoke his 5th Ammendment rights about one hundred times. Him and his gang have paid off all the right people, otherwise Cheney would have been silenced by now.

    April 27, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  70. Matt-Los Angeles

    You can say what you want about former Pres. Bush but he has been very consistent over his political career in not responding to accusations or criticism. It is of no benefit to him to speak out on this issue. For better or for worse, George has always been careful about giving out information. Those who hate him would say he doesnt respond because he knows hes wrong, but those who like him would say that it's simply not in his character to get in to a war of words. I tend to believe the latter...despite his failures, I think he is keenly aware of the role of "former president" and he respects that role too much to debase it with petty arguments.

    April 27, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  71. Donna Colorado Springs,Co

    Because he knows he and his former headhunters are in seriously deep --, and ,for once, he knows enough to keep his mouth shut! Why should he embarrass his political party any further when he has Dick Cheney to become the whipping boy! Cheney is an accident waiting to happen, so Bush can just sit back and laugh!

    April 27, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  72. Kim - Blair, NE

    Man, I never thought I would say Bush & smart in the same sentence. He must just be smarter than Cheney? Go figure.

    April 27, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  73. Angela, Kentucky

    Thank heaven he is silent. We had to endure 8 years of his gibberish and look where the country is now. If I never hear a peep out of that guy it will suit me just fine.

    April 27, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  74. Scott in Canada

    Bush was a horrible President, an idiot, but a standup guy who has shown true respect towards Obama every step of the way. Either that or he's only now beginning to realize that his administration actually did torture under his watch.

    April 27, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  75. Al Houston Tx

    I plead the 5th

    April 27, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  76. Jody

    Jack,

    I don't think the world will hear from former President George W. Bush as it would be tantamount to Bush equating himself with Richard Nixon, a Republican president who knowingly broke the law back in the '70s. When advisors in the Bush administration changed the definition of torture to allow for actions like waterboarding, despite the fact that a Republican president – Ronald Reagan – singed onto the Conventions Against Torture, the Republican Party lost its self-proclaimed moral superiority. Now there are Republicans out there trying to frame the debate as to whether or not it worked as a justification for totrure, regardless of the fact that torture is against US law as stated by the US Constitution (see Article IV regarding treaties being the law of the land). How sad it is that people cling to the US Constitution when it suits their need but treat it like a piece of trash when it gets in the way of their own abhorrent behaviour. But should we be surprised when key members (Cheney, Rumsfeld, et al) of the so-called torture regime learned to dodge accountability from violating the laws of the land while serving under Richard Nixon?

    April 27, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  77. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Jack,

    even after raising from level 3 to 4, the WHO are still recommending not to close borders but expresses that people should not travel if they are sick!

    April 27, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  78. Ruth G. Harmon

    During his 8 years in the White House, he got into the habit of letting the Dark Knight tell him what to think. This worked so well for him, he's just waiting for Cheney to call. Let's not rush him Jack, give the guy a break. Ruth

    April 27, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  79. Jasmine in Germany

    He has been able to hire a press secretary who is able to translate into English for him.

    April 27, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  80. E.J. in Tacoma

    Jack,
    Because he knows exactly what tactics were used and who was involved.
    E.J.in Tacoma

    April 27, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  81. Nell, Clemson, South Carolina

    President Bush is probably hiding out in Crawford. Now that we know that President Reagan's DOJ put a Texas sheriff in jail for 10 years for waterboarding prisoners, his best bet is to be quiet and hope nobody notices him.

    April 27, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  82. Brian - Trinidad

    Obama used a great line against Clinton when she said she didn't vote for the war.He said that she should have read the legislation,because it gave the president the authority to go to war.Well,that same legislation gave the President to do whatever he deemed necessary to win the war that they voted for.

    April 27, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  83. Mike, Syaracuse, NY

    Maybe he's taking the Fifht.

    April 27, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  84. Alan - Buxton, Maine

    He would just as soon we didn't associate him with the torture issue. If all goes as it should he and Cheney will both go to prison.

    April 27, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  85. Jane - WI

    President Bush has been silent about the so called "torture" issue because, unlike previous Presidents like Carter and Clinton, he knows that silence is golden. Dick Cheney has every right to speak out since he is the one who has been bashed by lefties for so long. I don't recall the media and Democrats criticizing Al Gore for lashing out at President Bush by ranting that Mr. Bush "betrayed" his country and other lunatic statements like that. If it was OK for former VP Gore to speak out, it should be just as OK for former VP Cheney to speak out as well.

    April 27, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  86. Mark... Voorhees, New Jersey

    He is simply acting on the legal advice given him, that he has the right to remain silent, and anything he says can be used against him in a court of law. (Would'st that this were so.)

    April 27, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  87. Don, an American living in Canada

    He is so embarrassed by his own disastrous administration he now keeps his mouth shut, thankfully.

    April 27, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  88. K

    Maybe he thinks he will get a free pass if he plays dumb (which would only confirm what we already know). Or, since he shredded our constituion over the past 8 years, he feels he is above the law.

    April 27, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  89. Philip, A Canadian Observer

    Maybe he keeps his mouth shut on his lawyers advise?
    He's taking the "fifth" without being questioned.
    Who wants to know what that bumblehead has to say anyway?

    April 27, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  90. Jenny from Nanuet, New York

    Maybe his brain (Karl Rove) cautioned him against it.

    April 27, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  91. CHRIS, Bx., NY

    Well Jack, after 8 years of the presidency nearly eating him alive, and spitting him out, I doubt that he wants to speak on anything right now.....As one who we all know is not feeling the downturns of this recession, I picture him at his mansion in Texas, drinking lemonade and getting some much neede rest, after being head honvho for so long. Also I believe he respects the office of the President......and in a weird way, I think he respects, and somewhat likes Obama.....I was looking at the President past and Present picture the other day....It was wierd. You had J. Carter. and Bill Clinton next to each other, but you had Barack Obama, smack dead in the middle of Bush 41, and 43.....

    April 27, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  92. Linda in Charleston, SC

    He has been quiet about everything Jack. I'm glad to see him gone and hope he doesn't open his mouth within hearing distance.

    April 27, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  93. james from texas

    stupid is as stupid does.....

    April 27, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  94. Michele

    If I were his lawyer, I'd advise President Bush to remain silent too.

    Michele,

    Millbrae, CA

    April 27, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  95. Nancy, Tennessee

    President Bush may not know that the talk about prosecution is going on. After all, when he was President he said he didn't read the newspapers. Now that he has retired he surely doesn't pick one up. He has his head so buried in the sand that he is completely out of touch with what is going on in Washington. Of course, Karl Rove has probably made a few phone calls to let him know what is happening and what he should do. Being quiet for now sounds like what Karl might have recommended.

    April 27, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  96. Ginny Balling

    Since most of us knew Bush was not telling the truth, what can he now say? Dead eye Cheney was standing by in case a firing squad was needed, and Rove was busy spinning the situations. I blame the goons in the Justice Dept. who came up with the crazy reasons that torture was not torture, and Bush said something like " Bring it on "

    Ginny
    Athol, NY

    April 27, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  97. zach

    Bush’s former top political adviser, Karl Rove is accusing Mr. Obama of seeking “show trials” of former administration officials. Even Senator John McCain, who fought for limits on interrogation during the Bush administration, says any talk of prosecution is about “settling old political scores.” I guess the fact that laws may have been broken doesn’t matter to McCain.

