Woodward's Bombshells

Woodward's latest book, State of Denial, certainly is a departure from the tone of his last work, which cast Bush as the resolute leader. Now he's portrayed as the President we all know and love - inattentive, disengaged, easily led into folly, and thoroughly over his head. I suppose that with the 2004 election over, Woodward doesn't have to worry about his "access" being curtailed because he told the truth. Sigh.

I found this in the Canadian Press somewhere. I'm afraid I'm being a bad blogger, since I lost the link. The catalogue below is by no means an exhaustive list.

Among Woodward's allegations:

  • Former White House chief of staff Andrew Card twice tried to persuade President Bush to fire Rumsfeld, in 2004 and 2005.
  • Former National Security Council staff member Robert Blackwill pressed for more troops in Sept. 2003, but was ignored by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. "The bottom line: we need more troops in Iraq," Blackwill wrote in a lengthy memo to Rice. He suggested 40,000 more soldiers.
  • Gen. John Abizaid, the top U.S. commander for the Middle East, complained to the C.I.A. director that the war was not going as well as Rumsfeld claimed. "These bastards in Washington have no idea what they're doing," Woodward quoted Abizaid as saying in one meeting.
  • Despite escalating violence, Woodward quotes Bush as saying in Nov. 2003 that "I don't want anyone in the cabinet to say it is an insurgency. I don't think we are there yet."
  • At one point, Rumsfeld and Rice were on such poor terms that the defence secretary refused to return her phone calls, until Bush intervened.
  • After former Secretary of State Colin Powell was removed from the administration in 2004, he said Rumsfeld should also leave. Powell apparently told a White House official: "If I go, Don should go."
  • Just two months before the 9/11 attacks, on July 10, 2001, CIA director George Tenet met with Rice to express concern over a possible impending attack, but later felt Rice did not take his warning seriously.
  • When the chief weapons inspector David Kay suggested the Iraq government may have had the ability to manufacture weapons of mass destruction without actually building any, C.I.A. Deputy Director John McLaughlin said: "Don't tell anyone this. This could be upsetting. Be very careful. We can't let this out until we're sure."
  • Lt. Gen. Jay Garner, who led the first Iraq Postwar Planning Office, told Rumsfeld in June 2003 the U.S. had made three initial mistakes in Iraq: removing Baath Party members from government positions; dismantling the Iraqi military; and, the dismissal of an eager interim Iraqi leadership group.
  • In May, the intelligence division of the Joint Chiefs of Staff circulated a secret document predicting that violence will continue for the rest of this year in Iraq and increase in 2007.

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