GW Bush: Happiness Is Saddam’s Gun
Historian Douglas Brinkley says Bush 43’s pride in having Saddam Hussein’s gun offers a psychological window into Bush’s view of the presidency. The gun, found in the spider hole where Saddam was located, is headed for the presidential library with Bush’s blessing.
For nearly five years, Mr. Bush kept the mounted, glass-encased pistol in the Oval Office or a study, showing it with pride, especially to military officials, they said. He also let visitors in on a secret: when the pistol was recovered, it was unloaded.
“We were getting ready to leave the Oval Office, and he told us, ‘Wait a minute, guys, I want to show you something,’ ” recalled Pete Hegseth, the chairman of Vets for Freedom, who described a July 2007 visit. “The president moved back into his private study and he came out with the gun, inside this glass case. He said, ‘The Delta guys pulled it off Saddam.’ He was very proud of it.”
“It represents this Texas notion of the white hats taking out the black hats and keeping the trophy,” Mr. Brinkley said. “It’s a True West magazine kind of pulp western mentality. For President Bush, this pistol represents his greatest moment of triumph, like the F.B.I. keeping Dillinger’s gun. He wants people generations from now to see the gun and say, ‘He got the bad guy.’ ”
President Bush was presented with the gun by members of Delta Force on March 1, 2004 in the Oval Office.
“That was a great day,” Mr. Bush told the Pentagon Channel in December. “I’ve had a lot of beautiful days in office; some not so happy. But my best days have come when certain milestones have been reached, and I love to share those milestones and those days with the people who actually made them happen.”Click here for reuse options!
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