    But with all the talk — one person we haven’t heard from is former President Bush himself. Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy insists an independent commission is needed to find out who exactly authorized this stuff, saying: “I want to know who was it who made the decisions that we will violate our own laws; we’ll violate our own treaties; we will even violate our own Constitution.”

    While president, Bush repeatedly denied that his administration authorized torture of prisoners. But just last week a Senate report showed top Bush officials as early as 2002 gave the CIA approval to use techniques like waterboarding — which has been considered torture since the Spanish Inquisition.

    Here’s my question to you: When it comes to the torture debate, why has former President Bush been silent?

    April 27, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  98. lizziefrommontreal

    Because he has nothing to say for his defense.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  99. Paul S. Columbia, SC

    It will be time for Bush to speak up only after all the information is revealed in an orderly fashion. In the whirl of accusations flying in all directions today by a host of finger pointers, and an epidemic of amnesia of key players demands silence until the appropriate time to defend himself if necessary.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  100. j

    why should he bother, you all won't give him a chance, no matter what he says you all will turn it around, upside down, sideways and every which way except for the way he meant it. what a shame for everyone to disrespect a president of the united states. everyone deserves respect.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  101. Chris

    Bush has been silent about it probably because he knows his administration was involved. Simple as that!

    April 27, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  102. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Jack,

    who was it again that said that President Obama had an easy three months...what planet was this person from? Who would have imagine a flu situation to add on for this administration!

    April 27, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  103. MikeBravo Wichita, KS

    George does not want to mess up his chance to take the "I didn't know squat" defense.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  104. Casey | Sebastopol, CA

    Simple, Jack. Daddy told him to shut up and keep his head low. Somebody should tell Cheney that, too - because the more they keep on with the patently false claim of how torture resulting in keeping America safe, the more those who support American integrity will want to see heads roll.... REPUBLICAN heads.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  105. Kathy/ GA

    Are we sure he knows the meaning of the word debate? He probably is keeping silent because after all he just purchased a house with servant (slave) quarters.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  106. John, Fort Collins,CO

    It appears obvious that George Bush is maintaining a low profile on the torture issue to distance himself from Dick Cheney and the minions that were more directly involved in the event "waterboard" becomes the next "Watergate". He no doubt wants to avoid having to deliver his rendition of the "I am not a crook" speech.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  107. Kevin in Calgary

    He would have to tell the world that he was lying to everyone for 6 years!

    April 27, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  108. Jasmine in Germany

    He has not been able to hire a press secretary who is able to translate into English for him.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  109. Steve, Clifton,VA

    The former President has been so quiet on the topic because without the Bully Pulpit and designated writers, he has no idea what to say or a clue as to why the illegality of the issue of torture is even receiving so much scrutnity. It's difficult to lie about something you don't really understand.

    Steve
    Clifton, VA

    April 27, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  110. Jean

    Simple one word ====GULITY!!!!

    April 27, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  111. Michael, Kansas City, MO

    Uncle Cheney isn't telling him what to say! No more bedtime stories about the evildooers! No more buggaboos about weapons of mass deception! No more morality tales of the godless liberals! Can you imagine the steaming piles the nation would be in if DID have two brain cells to rub together!?!

    April 27, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  112. Chi Town

    He left office and has said nothing about any current events. He hasn't bad mouthed Obama or anything he's done... which I think is the correct behavior.

    I think they will get to him... but you work bottom up... so you have to go through every house and senate intel and armed service comittee member starting in 2002 first... since they all knew. The buck will stop at the top... but my guess is a TON of current congress members will be caught in the mix... Pelosi's already been shown to have lied about knowledge... and it will only continue to thicken.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  113. Pete - Boulder, Colorado

    He's been silent because the minute he said anything, a responsible reporter would ask the following follow-up questions.

    1. If the US didn't torture on your orders, then why did you prosecute the Abu Ghirab guards for implementing the very techniques you authorized the Gitmo guards to use.

    2. Why did you seek to employ interrogation techniques that US law strictly forbade BEFORE we had actually captured anyone.

    3. Why did you and your people literally have no confidence in the traditional methods of intelligence gathering and interrogation techniques that called for such a potentially extra-legal change in US torture policy.

    4. John McCain endured many of the same interrogation techniques at the hands of the Viet Cong that you ordered be used in Gitmo. In your opinion, was John McCain tortured?

    April 27, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  114. Stan from Hamilton, Bermuda

    "Your Honor, I plead the Fifth Amendment, on the grounds that anything I say, may be held against me in a court of law."

    Yeah right!! This is what Bush would really say;

    "Ask President Cheney!"

    April 27, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  115. Mary - California

    Bush has been quiet because he knows he has done wrong and he may not be able to support his actions.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  116. Carolyn

    As he did when he was Prez, he is continuing to let Cheney make all the decisions and tell him what to think and say. The question is not why is Bush staying silent but when is Cheney goingto shut up.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  117. Marietta

    Guitly, you think?? maybe..question should be and I wonder why no one has asked it--Why why did Pres Bush and Cheney ignore ignore CIA FBI report that America was going to be attacked and told in time in Aug then 911 hit in Sept. and did nothing nothing and ignored it? Came to be true and proof..... Why after that, did Bush and Cheney ignore ignore again CIA FBI that Iraq and Afgans,. had NO LINK–ignored that also...why??? Why did Bush Cheney not go after the real terrorist in Afgans? why why?

    April 27, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  118. Valerie - North Carolina

    Former President Bush may not be the sharpest pencil in the box but he is not stupid enough to get into the torture debate as more and more disasterous information comes out showing the torture done under his watch. How can the US lecture other countries on human rights when our own country, with documented files, show we have acted shamefully? Nobody is above the law – this must not be swept under the rug.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  119. Duop in Colorado

    Because he knew some of the tactics he used were an American.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  120. Duop in Colorado

    Correction. Because he knew some of the tactics he used were an undemocratic.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  121. Ken in NC

    Jack, former VP Cheney insists the harsh techniques kept the country safe and all of that is fine but what people are looking at is that laws against torture were violated. Former VP Cheney is trying to justify violating these laws by the fact they yielded positive results. That is not the question and Former President Bush knows it and is hoping VP Cheney will get up with Karl Rove and just go away.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  122. Raymond Gellner

    Bush has probably "lawyered-up" and his lawyers have told him to remain silent on everything until the smoke settles from his adminstration's disastrous policies.

    Raymond
    Charlotte, NC

    April 27, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  123. SY, Oviedo, FL

    He couldn't understand it then, when silence was a safe haven. Why would he attempt to discuss it now?

    April 27, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  124. April

    I believe that Bush has been quiet on the torture issue because deep down he knows what he let happen was wrong and he has the decency to be embarrassed by it.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  125. Jeff B from Sturgis, MI

    Don't complain about Bush's perpetual silence, Jack; I'm getting used to having an articulate President in the news cycle and I would prefer to keep it that way.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  126. Michael - Rochester, MN

    Jack,

    The truth is, he's sitting on the side of the stage calling out "Line..." The problem is that he doesn't have any writers and nobody wants to hear him.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  127. Nancy

    Because he is guilty!

    April 27, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  128. Hugh ~ Tracy, California

    Why, because George W Bush gave the order! The end justifies the means. He does not want to incriminate himself if he has to testify before a grand jury. Bush said–I don't have the exact quote–if he had to do it all over again he would. Think about those words. George W. is a patriot, but a fanatic; one who disregards the law for the common good. The radical right can simply get away with anything to defend and protect America; they can point fingers and denounce any or all leftists who question their methods.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  129. Jayson

    ...because he got caught, and his response is much like a child's response... to run away....

