Bush accused of ‘literary swiping’ memoir stories

Saturday, November 13, 2010

LONDON - Former US President George W Bush has been accused of ‘literary swiping’ sections of his memoirs ‘Decision Points’ from other books and newspaper articles about his presidency.

According to a blog by Huffington Post journalist Ryan Grim, Bush was “lazy” in his penning of memoir, citing examples where he has apparently lifted material.

So far, the main controversy to come out of the book - which is being serialised in The Times - is Bush’s admission that he approved the waterboarding of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who masterminded the 9/11 attacks.

Grim has criticised the former president for recalling a meeting between Hamid Karzai and a Tajik general at the Afghan president’s inauguration which Bush did not attend.

He also says the words used in ‘Decision Points’ are remarkably similar to the account of the meeting in Ahmed Rashid’s book ‘The Mess In Afghanistan’.

Further “literary swiping” - as Grim puts it - is apparently evident in Bush’s thoughts on a conversation with his rival for the Republican presidential candidacy, John McCain.

He claims the comments made by McCain were actually said to reporters and have been copied from a Washington Post article.

“The point of a memoir is that it is the author’s version of events. Bush’s book is a collection of other people’s versions of events,” Sky News quoted Grim as saying.

“(His) laziness undermines the historical value of the memoir … calling into question what he genuinely remembers from the time and casting doubt on any conclusions he draws about what his mindset was at the time,” Grim added. (ANI)

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