Tuesday November 6th, 2007
Hello and Good Evening - Submitted here for your
browsing pleasure are the remaining excerpts culled from Bob Woodward's
book that demonstrate President Bush and his Administration's
inability to properly conduct their "War" Where
possible, The Raptor has inserted notes on some of the
text. It should be noted that this represents over 25
pages of information and may be a reading challenge...stick to
it!...don't stop...it's worth it.
236 to 239
FLEW BACK TO WASHINGTON,
arriving on July 26. He was already coming to the conclusion
that they might not find stockpiles of WMD anywhere in Iraq, and
he wanted Tenet to get the CIA stations in the region to see if
Saddam might have smuggled WMD out of Iraq before the war.
Spider Marks and his team had seen trucks heading toward the
Syrian border but they still couldn't improve on Marks's
statement that the trucks might, for all they knew, contain Toys
'R' Us bicycles.
things may have gone across borders, but you're going to have to
energize the intelligence community to find out what's in those
countries because we can't," Kay told Tenet. His group
couldn't operate outside Iraq. 'All we can report is evidence of
movement toward border."
want you to come with me to the White House tomorrow morning,
for the President's Daily Brief," Tenet said. "Come in
early and you can get a ride down with the PDB briefer."
The President's Daily Brief was the highly classified report of
the most sensitive and supposedly Important intelligence that
went only to Bush, Cheney, Powell, Rumsfeld, Rice and a few
next morning, Kay arrived at CIA headquarters at 5:30. The woman
in charge of the PDB told him, "We're glad you're briefing
this morning, because it means we can reuse this material. We're
getting sort thin, and we can reuse it."
surprised to hear that PDB intelligence was not so urgent or
relevant that it had to be used immediately. He was more
surprised about his presumed role that morning. “I’m
briefing?" Kay asked.
was waiting at the White House, along with Rumsfeld and Andy
Card. Kay and the PDB briefer went into the Oval Office, where
Bush and Cheney were waiting. She went through her sections of
the presentation, and then Kay was asked to report.
biggest mistake we made was to let looting and lawlessness break
out," Kay said. Iraq was a mess and that made his job
vastly more difficult. "Some of this evidence is beginning
to shape up as if they had a just-in-time policy," he said,
explaining the Soviet surge capability theory.
They might have had the equipment, the facilities and the
material to make
WMD on short notice but they might not have actually produced
have not found large stockpiles," Kay said. "You can't
rule them out. We haven't come to the conclusion that they're
not there, but they're
sure not any place obvious. We've got a lot more to search for
and to look at"
at it," Bush said. "You understand you're to find out
the truth about the program. David, what do you need that we can
do for you?"
the only thing we need right now is time and patience," Kay
have the time," Bush said. "I have the patience."
left the meeting almost shocked at Bush's lack of
inquisitiveness. Kay had a Ph.D. and had taught at high levels,
and he was used to being asked challenging, aggressive
questions. A lot of the trauma in getting a graduate degree was
surviving the environment of doubt, skepticism and
IS A GOOD POINT TO INTERJECT...BUSH & A LACK OF
INQUISITIVENESS...NOW THERE IS A SHOCKER!
trusted me more than I trusted me," Kay later recalled.
"If the positions had been reversed, and this is primarily
personality, I think, I would have probed. I would have asked. I
would have said, “What have "you done? What haven't you
done? Why haven't you done it?' You know, ‘Are you getting the
support out of DOD?' The soft spots. Didn't do it."
Cheney had been quiet in the
meeting, but on the way out he and Scooter Libby pulled Kay
aside. Cheney was now as probing as Bush had been passive. He
was particularly concerned about the possible Syrian connection
to WMD. What did Kay think? Cheney asked. Was there evidence?
Could the weapons have gone to Syria?
things went across the border," Kay replied, "we can't
go across the borders." He had alerted Tenet to the
problem, he added.
inquired about the possibility that WMD could have been smuggled
out and taken to the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon, an area dominated
by the Iranian-backed Hezbollah, which had deep terrorist
Kay said, any meaningful assessment or action would have to
involve the CIA stations.
pressed. He seemed to have a conviction that something had gone
to Lebanon's Bekaa Valley.