    April 27, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  130. Mitch Dworkin

    Because he knows that ANYTHING he says can and will be used against him in a court of law!

    April 27, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  131. Aaron Benjamin

    He didn't know because Cheany was running the program.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  132. Cody NJ

    Because he's not president anymore so just leave it to Cheney.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  133. flying wolf, Manchester NH

    Hi, Jack. I think he's waiting for the book deal and then he can have his ghostwriter translate his crayon scrawlings.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  134. Sheldon B.

    Oh Jack, a puppet can't talk if someone doesn't pull the strings. Bush isn't talking because no one has told him what to say.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  135. Tom (Lansdale, PA)

    President Bush is by no means an expert when it comes to the Constitution, but I'm pretty sure that even he knows the 5th amendment.

    Tom
    Lansdale, PA

    April 27, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  136. carrie

    Rice made the call but they all then in line like the puppets and morons they are . for the first time i have respect for bush he is keeping his mouth shut and staying out of this. to bad chenney does not maybe bush just needs to give him a roll of duck tape. like megan macain said you had your 8 years go away

    April 27, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  137. Rick in Northern California

    I am so sick of this debate. It doesn't take a genius to figure out who ordered what. Bush is laying low because he knows it is going to hit the fan when the investigation starts. These people (you know who they are) are criminals plain and simple. If any one of us did half the things these guys got away with we would be in jail for life or hung.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  138. r_of_seattle

    How are we supposed to know? Only Bush knows why he's been silent. We can only speculate... perhaps he's letting everyone else duke it out while he sits on the sidelines... perhaps he doesn't want to be "put on the stand"... who knows?

    April 27, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  139. Rich, Kankakee, IL.

    Some guilty people know when to shut up, unlike Cheney who is just asking to get life in prison!

    April 27, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  140. Ryan- San Francisco

    Well Jack, when you are guilty of something you keep your mouth shut.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  141. David A Whitaker

    Hi Jack, this is David from Martinsburg,WV the reason why he has been so quiet because he is guilty. Dick Cheney need to go on vacation in Mexico, and stay awhile.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  142. Sly, Alpena, Mi

    It was Vice President Cheney who was running this country, not President Bush. Think about it....

    April 27, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  143. jay-Illinois

    Who knows Jack? Maybe we could torture him and find out.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  144. Dave C.

    I have never been a big fan of Bush, but to look at this from another angle 1. he answered questions for 8 years i am sure he is burnt out and 2. what value is there for him to answer. he made a choice and he believed in that choice what is there to say.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  145. Karen - TN

    George Bush likes life away from the cameras and microphones, unlike Bill.....er, some former presidents.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  146. Justin Haigh

    Two words Jack: "Fifth Amendment".

    April 27, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  147. Bonnie Meyer

    What I do NOT understand about the now "proven" torture is why the religious right is so silent. All Christians, especially American Christians, should be enraged by this. I know I am. Shame on us. Shame on us double if we do nothing to those responsible!

    April 27, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  148. Jack Dempsey

    Jack, Who cares? I spent over eight years wishing President Bush would remain silent so now I just want to enjoy it while I can. Jack from Nice, Ca.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  149. Twain

    Why hasn't president Bush spoken out? I think it was Mark Twain who said, "better to remain silent and let them think you a fool than to speak and remove all doubt."

    Who approved the policy? Harry Truman answered that.
    (The buck stops at the here.")

    April 27, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  150. Mike, from Florida

    I never thought I'd hear myself say this, but I support President Bush's decision. His silence is a credit to his character. He did his time in office, and now the right thing to do (which every former President except Carter has done) is to slip into retirement, write a book, and enjoy his time as an 'elder statesman.' Though he should definitely tell his former veep to shut his idiotin' mouth.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  151. Eric

    Silence speaks volumes.The truth hurts.

    Granville, OH

    April 27, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  152. rodney-hauula, hawaii

    president doesn't have to say anything. All the other morons are still running the show for the Bush Administration. Cheney, Rove, et al should just shut up and sew up those gappers they call mouths. They didn't want to talk when they were in, now they should still not say anything now that they're out.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  153. Maryann/Michigan

    My guess as to why Bush is silent over the torture event is because he was never really in charge of his office.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  154. Patrick, Austin, TX

    Former President Bush is incapable of completing one coherent sentence. It is funny to listen to him bungle the english language, but I enjoy his silence even more. Lets not encourage him to come out of his little hole and get on our nerves.

    Patrick
    Austin, TX

    April 27, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  155. Lance K.

    Bush is silent on the issue because he read Jane Mayer's 'The Dark Side' an in-depth account on the authorization of torture by his administration and realized he was duped by Cheney and his attorneys. Oh wait, never mind Bush doesn't read books.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  156. Nell, Clemson, South Carolina

    He's hoping Cheney and Rove will take the heat for him.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  157. mirnela

    Bush is scared of his own shadow, which made him lie to the citizens for years and years. He is going to keep silent about this because the truth is finally out. And more is going to come out. He is finally realizing how bad he was – he is now looking at his presidency from the citizens point of view. He might also think that if he speaks out and be honest we might think less of him..is that any more possible?

    April 27, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  158. Scott Jay Regner

    Because no one is writing for him now.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  159. Linda Weitzman

    Bush is quiet because I think Cheney was the guy in charge during that administration......Bush was a puppet president. Want to go after these guys who broke the law, challenged the constitution and put our country at risk? Start with Dick Cheney!!

    April 27, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  160. Steve in West Milford, New Jersey

    Because Jack, former President Bush, unlike Cheney, has taken the advice to quite simply stay quiet and stay out of the way, period.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  161. Roanna Martin Peoria, AZ

    Since when did speaking ever do former President Bush any good? Too bad he did not learn this lesson sooner. He could have saved us from eight years of "articulatin'" from the "communicater in chief."

    April 27, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  162. Andrew, Houston TX

    I Honestly truly believe that either he doesn't care or he's doing exactly what I would expect someone involved in such horrible things to do; which is ignore them and say nothing at all! He's already proven he doesn't know how to respond in an intelligent fashion, which gives him no option to lie and cover up what he's done..

    April 27, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  163. Wendy

    President Bush has been quiet on the torture debate because he said that he would respect this administration and keep silent. Cheney is trying to protect his former 'terrorist' antics and has been giving more interviews now than he did when he was VP. He was the one with the 'grand plan' and now it's blowing up in his face!

    April 27, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  164. Dominick Ferranti

    Look Jack, when we were kids and caught doing something we shouldn't have, one of the lessons we learned was to keep your mouth shut when your wrong. President Bush has learned his lesson well. He should really give Vice President Chaney a call....

    April 27, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  165. Harold

    I guess Laura told him to stay silent inorder to save his skin. Everybody here in the United States and abroad know W broke the law just to be happy as a commander in chief.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  166. Paul from NC

    Why should we expect a comment from Bush? I beleive he is totally innocent in this matter. To think otherwise would suggest that he knew something other than the twisted version of the truth that Cheney and Rove spoon fed him every day.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  167. Akber

    Sometimes it is better to listen than to talk. After focussing too much on Iraq and terrorism, he took his eyes off the economy, just like his father. Obama is onto something. He is watching for a mistake and letting the republicans in the congress and rush limbaugh do the talking for him.
    PS: I am registered as a republican!

    April 27, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  168. Anne Hamilton - Denver, CO

    He's busy packing his bags to leave for a country with no extradition treaties.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  169. Lynne F

    I guess George Bush is exhausted from all the lies he's been telling for the last 8 years – it's Cheney's turn to get out there. When he's spent the last 8 years in an undisclosed location, isn't it only fair that he do some of the lying too. Just hope he doesn't plan on beating George Bush's record.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  170. Dallas A.

