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    01 October 2006

    "State of Denial" - An appropriate title

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    Let's have a look at some of the revelations that Bob Woodward reveals in his new book "State of Denial". These points will certainly control much of the political discourse -- along side Foley's folly and the subsequent cover-up -- for the next week.

    FYI: Here is a summary of Woodward's article from today's WaPo (directly below this post).

    Some revelations:

    Two attempts were made on Rumsfeld's job. One was led by Andrew Card in '04 but was thwarted by Rove and Cheney for political reasons. The book also claims that another effort was supported by Laura Bush and made in '05; this is said to be untrue by Tony Snow. The first account was not commented on or denied. [link, link]

    Woodward describes Rumsfeld as a "bully and control freak" who is unwilling to take responsibility for his actions. [link]

    The book reports that American commander for the Middle East, Gen. John P. Abizaid, told visitors to his headquarters in Qatar that "'Rumsfeld doesn't have any credibility...' to make a public case for the American strategy for victory in Iraq." [link]

    A NY Times book review paints Bush as a "passive, impatient, sophomoric and intellectually incurious leader, presiding over a grossly dysfunctional war cabinet." It continues to point out the all to apparent "religious certainty" that places him "in a state of willful denial about the worsening situation in Iraq" making him unwilling to reassess his many failures in the War. A trait mimicked by his followers.

    Mr. Woodward reveals an instance in July 2001 where CIA chief George Tenet and his counterterrorism coordinator were "brushed off" during an attempt to warn Dr. Rice -- then National Security Advisor -- of a possible terrorist attack. The book describes Tenet as feeling like she didn't understand the threat that was being described to her. Tenet's counterterrorism coordinator is quoted saying of this meeting with Dr. Rice, "The only thing we didn't do was pull the trigger to the gun we were holding to her head." This memo was possibly hidden from the 9/11 Commission by Bush officials, which is a cover-up. [link, link, link]

    Woodward describes the inner circle of the Bush Administration as unable to speak truth to Bush and other power-wielders within. He describes the management of the administrations war on Iraq as similar to a "pickup basketball game" while deceiving the public on the truths taking place within Iraq. [link]

    The book describes the top Iraq advisor on the National Security council, Robert D. Blackwill, and L. Paul Bremer III, then the top American official in Iraq, requesting more troops for Iraq. The response from the White House was nothing. [link]

    Woodward describes the presence of former Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger in frequent discussions with Bush on foreign policy effectively giving the former Nixon official a retry at the Vietnam War. This is likely where Bush got the 'stay the course' rhetoric. [link, link]

    Woodward points out an instance where Dr. Rice (NSA) was complaining to Bush about the Secretary of Defense not returning her phone calls, meanwhile Bush and Karl Rove exchanged fart jokes. [link]

    Woodward reported that the Joint Chief's intelligence division circulated an intelligence estimate that concluded that violence in Iraq would continue and increase, along with painting a bleak future for oil production, electricity generation and the political situation in Iraq. [link]


    I doubt "State of Denial" will be recommended on any Bush websites, as Woodward's other books have been. That must be because they're in a "State of Denial."

    For instance:
    Rice: He is terrific. He's a great journalist, and I look forward to reading it. He's talking about a pretty complex set of discussions about military issues and diplomatic issues, and I'm sure it will be - be fantastic. [04/25/04]

    Dan Bartlett: We're urging people to buy the book. What this book does is show a president who was asking the right questions and showing prudence as well as resolve during very difficult times. This book undermines a lot of the critics' charges. [04/21/04]
    (h/t ThinkProgress)

    Posted by Geoff

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