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Entries in Southern Methodist University (2)

Friday
Jan072011

Saddam Hussein's Pistol Featured by President George W. Bush Library

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(DALLAS) -- The 9 mm Glock pistol former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein held in his lap when he was captured by American troops in 2003 is now on display at the site of George W. Bush's future presidential library.

The gun sits in the "Capturing Key Moments" display case at the Dallas exhibit, which closes Feb. 6.

A new video released by the museum shows President Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush describing several artifacts, including some related to his visit to Ground Zero in New York just days after the 9/11 attacks in 2001.

"I walked into what felt like Hell," Bush said of the experience, when he climbed atop a fire engine that had been crushed in the collapse of the World Trade Center towers. He used a bullhorn to shout a message of encouragement to the haggard first responder teams.

"I can hear you," he hollered, as the teams began to cheer. "The rest of the world hears you, and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon."

The bullhorn is now mounted front and center in the display case beside a frame holding Saddam Hussein's black pistol, confiscated during the early-morning raid called "Operation Red Dawn," which involved more than 600 troops. Saddam was found hiding in a small underground bunker.

Those two artifacts have drawn not only visitors, but protests to the future site of the Bush Institute on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

"I hope that a bullhorn will not become the symbol for the entry of the United States into an unjustified war, and that a pistol of Saddam Hussein's is not seen as some strange symbol of victory in that horrendous misjudgment," said Tex Sample, a Methodist Church elder who opposed the selection of the site.

The Bush Institute calls all of the treasures on display "historic artifacts" which help define the Bush presidency.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio´╗┐

Tuesday
Nov162010

George W. Bush, Dick Cheney Share Stage for First Time Post-Presidency

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(DALLAS) -- Former President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney shared a stage together Tuesday for the first time since the two left office, showering each other with praise as they reflected on the legacy of their administration and the decision to run for office together.

The two men united for the groundbreaking of the $300-million Bush Presidential Library on the Southern Methodist University campus in Dallas. Hundreds of Bush administration alumni, including former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and first lady Laura Bush, also attended.

Bush has said the library and affiliated George W. Bush Policy Institute will be "the focus of our attention and forum for our public service" for the rest of his life. The library and institute are also largely seen as vehicles through which Bush can continue to shape his presidential legacy.

"Two years after your tour at the White House ended," Cheney said to Bush, "judgments are a little more measured than they were. When times have been tough and the critics have been loud, you've always said you had faith in history's judgment. And history is beginning to come around."

Cheney, who has been one of the most ardent and outspoken defenders of the administration, appeared gaunt and frail in what was a rare public appearance since having heart surgery in July.

It was also the first time the men appeared together since the release of Bush's new memoir, Decision Points, in which the former president writes that he considered replacing Cheney as his running mate during the 2004 re-election bid.

Bush began his remarks by directly addressing the episode and offering unambiguous support for the man he ended up keeping by his side.

"I'm asked about Dick Cheney," Bush said. "Here's what I say: Dick Cheney was the right pick in the year 2000, and as I stand here, there is no doubt in my mind he was the right pick then, he was a great vice president of the United States, and I'm proud to call him friend."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio ´╗┐







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