    Isn't it obvious. He's guilty as sin and is sitting at home wishing this just all went away. I've seen more of Dick Cheney in the last couple of months than I did the whole 8 yrs he was in office. I guess he's just now deciding to cover his tracks.
    Dallas A.,
    Jackson, Ms

    April 27, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  171. Lesly Cordon

    Because Bush never uses HIS voice, it's what others want him to say, or in this case not say.....

    April 27, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  172. Jeff B from Sturgis, MI

    He's invoking his 5th Amendment right to not say anything that will incriminate himself. I guess there are some parts of the Constitution that Mr. Bush respects, after all.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  173. Chris

    President Bush has been silent for one of two reasons. 1. He was out of the loop. A distinct possibility based on his management style and hands off appoach. Heck, he might not even know there is a debate going on right now. 2. He is apathetic. Let's face it. He didn't seem to care much about those losing their lives in a ill begotten war... or in New Orleans... or anywhere else. Why should he care about this?

    April 27, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  174. Matt Richley in Iowa

    Jack,
    Since Cheney is the one who basically ran the country for the last 8 years Bush does'nt feel the need to defend himself on this issue. Besides Cheneys' vocabulary is a lot better than Bushs'.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  175. John - Connecticut

    Its best for him to stay quiet and have Americans believe he is stupid, rather than having him open his mouth, and have all doubt removed!

    April 27, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  176. ELISA WILLIAMS

    Jack,

    The reason that George Bush has not commented is that he did not run this country Uncle Dick did. All of this is Dick Cheney's doings, he is the one defending the actions of the past administration, George was just along for the ride.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  177. Ron from Oregon

    Jack...you want a hint to connect the dots why Bush has been silent? Just google 'Animal Cruelty/George W. Bush'. His propensity to torture started early in life.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  178. Tony

    Jack,

    To modify an Abe Lincoln quote:

    It is best to be quiet and be assumed guilty by some than to open your mouth and remove all doubt!

    April 27, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  179. Tyler , Age 10

    Bush is staying quiet because Cheney is destroying his former administration, and Bush knows that anything he says can destroy his and his for administration reputation. Bush is finally getting some political genius and he doesn't want show that he lost it.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  180. Dave from Jersey

    Jack,
    I think there are a variety of reasons why Bush is staying silent, but I think he's mostly doing it for his LEGACY. He was a bitter pill during his administration, he was gracious in his departure, like a palette cleansing sorbet; and now he doesn't want to be remembered as a bitter aftertaste. (He'll leave that to the pit bosses [ie-Rove and Cheney])

    April 27, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  181. Brett - AZ

    I don't blame bush for not speaking on this topic, but I do think Cheney is speaking too much on this topic.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  182. Tim in Texas

    For once Bush is being intelligent. All the attention is being shifted to Cheney, and he is starting to look like the main architect and defender of torture policies. As a person who sits on the left side of the fence, I would be satisfied if we recognized the fact that torture happened, that laws were broken, and that it must never happen again. That is, I would be ok with that if, if, if, Dick were not out there insisting that we didn't torture and that the "enhanced interrogation techniques" (those things we have called torture for hundreds of years) "worked". If he doesn't shut up, we need to prosecute him, throw him in jail, and throw away the key.
    Tim in Texas

    April 27, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  183. Wm Fryer

    Duh,,,,were you asleep for the last eight years. He's not going to answer a thing.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  184. Benjamin

    Remember Jack, silence speaks volumes.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  185. Hubert Bertrand Oberlin La.

    Because Laura told him to shut-up. You're not president anymore.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  186. Wendy, NY

    Perhaps he isn't aware of this current debate.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  187. dave

    I think he's doing the right thing he knows he did torture and going public will just fan the flames like his VP is doing.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  188. Barbara Banoff

    Why has Bush been silent? Because he's no longer sitting on Cheney's knee. Barbara from Tallahassee

    April 27, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  189. gary saari

    Because he has the right to be silent. That's our judicial system. The bad guys can plead the 5th even if they're guilty of "war crimes."

    April 27, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  190. Fred

    Simple answer, because HE is the one who ordered it, and laws, Constitution and "rights" be damned! HE kept telling us we were in this huge war on terrorism and HE was the one responsible for the stupi war in Iraq. And since the US was in such HUGE emminent danger THAT justified HIS orders to use torture. HIS insanity is HIS guilt.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  191. Chip Whittington

    It's simple Jack. The people who told bush what to say while he was in office are no longer on the payroll.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  192. Bob Frederick

    Bush is keeping his mouth shut to avoid incriminating himself.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  193. Robert, Ontario, Canada

    After eight years of watching 43 try to talk, you suddenly think he will be able now?

    April 27, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  194. David in PA

    Jack it's simple: He's damned if he does and damned if he doesn't.

    If he says he didn't torture, it will only add fuel to the fire of what torture actually is.

    If he says his team 'may' have tortured, then his own party and inner-circle begins the news-cycle to blacklist and dismiss him.

    For once it's he who gets screwed instead of we the people.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  195. Jennifer in Winnipeg

    Bush has probably been told by his advisors in no uncertain terms to keep his mouth shut. We all know what happens when he opens his mouth .. nothing inteligible! He'd hang himself.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  196. Richard

    He's busy trying to figure out where in the world he can safely vacation.

    George, may I suggest Spain. And please take Cheney with you.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  197. Aj

    Because Bush wasn't running our Country Dick was.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  198. RanDe

    Maybe he to busy organizing Texas's secession.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  199. steve thorne

    he,s keeping quiet becaus an ass of him self everytime he gets in front of a camera,so he doesn,t want any more troble then he may already be facing. thanks steve s.c

    April 27, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  200. shomerry tippett

    Bush is ashamed. Even someone as stupid as Bush knows that he violated the rule of law, our constitution, the Geneva Convention and the trust of the world.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  201. Diane Miller

    Isn't is obvious that Bush is silently "pleading the fifth?" If he opens his mouth, he will surely incriminate himself. I think Cheney is doing a good enough job of doing that for both of them. If Obama stands in the way of a lawful investigation and possible prosecutions, Obama should be held liable for obstruction of justice and purposely not defending the Constitution of our United States. By the way, I not only voted for Obama, I worked on his campaign – I am terribly disappointed in our "Constitutional Scholar" President's willingness to set aside that document for political gain, which is exactly what it is, no matter WHAT the Republicans think. This is NOT the bipartisanship we're looking for!

    April 27, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  202. Jeff B. / Salt Lake City

    Jack,

    Hmm...Maybe our nation's conscience finally caught up with a former president who, conveniently, never had one?

    Jeff Bordo / Salt Lake City

    April 27, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  203. Scott in NM

    re: Bush silence on torture.
    Maybe he's smart enough to realize how hollow his claims of "necessity" would be. But I think, really, he's dunb enough to think he's avoiding self-incrimmination (too late!).
    Scott in NM

    April 27, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  204. Pranav Kothare, Indiana

    I think Pres. Bush is ashamed over what happened. If he joins the debate I think he will be severly reprimanded for his actions. Its a lose lose situation for him because, he will be either be blamed for violating the constitution or for allowing this to happen under his nose. His reputation is already fairly bad, this will just add more to the long list of things that went wrong during his administration.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  205. DAVE S.F.

    he better be quite...he knows his butt is in a sling with the other morons that made up his administration....GW would look real good in federal prison duds ....he's know about all of this stuff all the time...he's playing possum....obama should poke him with a stick and see if he wiggles...

