Miniter truly believes that Bush's sense of personal regret over doing something "wrong" would be so acute and profound that, heck, he just wouldn't risk it.
If a long pattern of far-reaching abuse emerged in the wiretapping program authorized by this president, George W. Bush would be on the hook for it. This program has been reauthorized some three dozen times since the Sept. 11 attacks, and it comes up for review about every 45 days or so. Each time Mr. Bush has personally reviewed it and signed off on its continuation. There is no "plausible deniability" of this program. [emph added]What a rigorously self-disciplined feat of presidential self-checking of presidential power. Mr. Bush reads over what he has authorized in the previous 45 days, determines that he's done good, and signs off, indicating his official approval of his having done good.
"The buck undoubtedly stops on President Bush's desk," Miniter declares. He conveniently overlooks the likelihood that "the buck" will land on the president's desk long after the desk is on display in the George W. Bush Presidential Library, at about the same time as the first FOIA releases finally see the light of day. And probably when the library's mausoleum is already occupied. Legacy? Heck, we will all be dead by then.