NOTE: WATCH OUT BEKKA VALLEY...VICE PRESIDENT CHENEY HAS YOUR
himself. The Israelis and their intelligence services knew the
most about the Bekaa. He thought of saying, "Don't ask me,
ask the Israelis." But he let it pass.
had a small sheaf of intelligence
reports, including some sensitive,
raw NSA communications intercepts. Kay
hadn't seen them,
because like the intercept he'd
been called about at 3 A.M.
in Baghdad, they were Executive
Signals Intercepts or involved individual conversations or
snippets. The CIA had analysts whose job it was to take dozens
reports, sift through them and distill them into usable
conclusions. As with many intercepts, they were maddeningly
vague. They had interesting little tidbits, and sometimes even
specific locations were mentioned, but it was as clear as smoke.
was astounded that the vice president of the United States was
using such raw intelligence. Here Cheney and Libby were acting
like a couple of junior analysts, poring over fragments as if
they were trying to decipher the Da Vinci Code. If only the
world could be understood that way.
a stock of interpretations and facts that he thought proved a case
and he wanted to
be sure that you examined them. It was very sort of in the
weeds, detailed, evidentiary questions, and not about what I had
said, but about what he knew, that he wanted to know a little
more. It was almost a doctoral exam. You're worried about
someone trying to trip you up. 'Have you read this source?'
Kay had a call from Colin Powell asking him to come to the State
Department. He'd known Powell in 1991 and 1992, when he was the
U.N. nuclear inspections Chief in Iraq and Powell was JCS
chairman. Powell had not been included in the White House
briefing, and he wanted to hear what Kay was finding. As the
public face of the American declaration before the United
Nations that Saddam had WMD, Powell had almost as much at stake
NOTE: IT IS APPARENT THAT POWELL WAS A STOOGE AND GOT THE FREEZE
OUT FROM BUSH'S ADMINISTRATION - WHAT A SHAME WHERE THE RAPTOR
IS CONCERNED...POWELL HAD THE CREDIBILITY THAT BUSH, CHENEY,
RICE AND RUMSFELD LACKED
gave Powell basically the same briefing that he had given to
Bush-inconclusive but basically a neutral to negative report.
is my personal e-mail address," Powell said, handing Kay a
card as he turned to leave. "Write me if you have any
concerns or any questions."
looked at the card when he got back to Langley and almost died laughing.
Powell had given him a regular,
commercial, America Online
e-mail address, a
communication method about as secure and confidential as
spray-painting graffiti on a highway overpass.
"Here I am sitting in the
CIA headquarters," Kay thought. "I'm going to send
something to an AOL account?"
RAPTOR NOTE - POWELL = STOOGE
240 to 242
JUST WAS NOT PAYING ATTENTION, Rice and Hadley had concluded
by August 2003. He was not showing the same interest in postwar
Iraq as he had with the military invasion plans. The only option
was for the NSC to step in and manage Bremer more
NOTE: RUMSFELD NOT PAYING ATTENTION...WHY DOE THAT NOT SURPRISE
needed someone dedicated to the task, and she thought of
the man who had been her boss on the NSC in George H. W. Bush's
administration. Robert D. Blackwill, 63, had recently resigned
as ambassador to India to teach at Harvard.
had served 22 years in the Foreign Service and had worked in the
upper reaches of the State Department, including a stint as an
aide to Henry Kissenger. At
6-foot-3 and heavyset with white hair, he looked like Santa
Claus when he smiled. But he was a prickly, demanding boss, who
often referred to himself as Godzilla. In India, he had
roiled the embassy staff. Two State Department inspector general
reports criticized his management
RAPTOR NOTE: IS SOMEONE WHO IS
"PRICKLY" A PRICK?
the consummate staff man, started canvassing people who had
worked with Blackwill. The
general report: Don’t bring him in. He’ll be disruptive.
He has a terrible
don't want to
work with him. He's
after your job, and he
has even let it be known he wants to be Condi's
Kamen's popular "In the Loop" column in The
Washington Post in July had quoted unnamed officials
-"mischief makers," Kamen called them - suggesting
that Hadley might move over to the Pentagon to make
room for Blackwill.
Rice wanted Blackwill's brainpower, so she and Hadley called him
to the White House. They summarized the rap on him, and said
there would be new rules of civility and collegiality if he
joined the NSC staff
hear you," Blackwill said. "I understand exactly what
you're saying and I tell you that you will not have cause to
a second tough session, Rice asked Blackwill if he would have
trouble working for her, his former subordinate, or for Hadley.
He said he would not.
was given the exalted title of coordinator for strategic
planning on the NSC staff. Soon Rice made him point man for
a couple of weeks Blackwill told Rice and Hadley. "We're
losing. We're just losing this whole thing.
The public opinion's going against us. This is awful.
We're losing the battle for Iraq heart and soul."
immediate concern was not the situation on the ground in Iraq.
The problem, she told Blackwill, was "the dysfunctional
U.S. government." He soon understood what she meant. He
attended the deputies committee meetings where Armitage and Doug
Feith often sat across from each other in the Situation Room.