    April 27, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  206. David Stocker

    No offense to you Jack,
    But it is torture just listening to CNN's debate on this topic. Unbelievable that anyone is weighing the value of keeping america safe with interogation methods that are relatively tame compared to what methods are used in the third world. Get off the week topic and focus on why we are putting our national security at risk by becoming in debted to China. The real torture is how much of our current and futrure tax dollars are being spent by the our Government.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  207. Christi

    George W. Bush was incapable of delivering a speech prepared by professionals – dare we now expect him to make a comment on his own? Bush and his administration never accepted responsibility for anything and I don't expect that to change now.

    Christi in Molalla, Oregon

    April 27, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  208. Oli Landwijt

    Mr. Bush may be quiet on the torture issue because he just doesn't care. I doubt if he feels any guilt about starting a war that has killed thousands of Americam military and perhaps hundreds of thousands of Iraqis. Why should he care about a few hundred that have been subjected to the American Inquisition?
    I don't know if he lacks intelligence or a conscience.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  209. Rich, Kankakee, IL.

    Simple because they know that they are guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity! Would you if you knew that everything that you have done and word that you had said would be used in your future trial. If only Cheney had gotten the memo, then he would not be making things worse for the whole Bush crew!

    Some people just do not know when to shut the Hell up!

    April 27, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  210. Maggie Green Bay, Wisconsin

    Jack,

    The answer is plain and simple: DUH!

    George Bush KNOWS that he and "his boys" are culpable and that if he were to say anything, he would open himself up to questions, questions he could not answer "truthfully".

    The other reason is that I don't think George Bush gives a rat's ass. I don't think he ever liked being President and so allowed those around him to set everything up and he said, "ok".

    April 27, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  211. Rich

    It is, simply, a President's prerogative, Bush's now, and Obama's when his term(s) end, to defer to the sitting President to make the news out of professional respect. Kudos to an unpopular former president for standing firm to that position. Carter and Clinton sure couldn't do it.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  212. Janel

    Jack ! Would you ask this from an ostrich ? When a president keeps his head in the sand and lets his mob run his office , how much accountability could he really have !?! Also in all of his exit interviews where he looks back didn't he say he was looking forward to BBQing for the fam and Laura! He may also be setting the stage for his new political run...Supreme Ruler of the newly annexed sovereign nation of Texas!

    April 27, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  213. Robert Rich

    because he simply doesn't care one way or the other. Indifference has been on of his most enduring character traits.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  214. David

    It's easy for everyone here to bash the former president and blame him for everything....it's what the media loves to do.

    People have short term memories and they seem to forget that there hasn't been another attack on American soil since 9/11. I'm willing to bet that if there had been another attack, NO ONE would be debating whether or not to prosecute a few cases of waterboarding today...

    April 27, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  215. Richard From Florida

    Jaack: because he is finally using his brain.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  216. Sean

    Why? I'll tell you why, as much as former Presdident Bush has enjoyed taking away our civil liberties, I'll bet there will come a day where he's glad we still have a Fifth Amendment. He expects us to believe he, as the most powerful man on earth, had NO IDEA we began to torture? Personally, I don't believe it for a second, Bush, Cheney, et al. should all have there day in court!

    April 27, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  217. Gino

    Jack:

    Shut up, silence being GOLDEN Bush now prefers to "goldenize", give the guy a break eehh?

    He screwed all of us and the world. Now he deserves a rich (lots'o $s) retirement in peace...

    He doesn't say (can't say) much when he speaks anyway...

    Cheers

    April 27, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  218. Cody

    Im going to keep this short and simple. I think Bush has been silent his entire stay in office , and Obama has accomplished way more in his first 100 days then bush did in about 2920. And well continue to do so in the coming years.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  219. Dan

    Jack I must say this is the first time I must take issue with one of your topics. Why, after 8 yrs of wishing that George Bush would just shut up and not say anything would you want him to say anything? I for one feel that Bush is the last person I would want to hear say anything about anything. I mean fool me once....!!

    April 27, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  220. Akponi,Lucky Atlanta GA

    Jack, Former president George W Bush is silent because , he is either scare whether the Obama administration will tried him and cohorts.But, he must have also sent former vice president Dick Cheney to talk. Remember, Cheney talks to avoid prosecution just like Saddam Hussein second in command, Terriq Quasiq,but they went down

    April 27, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  221. Karl from SF, CA

    Bush knows when to keep his mouth shut. Cheney has been confessing to war crimes with great vigor and daring anybody to do anything about it. Rove and the rest are trying to bedazzle everyone with the “kept us safe at any cost regardless of legalities” brainwash and it’s not working. It boils down to the fact that the law was broken and those who broke it need to go to jail. End of discussion.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  222. DOLORES ARNOLDY

    Bush is quiet because Chaney has stopped pulling Bush's strings!

    April 27, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  223. kathleen morris

    Maybe Mr. Bush is busy preparing to move to Chaco, Paraguay. I read that the Bush's have bought 99,000 acres in the country and this is the one country that does not have an agreement to return people wanted for crimes, torture, the illiegal war we are in, to their country of origin, to be prosecuted for murder, etc. Jack, you might want to investigate this and give us a report... time has come for he and his cohorts to be prosecuted for their crimes. Vincent Bugliosi is on the case, and has been silenced by main stream corporate news.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  224. Kathy

    The answer to your question is simple: Cheney, Rove, and the Neocons that got us into the worst military blunder in the modern history of the world were running the show for the last eight years.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  225. Tom

    What would President Bush gain by adding to what he has already said? His critics would savage him regardless. Some elderly in U.S. nursing homes suffer far greater abuse than the murderers that were interrogated at Gitmo, yet I see no outcry regarding that. We seem to have lost all sense of proportion in this country.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  226. Ralph Spyer chicago Il

    Just like the Iran- Contra affair [ Israel would ship weapons to Iran we would resupply Israel then the money would go to the Contra .Reagan said he had no knowledge, so to with George Bush no Knowledge what so ever.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  227. Doug - Dallas, TX

    You're assuming Bush can put two coherent sentences together without help; now that's a major assumption. Anything he says in regards to those memos will be a direct contradiction to what he said while he was in office, either way it's a lie. As soon as he opens his mouth, he'll contribute to him being brought up on charges.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  228. Justin From Maine

    Bush has been silent just because he agrees on what has been public. He doesn't have anything to tell the American people and the entire world.
    Bush is conscient of the wrongdoings of his Administration. He should instead advice Cheney on how to be responsible of his acts and apologize.
    Js

    April 27, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  229. Chris Adams, Greenville MS

    Jack, the reason why the former Bush has been quiet is because it just proves the fact that Dubya was just the face of his administration. It was the likes of Cheney, Wolfowitz, and Rumsfeld that ran those methods behind closed doors. For now the best this for the former president to do not be either seen or heard.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  230. A Jones

    In his defense, George W. Bush, is a man of little words; "dead or alive," etc. He also said: "We don't torture." We do, apparently, carry out "enhanced interrogations." All the news media use this terminology as if it is as truthful as Dick Cheney telling us torturing 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in 2003 gave us information on a probable attack on the Los Angeles U.S. Bank Tower in 2002. Next, we have the space monkeys - the Bush land in Paraguay where there is no extradition treaty.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  231. I. Marrero

    Because he believes has a right not to auto incriminate himself against criminal charges Poor guy! San Juan Purto Rico.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  232. Bertha from SC

    Cheney is speaking out continuously saying that the torture delivered information that helped keep the US safe. He's hoping to use that as his defense when the hammer falls. That won't work. Bush is just hiding and hoping this will somehow go away. "Oh, please, just let it go away!"

