With the 2012 presidential election cycle in full swing, I wanted to think about how history will view George W. Bush's presidency - the legacy thing.
Many, perhaps most, people blame President Bush for the war in Iraq and for not preventing the 9/11 terrorist attack on US Soil.
I think he might have been mislead on the Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) issue and, given that the 9/11 attacks came so early in his presidency, I really think blaming him or his advisors is dead wrong. The Clinton Administration knew what was going one and even had Osama bin Laden targeted with a drone and did not take the shot. For me, getting rid of the Saddam Hussein was the right thing to do - that country has a far better future without Hussein or his henchman being there.
That takes us to the Patriot Act and the limitations on personal freedom in the United States. My personal opinion is that its provisions are excessively invasive. Our current President said he would make changes to the Patriot Act. He did, he made it more invasive. My suspicion is that he listened to the CIA, NSA and law enforcement and was convinced it needed toughening. I think the American public has been duped on this issue - the Patriot Act created thousands of jobs in Security - follow the money!
On a very personal level, I feel very badly for President Bush. This happened on his watch and he will take that to his grave. I don't know how I would have handled this were I in his position. I am very thankful that I was not. Plus, he has put himself and his family in harms way for several generations.
I think the passing of a generation will yield new views on George W. Bush and there will be a general sense that he was handed a loaded deck and made the best of a bad situation.