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George W. Bush: CIA Agents Are Patriots Who Deserve Respect, Not Scorn

By    |   Sunday, 14 Dec 2014 01:12 PM

The men and women at the CIA are patriots who deserve the country's respect, former President George W. Bush believes, and their reputations should not be damaged by a Senate report that found the agency was not forthcoming about its intelligence-gathering procedures.

"We're fortunate to have men and women who work hard at the CIA serving on our behalf," Bush told CNN "State of the Union" host Candy Crowley, who interviewed the former leader before the report came out, with CNN airing the second part of the exclusive on Crowley's Sunday morning show.

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Further, Bush said that no matter what the report says, "if it diminishes their contributions to our country, it's way off base," said Bush. "I knew the directors. I knew the deputy directors. I knew a lot of the operators. These are good people, really good people, and we're lucky as a nation to have them."

Crowley interviewed Bush at a book signing at Moody Air Force Base in Georgia, where he also discussed his parents' opinions about his new book, "41: A Portrait of My Father," about his hobby as a painter, and how being a war veteran shaped his father's life and the lives of other leaders.

"You know, my heart aches for people who lost a loved one, still does, and to that end, I try to help our wounded vets as much as I can at the Bush Library," said Bush, noting that his father's losses were more personal, because he lost crewmates and friends when his plane was shot down during World War II over Japan.

But he bridled at the mention of the word "hero" when it comes to his father's service.

"It's not the only story of World War II," he said. "There's thousands of stories that way, and not to be on a high horse here, I think the word hero is overused, and I think the World War II generation guys have handled it well, [saying] 'we weren't heroes, we did what we were asked to do, and how everybody is a hero at some point in time and they're not.' Living life the way it's supposed to be lived is not heroic."

He also told Crowley that he believes his famous parents like his new book, and that receiving his mother's approval for it "was an important test to pass."

Bush said his father, who is confined to a wheelchair and has a form of Parkinson's disease, is doing well, "as he's joyful," and "doesn't complain, but on the other hand, he doesn't reflect a lot."

He went on to talk about his painting hobby, saying he enjoys it because he's a "task-oriented" person.

And now, he jokes that if he didn't paint, he doesn't know what he'd be doing.

"I don't drink anymore," he told Crowley. "I guess if I were a drinker, I'd be up there at night drinking away, but now I'm painting away."


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The men and women at the CIA are patriots who deserve the country's respect, former President George W. Bush believes, and their reputations should not be damaged by a Senate report that found the agency was not forthcoming about its intelligence-gathering procedures. ...
George W. Bush, CIA, report, heroes
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2014-12-14
Sunday, 14 Dec 2014 01:12 PM
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