    April 27, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  233. William K. Pederson Sr.

    The subject of "who OK'd the torture of prisoners" is of vital national interest. A 2006 investigation by the Boston Globe found Pres. George W. Bush had "claimed the authority to disobey 750 laws since he took office"–my source is the (Walter) Cronkite Commentaries. Our Constitution has been our guide for all of our history. Our signature, penned to International treaties regarding humane treatment of prisoners, has served the nation's best interest and has represented our claim to the moral high ground. Thus, it is imperative that we flush our the cancer imbedded by the Bush administration. And all the players are at risk.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  234. david Armendale, SF, CA

    Bush knows he'd have to explain why he kept saying "we don't torture" when he had authorized water-boarding and god knows what else. How much credibility can Bush expect to have on a subject that he has repeatedly lied about?

    April 27, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  235. Philip, FL, 24

    From my understanding, it has been considered appropriate for former presidents to disappear from the public eye after leaving office. President Clinton did not do so at all, so he has set a new precedent. We all know George W. Bush's beliefs on water boarding. He thinks it's a great idea for protecting against terrorists. It would be unrealistic for anyone to think that his administration did not authorize or even initiate this type of "interrogation." So there is really no need to hear from him about something he has already made abundantly clear. However, is it in the best interests of our country to charge President Bush and his staff for war crimes? Absolutely not. Lets have more forward thinking, and quietly sweep this under the rug. The sooner we forget that we ever tortured anyone, the better. It is embarrassing!

    April 27, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  236. Claire, Melbourne FL

    Sadly he's still clueless! He's leaving the fight to Cheney since it was mostly his war to begins with. Throw enough mud on the wall and nothing sticks......I sure hope not – they are war criminals as far as I'm concerned and as a Democratic Nation we need justice and accountability to move on.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  237. Karol

    Because Mr. Bush is a gentleman. He is no longer president and he has been extremely supportive of Obama. He has had his eight years and he is where he wants to be – out of the limelight – and that is where he should be. Let the light shine on Obama. He released the tapes. Let him explain it.

    Mr. Bush is currently so unpopular that it would not matter what he said – so it is wise to say nothing.

    Scottsdale, AZ

    April 27, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  238. Betty, San Diego, Ca.

    George Bush was an officer in the military and graduated from Yale. Dick Cheney was not in the military and flunked out of Yale. John McCain graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy and finish at the bottom of the class. Karl Rove was never in the military and got his high school diploma. The lowest private in the military receives combat training on the treatment of enemy prisoners of war. Presented with these bare facts, George Bush knows he is guilty of torture and can only be silent.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  239. Charles

    Because he is guilty,and he knows it.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  240. jim saint ann mo.

    bush is taking the 5th

    April 27, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  241. Russel

    Why? Because Papa Cheney isn't there to tell him what to do.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  242. Elaine Hayes

    I believe Bush is just glad he is out of the White House. We should move on and get over the decisions he made. I do not agree with his decisions but I don't want our country to get into a big debate about Who or What! If you must discuss some events and let it go. President Obama never wanted to go here. But trying to appease a large portion of his constituents he allowed it. I think he will eventually have to bring it to a halt if he doesn't wait til its too late. Elaine in Detroit.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  243. Diane

    He knows he's guilty and can be prosecuted for war crimes. I'm sure his lawyer told him to remain silent. On the other hand, Cheney has no remorse and is more concerned about his political legacy than whether he will be indicted or not.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  244. Rich, Kankakee, IL.

    Well, he is trying not to let on about the Assassination groups that Cheney ran during his term in office! Since he and Cheney are both guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity!

    Any Republican that says it is wrong to investigate these crimes are guilty too! All crime are from the past!

    April 27, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  245. Eadthem - Kansas City

    Because he knew what he was doing was wrong. If they want to be in a show trial give it to them, let the people that voted for them serve as jury, and when there convicted they can serve there sentence at Guantanamo.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  246. Paul from NC

    He is too busy practicing saying "I do not recall at this time Senator" and pleading the fifth in front of the mirror so he does not mess it up when the time comes.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  247. Rolando DePuy

    Mr. Bush has not spoken, because in his own words, Obama is the President at this time... What is he saying, that he does not have the guts to say what he did, ( at least in protection of his country ) it is a lie, but it would calm the country knowing that he had good motives.
    On the other hand, he is just leaving his people to burn there hands and protect his tale. We have all known that Bush has been a coward, and he is showing it again. As far as his defender MCcain how long is he is going to continue to BLACK mail us, for going to war? How many guys went to war, were imprison did not live to tell, and Mc Cain remind us what he did for America.. When is the country and the Media will open their eyes to discover, he has blackmailed this country for his personal benefit... Just say No, No because is Obama, No because Obama is Black and never could have done it ( by Blackmailing the country) for his own benefit.. McCain has been for his pockets, for his interest, for his reputation but never I repeat NEVER for our country!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 27, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  248. nelson

    Jack, I believe he kinda answered that a few years ago when he
    "pardoned" himself . remember.. also self-incrimination just doesn't
    look on a resume!

    April 27, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  249. reznor

    McCain is "funny"
    Why did he mentioned during his campaign that he was tortured during the Vietnam war?
    He made a big deal about it and now he's got the nerve to say ......

    Lets torture Bush and Cheney and keep it under the rag for about 75 years

    April 27, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  250. Louis Cureau

    Bush is showing respect to his predecessor by remaining silent on everything, not just the interrogation memos. Maybe Cheney should follow his lead for once.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  251. Phil

    As former President, by immersing himself in partisan witch hunt politics, he would only give credibility to the debate. His silence speaks volumes. This is a man who continues to remain presidential after his exit from the Whitehouse regardless of what the pundits, spin doctors, and liberal haters have to say. This is a man that did his best to respond to the 9/11 attacks and keep our country safe following. We owe former President Bush and his administration a debt of gratitude. What we see here is a Democratic party desperate to silence 48% of this country by bashing and running Washington without input from the Republican party. Democrats need to keep in mind they are only 48% of the population as well, with the other 4% being Independents. Democrats are acting like they represent 2/3 of the country when, in fact, that is not the case. The first one to effectively lead from the middle will win. We are not a country of Democrats or a country of Republicans. We are a country fo Democrats and Republicans. As long as we continue to fights amongst ourselves, this country will continue to fall. We must be united to maintain our global position.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  252. LaMar, from Pittsburgh

    Bush has been silent on the torture debate because the Bush administration's m.o. on dealing with American enemies has always been "by any means necessary". Bush is much more comfortable solving his problems with mass destruction (i.e., Iraq's shock and awe) rather than a quiet, effective, surgical strike (i.e., how the Somali pirates were handled). For Bush, there's nothing to say here because he feels the difference here is simply a matter of style – he doesn't see that there are actual people with names involved in the collateral damage.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  253. ron

    JACK
    maybe it's because people like you would turn anything he said to a negative. just like you can always find a silver lining anytime obama screws up.the man as one answer for everything spend more money. he as singlehandedly but this country on the verge of bankruptcy which may still happen, has all but destroyed the northamerican car industry, as put in place policies if they go trough that will cripple small businesses, is soon to make a total mess of iraq pakistan and afganistan and all you can say is how cool he remains in time of emergencies. that my friend is not cool that is indifference. he really just does'nt care

    April 27, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  254. Ron in Maryland

    Jack,
    I think you're on to something here. Bush is obviously hiding something. I suggest we send some CIA operatives down to Texas and waterboard him so we can get to the "truth."
    Ron

    April 27, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  255. Jack Perlstein

    I believe 'they' are keeping President George W. Bush away from microphones. He is not capable of creatively maneuvering conversation and spinning lies the way VP Cheney et al are capable. President Bush was a sockpuppet, and the arm up his backside was controlled by Cheney and the rest of the bullies and gangsters of that administration. At this point, without them telling Bush what to say, Bush would either spill the beans or speak a lot and say nothing of any consequence.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  256. Eddie, Orange CT

    Bush could barely string together enough words to make a coherent sentence when he had a speechwriter and a Press Secretary to run interference for him. I don't really expect him to comment on something this serious now that he's on his own. Also, without Cheney pulling his marionette strings to make it look like Bush was really running the country we're now learning how all the cronies were ignoring our laws and Constitution to achieve what? Making the rest of the world despise us! George W. Bush, worst President ever!!

