In Memoir, Bush Defends Waterboarding, Admits Mistakes

"(CNN)
After staying largely mum on the political scene since leaving office almost two years ago, former President George W. Bush will reveal his thoughts on the most historic -- and controversial -- parts of his presidency with the release of his memoir Tuesday.

In the 481-page book, Bush shares his thoughts on the 9/11 attacks, Hurricane Katrina and what he calls the ""worst moment"" of his presidency.

The 43rd president also takes responsibility for giving the go-ahead for waterboarding terror suspects, which has touched off a new round of criticism of Bush and calls for his prosecution. He says that he decided not to use two more extreme interrogation methods, but did not disclose what those were.

In the book, Bush says the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001, gave his administration a clear goal and him the resolve to find out who was responsible and ""kick their ass.""

""In a single morning, the purpose of my presidency had grown clear: to protect our people and defend our freedom that had come under attack,"" he writes.

He describes his reaction when his then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice informed him of the crash of a third airplane into the Pentagon.""I sat back in my seat and absorbed her words. My thoughts clarified: The first plane could have been an accident. The second was definitely an attack. The third was a declaration of war,"" the former president writes."