The hostility between them was enormous, and Blackwill watched
as Armitage, a mountain of a man, barked at Feith. It was almost
as if Armitage wanted to reach across the table and snap Feith's
neck like a twig. Armitage's knuckles even turned white.
NOTE: JUST SEEING A PICTURE OF DOUGLAS FEITH MAKES ME WANT TO
DRIVE HIM INTO THE GROUND LIKE A SPIKE
principals meetings or NSC meetings with Powell and Rumsfeld
were not as coarse but had the same surreal quality, rarely
airing the real issues. Blackwill, a veteran of the Kissenger
style, was astonished. Rumsfeld made his presentation looking at
the president, while Powell looked straight ahead. Then Powell
would make his to the president with Rumsfeld looking straight
ahead. They didn't even comment on each other's statements or
views. So Bush never had the benefit of a serious, substantive
discussion between his principal advisers. And the president,
whose legs often jiggled under the table, did not force a
NOTE: IF BUSH COULDN'T SEE THIS...HE WAS PROBABLY ENGROSSED IN A
CROSSWARD PUZZLE OR SOMETHING
saw Rice try to intervene and get nowhere. So critical comments
and questions-especially about military strategy-never surfaced.
Blackwill felt sympathy for Rice. This young woman, he thought,
had to deal with three of the titans of national security -
Cheney, Rumsfeld and Powell - all of whom had decades of
experience, cachet and strong views. The image locked in
Blackwill's mind of Rice, dutiful, informed and polite, at one
end of the table, and the inexperienced president at the other,
legs dancing, while the bulls staked out their ground almost
snorting defiantly, hoofs pawing the table, daring a challenge
that never came.
245 to 248
was at the Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia on August 19,
2003, playing tennis on the last day of her vacation. It was one of those rare four-day periods when not much
person on duty as her secure communications operator came
running up. “I
have to talk to you.”
massive truck bomb had gone off at the U.N. Headquarters In
were incomplete but there were many killed and injured.
Sergio Vieira de Mello, the delegation head, was injured
and reportedly buried in the rubble but able to talk to rescue
packed up her car and she and her security and communications
team headed back to Washington.
de Mello is dead, the watch officer from the Situation Room said
in a call.
felt as if she'd been punched in the gut. She had personally
urged Vieira de Mello,
a highly respected diplomat who had been with the U.N.
for 34 years, to go to Iraq.
NOTE: PUNCHED IN THE GUT? WHAT A LOOSER!
an outrage, Bush told her when they spoke later, that terrorists
would go after the
She said it was
apparently the first such attack of this magnitude on a U.N.
headquarters. The final death toll was 22, with many more
wounded. Hit-and-run attacks had occurred before, but such
wholesale barbarity? For Rice, it meant something else
was going on here. It was devastating
and symbolic at once. What was happening? She felt out of touch.
met with the National Security Council the next day, August 20.
“An ugly day for freedom, but it should toughen our resolve to
do what we have to do for freedom," he said. "We're at
war. It's a different kind of war, but war nonetheless, and we
will win it. Terrorists want us to retreat and we cannot. We
need to redouble our efforts against terror."
set the tone, the president went into some operational matters.
"We need to make assessments about what are the soft
targets that are in Iraq? How are we going to harden those soft
targets? Look, we need to reanalyze the enemy. What's his
strategy? We've got to be constantly reviewing our offensive
plan to take into account the changes we're seeing." He
added, "This is a thinking enemy that changes, and as he
changes, we need to change. And attacking the U.N. mission was a
change. Now, what has he just told us, this enemy?"
were facing a host of new questions, and Bush rattled some of
them off, "What are we going to do about bad guys coming
out of Syria and Iran? We need to counter those. We need better
intelligence and military capabilities to deal with these
guys." But he quickly pulled back from the more specific
things that needed to be addressed. "Groups that respond by
pulling out of Iraq are simply giving in to the killers and
rewarding them," he said, back in pep talk mode.
who was piped into the meeting over the secure video
teleconference, said the U.N. attack needed to be a wake-up call
for the Iraqis, and that the temporary Iraqi Governing Council
had to take action. They need to get their faces out front,
Bremer said, both internationally and with their own people. We
need to rally the Iraqi people so they will rally the
international community, he said. He wanted the Governing
Council to call on the Iraqi people to support the police and
we have the communications strategy to be able to run with
Al-Jazeera?" Bush asked.
have a network. We're using it," someone said.
should - Do we have the communications network?" Bush
someone said again. "We have our network, and we're also
trying to use Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya to the extent we
"Our theme should
be that the Iraqis should not allow foreign fighters
to come into Iraq," the president said. "We need to
play on a sense of nationalism that will motivate Iraqis to
cooperate with us to exclude the foreigners."