    April 27, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  257. Ro Ferney

    Jack, I love your commentaries ! Did you ever hear of self-incrimination?? But forget about Bush' s silence, I want to know WHY KATHLEEN SEBELIUS HAS NOT BEEN CONFIRMED YET !! Why are the repugnant ones, sitting on their.... hands and standing in the way of her confirmation?? This is the overriding issue at this time !! Time is of the essence !!

    April 27, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  258. phil

    Bush

    He needs to be water boraded and then ask about it .
    But thats why your not hearing any thing he knows it.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  259. paul

    I think it is best for him to stay quiet for good . The man has made such a mess of everything hearing him say anything at all makes me feel quite ill.

    Rochester ny

    April 27, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  260. MustangPO102

    At this point former president bush has no choice but to remain silent. From a legal standpoint, he has to consider the pissibility for prosecution. Throughout his administration his statements to the public had glaring reservations; his rhetoric never as clear and hostest as the incumbient. President Bush recongizes the shift in American politics. Unfortunately they look grave for him.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  261. Jim

    There could be two reasons for why the former president, who never really said much is keeping mum. One, who could really care less. Two, and also the most disturbing of the two is that information was purposefully withheld from the former president. This has happened in the past. Information was withheld and mishandled for president Johnson. Of course I don't really think that the former president cares. When it comes to president Obama and torture, the CHANGE will be some other country doing our dirty work.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  262. Ken in NC

    Bush doesn't need to talk. Cheney is talking them into a fine cell at Gitmo. He is smart in that he knows he will not be tortured because he and Bush are out of office now.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  263. Ron - Baltimore, Maryland

    While I do believe that we have been kept safe since 9/11, it certainly seems as if we have violated our own laws not to mention our morality. A very large portion of the world percieves the US as an enemy and not an allie because we to often want others to do it our way. Bush left office with one of the lowest approval ratings that I can remember, most couldn't stand to listen to him when he was in charge. I don't feel that Americans as a whole would believe anything that he would have to say nor could he do any justice to what we are learning. He is well aware of what his administration did and knows that it is best to remain silent.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  264. Allen L Wenger

    We all know that President Bush has a hard time admitting to the public that he made mistakes, but I think he has some regrets about where he led this country on the torture issue. As President, he was responsible and he knows he let the country down. Having Karl Rove and Dick Cheney saying that it got good information, still doesn't make it right or legal.

    Mountain Home ID

    April 27, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  265. Gary H. Boyd

    Jack - for 8 years George W. mumbled and stumbled words obviously coming from Dick Cheney - kinda like Charley McCarthy working with Edgar Bergen. So now, with the act dissolved, Bergen (Cheney)'s on his own and Charley, (George W.), is totally silent. It's as simple as that.

    Gary H. Boyd, Scottsdale, Arizona

    April 27, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  266. A.E.Daniel

    Bush has been quiet because you guys are a bunch of cry babies..., I think this administration should keep the terrorist in a five star hotel, maybe that will make you guys feel better.
    We are in a different era and if you guys are so immune to the attrocity of the terrorist, then i wonder what tomorrow holds. Bush has done his time and he served real well and i will always be proud of him. Cheers...!

    April 27, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  267. Eric Solis

    Torture is circling lower Manhattan with a military escorted 747 with no warning during business hours. I am sure there are plenty that would have exchanged a bucket of water in place of this act of psychological terror by our own government.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  268. Anu, New Jersey

    Why is Bush silent? He was ALWAYS silent – he was just a dummy and Cheney the ventriloquist. The dummy was not a very good one and now that the act is over, Cheney has dumped it and decided to speak for himself. Bwhhhaaaaaaa ha ha (evil laugh)

    April 27, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  269. Chi Town

    Maybe he's waiting to see how Pelosi, Kennedy, Kerry, Byrd and the rest of the congressional comittees respond... since they are neck deep in it too

    April 27, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  270. Isaac (Atlanta)

    Its like passing gas in public: The guity party is the most silent.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  271. C. MacLean, RN Helena, MT

    Bush has been silent because he didn't know what was going on in his own administration; didn't want to know. He was content to leave it up to people like Cheney, Gonzalez and Rumsfeld.

    And if Cheney is suddenly calling for any memos to be released after claiming executive privilege for 8 years (even though he insists he was only part of the legislative branch) you can bet it's because there is something else he is trying to hide, and this is his way of diverting our attention.

    Torture didn't keep us safe, the release of the memos have not made us more vulnerable, and nothing good can come from following the advice of a sociopath like Dick Cheney.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  272. Bruce

    He is hoping it will go away, since full disclosure would force him to leave for his Paraguay estate prematurely. A life sentence for war crimes is no fun.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  273. Rich, Kankakee, IL.

    Didn't they Torture Christ too, but look at the so called Christians who are in full support of those crimes, and not investigating those who did them. Bush and Cheney and many Republicans are nothing but fake Christians who like to torure people, if Christ were here now they would torture him too!!

    April 27, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  274. Star Auburn Ohio

    mission accomplished! finally got him shut up why we want to wake the sleeping dog besides he has cheney doing his dirty work.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  275. Olin

    Jack love CNN news I am out of work,discriminated ,due to large influcks of legal, and iilegal imaigrants into my Home county....I said NAFTA would be bad for most of us.I said the use of torture ,and the changing of constitutional (values) should be unacceptable to ALL americans.WELL have been ripped-off, our jobs and standards of living in danger,and severly imbrassed by the torture exceptance of some in our country..Please lets get back to being proud working Americans, represented by politiaions who represent our Majorities,and represent our minorities. I feel our Americans who died to set this country free, or to protect it would be saddly disappointed in the last 10 years, lets quit letting them and, ourselfs down....

    April 27, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  276. sharon in Michigan

    The torture questions appear to me to be completely political. A mindset of "Let's get the prior administration anyway we can." Obama has changed the program, no Gitmo, no torture. Good. We are done, let's move on. "learn from the past", Don't repeat the same mistakes",
    etc. etc.

    By the way, where was congress the last 8 years? Did they have any control over this at the time?

    April 27, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  277. aden

    Jack this shows you who was running the country for the last 8yrs,
    one can't keep his mouth shut and the other one well is absent like
    the last 8yrs!

