THE BLOG
04/24/2013 09:31 am ET | Updated Jun 24, 2013

My Night in George W. Bush's Presidential Library

AP

Man, I'm just glad I didn't get caught!

Then again, what can they do to me for breaking into the new, and as yet unveiled, George W. Bush Presidential Center?

I'm a bloggist! I get paid (practically nothing) to go where others fear to tread.

Besides, whatever they do to me, it couldn't be worse than what I experienced in the Bush Library's Enhanced Interrogation Pavilion (a.k.a. "The House of Pain").

Though it was late at night, and not open to visitors, all the exhibits were furiously getting ready for opening day.

Okay, let me say this just once: This place is a treat! I never expected Bush's library to be so interactive, so true to the Bush legacy, or so compelling.

Visitors to The House of Pain feel like they're actually being tortured in a black site prison. As a souvenir, when you eventually escape, you're given a copy of your signed confession. The Bush Library's "Easy Money" Wind Booth lets you know how it feels to be a bank CEO grabbing for free U.S. Treasury bucks during America's financial freefall; and once you take two steps into the Cheneyville exhibit you feel like you're out on the prairie hunting with Dick Cheney, which means any moment you could get shot in the face.

Speaking of Cheneyville, it might interest you to know that even though it wasn't the largest exhibit, or the most complex, it did end up being the most costly exhibit in the entire Bush Center. Not surprisingly, it was designed and constructed in a no-bid contract awarded to the Halliburton Company.

Then there's this great exhibit room that doesn't even exist. I'm not sure how they do it, perhaps with holograms or stealth technology, but it looks like a normal room when you look at it from the outside. As soon as you step through the door, however, you're also stepping back outside through a different door, as though you had stepped through a time warp rather than a room. The sign above both entrances, smugly declares this to be the "WMD STORAGE ROOM AND WAREHOUSE."

Simply put, you have never experienced a presidential library -- or even an amusement park -- to rival the George W. Bush Presidential Center. It's nonstop action, nonstop machismo sabre rattling and, to a discerning mind, nonstop destruction of America's civil liberties, moral authority and international leadership.

For the kids, the Library has a Bicycle Center with indoor stationary bikes that let you race against the former president on some of his favorite runs around the hills of Camp David. One of the videotaped runs is the actual course George W. rode the morning he barely skimmed the CIA's briefing titled "Bin Laden Determined To Strike In U.S.A."

There's also a room toward the back of the vast library complex called "The Educational President" that features video interviews with millions of children who were accidentally left behind during his presidency.

As I learned, from running around like an idiot in the middle of the night, the Library can exhaust you. By the time I was waterboarded for the sixth time I barely had the strength to play "Whack-A-Wimp" in the Alberto Gonzales Pavilion. "Whack-A-Wimp" is weirdly like "Whack-A-Mole," except you whack Bush Administration U.S. attorneys instead of moles, but only those who were fired by Alberto Gonzales for not prosecuting Democrats or voter fraud cases.

Centerpiece exhibit of the Bush Library is the Hurricane Katrina Hall, which has a replica of the basement White House conference room from which George W. held his video conferences with Michael Brown (a.k.a. "Brownie") during the crisis. Also featured is a diorama recreating President Bush's meaningless speech from Jackson Square. The speech was given at night, you'll remember, so that spotlights could light up the president and make him look super presidential or, perhaps, super human. The exhibit also features photographs of the California fundraiser President Bush was en route to when he made his flyover inspection of the flood damage, destruction and death.

The new George W. Bush Presidential Center, sitting on the campus of Southern Methodist University on a 23-acre parcel curiously named The Green Zone, is scheduled to formally open later this week. The Center boasts many exhibits besides those mentioned in this report, most of which are listed as classified and not open to the public. Which is why I found it prudent to pay my visit at night.

As a curious side note -- I have no memory of how it got there, but when I left the George W. Bush Presidential Center I held in my hand a copy of a confession, signed by me, stating that I had been living in this country illegally for 15 years and cheating on my tax returns that entire time. Neither of which is true, as far as I recall.