The irony of the
commander in chief of an occupation force of approximately
130,000 heavily armed foreign troops saying they should play on Iraqi
nationalism and convince the people of Iraq to "exclude the
to go unnoticed.
need to look at all possible sources of attack from all
groups," Bush said. "Who did this and who do we worry
about? We've learned something. We need to reevaluate who is the
enemy, what are his tactics, and how do we adapt to it?"
was a wake-up call for Bush and his war cabinet, but the
president avoided mentioning it publicly. He flew to the Pacific
Northwest to give speeches on the environment. Two days after
the NSC meeting, a reporter asked him whether the conflict in
Iraq was becoming a guerrilla war against the West.
way I view this is Iraq is turning out to be a continuing battle
in the war on terror," Bush said. "You know, it's one
thing to remove the Saddarn Hussein regime from power in order
to protect America and our friends and allies, which we did. And
then there are - we found resistance from former Baathist
officials. These people decided that, well; they'd rather fight
than work for peaceful reconstruction of Iraq because they
weren't going to be in power anymore. I also believe there's a
foreign element that is moving into Iraq and these will be
al-Qaeda - type fighters. They want to fight us there because
they can't stand the thought of a free society in the Middle
East. They hate freedom. They hate
the thought of a democracy emerging. And therefore, they want to
violently prevent that
He added in a radio
address on August 23 that the picture in most of Iraq
was rosy, despite the attack on the U.N. "There is steady
movement toward reconstruction and a stable, self-governing
society. This progress makes the remaining terrorists even more
desperate and willing to lash out against symbols of order and
hope, like coalition forces and U.N. personnel.
The world will not be intimidated. A violent few will not
determine the future of Iraq, and there will be no return to the
days of Saddam Hussein’s torture chambers and mass graves.”
Page 285 to 286
February 5, Silberman was over at the White House, meeting with
Card to work out the particulars.
just got the most extraordinary phone call from Tom Foley, that
he couldn't serve," Card said. News of his participation on
the mission had leaked to the press, and Foley had come under
pressure from congressional Democrats not to participate.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, the San Francisco Democrat,
had convinced Foley to back out, Card said, arguing that the
presidential commission was designed to give Bush political
cover on the failure to find WMD nearly a year after the Iraq
commission appointed and controlled by the White House will not
have the independence or credibility necessary to investigate
these issues," wrote Pelosi and two senior Senate
Democrats, Minority Leader Tom Daschle and Senator John D.
Rockefeller IV; the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence
Committee, in a letter to Bush. "Even some of your own
statements and those of Vice President Cheney need independent
they had convinced Foley not to lend his name to the effort.
Card said the president was disappointed.
and Cheney dropped by Card's office.
do you think, Larry?" the president asked. "Do you
want to be chairman by yourself?"
not sure that's wise," Silberman replied. "I was
appointed as a Republican. I'll be perceived as a Republican. I
think there ought to be a co-chairman."
think so too," Bush said. Bush, Cheney, Card and Silberman
started to brainstorm for a co-chair who could give the
commission some political balance and themselves
political cover. "
about Chuck Robb? Bush suggested. Charles S. Robb was a former
Democratic governor and senator from Virginia, and son-in-law of
Lyndon Johnson. Robb had been a Marine captain in
Vietnam, and as a senator for 12 years, from 1989 to
2001; he had served on each of the key national security
committees - Foreign Relations, Armed Services and Intelligence.
was viewed as a moderate, even conservative Democrat. He was
known in Virginia as an almost-republican. He had supported the
1991 Persian Gulf War and criticized President Clinton's
decision to rule out
troops in Kosovo in 1999.
president called Robb, who agreed to serve.
Cheney, Card and Silberman then reviewed some lists of names to
fill out the commission. Silberman knew they would need at least
one real, liberal Democrat and so he suggested Judge Patricia
Wald, a Carter appointee with whom he had served on the federal
appeals court. The two were ideological opposites, but Silberman
said he had enormous respect for her.
intelligence, courage and integrity," he said. "Well,
it's your pick," Card responded.
when Karl Rove heard about the Democrats on the committee, he
was taken aback.