    April 27, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  278. M. Derek Janich

    Hey Cafferty,

    Bush & Cheney both..... took good care of us! So did the rest of the adminastration.....they did the best they could insuring we weren't attacked for a second time. Not an easy job! Quit winning about laws being broken and water boarding. Consentrate on the fact ....not one other attack on thier watch! Praise these people or state some other tactic you would have used to make sure that we weren't attacked again. Oh that's right....your can't otherwise you would have!

    April 27, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  279. J.s

    Bush benefits the right to remain silent, and he knows that everything he says can be used against him in any case. Silence is the wise thing for him to do.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  280. Louis in GA

    Bush is showing respect to his successor by remaining silent on everything, not just the interrogation memos. Maybe Cheney should follow his lead for once.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  281. Paul in Wisconsin

    What Presidential administration has not broken the laws, or stetched the rules. We need to stop attacking politicians because of their political party, and start holding all their feet to the fire. They all take an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution. That includes all the ammendments. We hear that oath all the time, to watch them violate it the next day. When we allow this to continue, we all lose. Stop the individual bashing and start voting for our Freedom. Leave the past behind us, and vote for our future.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  282. Bob DeCoste, Vancouver, B.C.

    Because he can get John McCain to decry opening old wounds. What is the process by which the media determines that we have to keep listening to whatever John McCain has to say? When he picked Sarah Palin as his running mate, it was a patronizing and cynical attempt to woo Hillary Clinton’s female supporters. That act showed, as nothing else could, that our professional prisoner of war’s agenda is more concerned with personal ambition than with the well being of our country. That even included his campaigning for George Bush in 2004, which was a pretty good indication that he was quite capable of rising above any inconvenient feelings of patriotism.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  283. K

    As many have pointed, Bush hasn't been reading the newspapers nor has he received a call telling him what he should be thinking or saying. The 'puppetmasters' have abandoned him – thus, don't blame him, it's not his fault that someone hasn't provided a teleprompter in large type and easy words.
    The abuses the Bush administration participated in showed how little he "respected" the core values of his own nation – so how is it that "he is showing respect for the Office of the President"? I suspect it is not "respect" but either total ignorance or someone else has cautioned him to not open his mouth for fear of what might dribble out.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  284. Bill - New Hampshire

    First, Bush has absolutely no idea of what really went on the past eight years, because he spent all his time living in Bush-world. He just knows that he's the best dang president this country ever had.

    And I'd like to know why the emphasis is only on torture. Has anybody checked for off-shore accounts belonging to Bush, Cheney, and their buddies? The profits they reaped from the Iraq war, plus the kickbacks from their corporate vulture friends, have to be somewhere.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  285. dale

    President Bush could have announced a cure for cancer, says he supports gay marraige, Iraq was wrong, he blew it on Katrina, and he intended to voted for Senator (now President ) Obama and the media and the left would still criticize him. So if I were him I'd let history and the paper trail be the judge and would keep quiet too.

    Dale
    Fort Lauderdale

    April 27, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  286. Annie, Atlanta

    Maybe, just maybe, he isn't the idiot most of us assumed, and the real idiots were Cheney and Rove all along. Wouldn't that be something?

    April 27, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  287. Floyd Vahalik

    Bush has been silent on most everything. After practically giving the presidency to the democrats with his deranged actions, he probably doesn't want any more flack. He is off somewhere licking his wounds.

    The idea of a humane war seems like an oxymoron to me. Torture has been used in every war by all sides. It's not pleasant to think about, but it may be a necessary evil required to get information that saves lives.

    I wouldn't want to do it, but I'm sure there are people who are adept at the task. Just one of the reasons we want to avoid war.

    I think that people should realize that the Taliban brought the war to us. We are talking about people who are so crazy they are trying to take over Pakistan to get nuclear weapons.

    I tend to get rather uncivilized when people are trying nuke my country.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  288. Big Dave

    Hey Jack, which number am I?

    I can only assume that many will have the same answer as I in response to your question, why haven't we heard from George Bush ? Simply put, George Bush doesn't folow the news. Never has.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  289. j/NJ

    When it comes to the torture debate, why has former President Bush been silent?

    Well he is out of office and no doubt mindful of his grim political legacy among other things...additionally the former President is likely to have routinely authorized torture indirectly if not directly and is understandably unwilling to face the threatening arm of federal prosecutors and/or the ire of the American people...

    April 27, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  290. Ken in NC

    Cheney is making a strong case for and is seeking to take credit for an action that work. That having been said I would consider him to be the one that made the right decision. Ergo Bush can get a free pass as it will appear that VP Cheney was the construction man behind the torture schemes.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  291. Daniel, Burbank, CA

    Mr. Bush knows by now that anything he says can not, will not, and should not be taken seriously.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  292. Peg OShia

    Who cares....I didn't believe one word of what he said while he was president and I'm not interested now in hearing him justify, defend, and explain how it saved us from being attacked . He would wag his finger at other countries about "human rights" admonishing them for torturing. He has never made any sense to me about anything.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  293. Suzanne, Columbus OH

    Piece of cake Jack, he's guilty of allowing this to happen and now he is not protected by the office of Presidency.

    April 27, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  294. bill

    I could care less about torture of probable terroists . my father killed pow during ww2 it was expected of him we are at war & anything to eliminate ur sworn enemys

    April 27, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  295. Richard

    ...Because he's guilty! Ironic how the Neocons (conservative Republicans) preach Constitutionalism ~ except when or until it serves their purposes to violate it!

    April 27, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  296. Tyler

    Jack,
    Because they are all guilty.(Bush Administration)
    Its harder now to fool the public with FEAR APPEALS than it was when they were in power. We will look back and study the administration as NEO-FASCISM in America at the turn of the century. I am more patriotic than the whole lot of 'em, yet every republican called me UN-patriotic when I spoke up again breaking the law, constitution and Geneva convention. The Republicans wanted to tear apart what my family has lost life and limb in order to preserve. Then they have the gall to call ME un-patriotic. Any college-level student of military history would have done worlds better, and it's not like the Pentagon didn't try to tell the administration. Rumsfeld was a wanna-be civilian that had no idea what NOT to do out of ignorance. "Mistakes were made."
    Cheney is squirming to somehow prove a hypothetical argument that we somehow would have been attacked several times had it not been for their supervision. That's bull!! We have not been attacked since Obama took office either and he's not touting that fact at the top of his lungs.
    If Bush says anything, it would probably cause more damage to the old administration. They aren't brave, they are chicken...and very poor leaders of the isolationist party. I have been ashamed of what happened and the senseless loss of life in the name of unquantifiable intangibles.

    Tyler in ATL

    April 27, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  297. mary

    I think that President Bush is a very decent man and human being.
    The only mistake that I see that he did is The Iraq War. I think that he
    took the advice of others that did not know what they were doing.

    I give Bush a little bit of credit, I think that has a decent soul.
    Him being silent, is a good thing. Silence is Golden

    April 27, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  298. Rich, Kankakee, IL.

    The Republicans cut the funds to save the Aemrican people from Virus again, they just do not get it, the people are the country, not these greedy companies!

    April 27, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  299. Gary H. Boyd

    Jack - Consider this. Charley McCarthy without Edgar Bergen was speechless. The same could be said for George W. Bush without Dick Cheney. It's as simple as that.

    Gary H. Boyd, Scottsdale, Arizona

    April 27, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  300. Mike

    Jack, he's silent because if it's true that his presidency legalized torture, and he had no knowledge of it, then vice president Cheney undermined his presidency. If George W. Bush still cares for this country and it's people, then he needs to tell the people that he never knew about the torture and would like to see an independent investigation, if he has nothing to hide!!

    April 27, 2009 at 5:31 pm |