A journalist from Pakistan says he is disappointed that his work was allegedly plagiarized by former President George W. Bush in his recently published book Decision Points.
“It is never a compliment when politicians plagiarize ideas or comments from journalists without acknowledging their work,” Ahmed Rashid told BBC News. “Unfortunately it happens all the time.”
In his book, Bush describes an incident that occurred during Afghan President Karzai’s inauguration, but Bush himself was not present at the inauguration, Ryan Grim of Huffington Post reported Friday.
The event appears to be lifted from an article written by Rashid and published in the New York Review of Books.
“You would expect an American president’s researchers to come up with an acknowledgment, at least if they wanted to lift somebody else’s articles or comments,” Rashid said.
“Unfortunately neither President Bush nor his researchers paid me that compliment nor have they apologized since the quote was spotted some days ago.”
The anecdote lifted from Rashid’s article describes the meeting of a warlord and President Karzai.
“When Karzai arrived in Kabul for his inauguration on 22 December – 102 days after 9/11 – several Northern Alliance leaders and their bodyguards greeted him at an airport,” Bush wrote.
“As Karzai walked across the tarmac alone, a stunned Tajik warlord asked where all his men were.”
“Karzai responded: ‘Why, General, you are my men. All of you who are Afghans are my men.'”
According to Grim, the anecdote was lifted from Rashid’s article almost word for word.
“My children and their friends and some journalist colleagues want me to sue him,” Rashid said. “But I told them I would do no such thing.”
Bush’s new book also draws heavily from Bush at War by Bob Woodward and Dead Certain by Robert Draper, according to Grim.
In addition, Grim notes that Bush makes it seem as if a comment Senator John McCain made to reporters was actually addressed to himself.
The publisher of Bush’s Decision Points, Crown Publishing, says its similarity with other works only proves the accuracy of the book.
Accusations of plagiarism are not the only attacks that have been directed at Bush since he published his book. In response to an admission made in his book about authorizing the use of waterboarding on terror suspects, Amnesty International, Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), and the American Civil Liberties Union have called on the Obama administration to launch an investigation.
“If his admission is substantiated, the USA has the obligation to prosecute him,” Amnesty International Senior Director Claudio Cordone said. “In the absence of a US investigation, other states must step in and carry out such an investigation themselves.”