Wald?" Rove joked to Bush in disbelief. "Don't you
remember, Mr. President? Back in the antediluvian age, she was a
told Rice that he didn't want a congressional investigation that
resembled the Church and Pike committees after Watergate in
1975-76 that exposed CIA and NSA spying on U.S. citizens, drug
testing and assassination plots of foreign leaders including
Cuba's Fidel Castro. The president
thought those investigations had been witch hunts. They had
demoralized the CIA and had wound up limiting presidential
DEMOCRATIC LEADERS in the House and Senate wanted to model the
WMD investigation on the 9/11 Commission created by law, with
the president and Congress each appointing half its members.
Massachusetts Senator John F. Kerry, who was emerging as the
leader in the race for the Democratic nomination for president,
called for an independent inquiry into the WMD intelligence.
goes to the core of why the nation went to war," he said.
"If there is that kind of failure, the kind of separation
between the truth of what the CIA tells the White House and what
happens, then we have to separate that investigation from the
White House so the American people get the truth."
president was not about to lose control of the investigation. At
1:30 P.M. Friday, February 6, he took the podium in the White
House press briefing room to announce that he was signing an
executive order appointing nine people to the Silberman-Robb
Commission. They would have broad authority not just to look at
Iraq WMD intelligence, but to study WMD intelligence worldwide
and look at all U.S. intelligence capabilities and
Blackwill was handed the U.N. task. Not surprisingly he found
that Cheney and Rumsfeld were not enthusiastic at all.
"We'll get the U.N. in," Rumsfeld warned Blackwill,
"and we'll lose control."
but I think we can manage it," Blackwill insisted, and he
went on a recruiting drive. He zeroed in on Lakhdar Brahimi, a
former Algerian foreign minister who had headed the U.N. mission
in Afghanistan for two years. In Blackwill's view, Brahimi, a
70-year-old secular Sunni, was a world-class diplomat, the kind
of person who could really help with everything from funding, to
stability to elections.
not," Brahimi said, when Blackwill solicited his help.
Brahimi detested the American approach and did not want to
become an enabler of or spokesman for U.S. Iraq policy.
Blackwill kept up the diplomatic courtship. In January, Brahimi
became top adviser to Secretary General Kofi Annan on peace and
security. Though he resisted focusing primarily on Iraq in his
new job, Blackwill and Rice invited him to the White House to
press him to help with Iraq. Powell dropped by during the visit,
and Bush made time to talk with Brahimi too.
wooing worked, and Brahimi and Blackwill went to Iraq. The two
men virtually lived together there for three months. As
sovereignty was about to be transferred, Brahimi warned
Blackwill that something would have to be done for the Sunnis,
who had run things under Saddam. They were used to their
privileges - the first group of positions in the military
academy, the medical schools and just about everything else.
"If you got all these exiles," Brahimi said, referring
to the Shiites likely to rule, "none of whom have any real
political roots in this country, this thing is going to turn
into a terrible mess."
tried to reach out to the Sunnis, who were really only a fifth
of the population, and keep them involved. In one meeting with a
key Sunni leader, he said, "I want to reassure you that
it's our intent that the Sunnis in this new Iraq have in every
dimension a status and privileges consistent with their role and
number in Iraqi society."
Ambassador," the Sunni said, formally addressing the former
envoy to India, "you don't understand. We want to run
was a frightening moment for Blackwill, who sensed that it would
take a generation or two to get the Sunnis adjusted to majority
Page 302 to Page 303
voiced agreement and expressed immense frustration at Rumsfeld
and the Pentagon, but never said she would force the issue.
Blackwill, who still often referred to himself as Godzilla, was
no shrinking flower. As Rice's former boss in Bush senior's NSC,
he had an opportunity to press. But he didn't want to be so
coarse as to ask, "Well, what are you going to do about
it?" Rice had put up a slight wall, and Blackwill wanted to
be careful not to be seen as trying to penetrate her
relationship with the president.
also pressed Hadley about the military strategy. "If we
have a military strategy, I can't identify it," the deputy
national security adviser said. "I don't know what's worse
- that they have one and won't tell us or that they don't have
THEN THERE WAS poor Frank Miller, Blackwill thought, trying to
find solutions. Miller was indefatigable, trying to help the
troops in Iraq moving electrical generators or guarding
pipelines or securing transportation routes. Blackwill figured
he wasn't being paid enough to ever go to any of Miller's
meetings. They were exercises in frustration and futility.
had taken Blackwill a while to understand what was really wrong,
but now he felt he fully comprehended. There was no way that
Rice, Hadley, Miller or he could fix Iraq because they had no
control over the real problem: There were not enough troops.
Everyone got diverted, trying to solve derivatives of the real
problem. But those problems couldn't be solved until somebody
fixed the real problem of not having enough troops on the
of the top 10 to-do list he'd wanted after he had come back from
Iraq in March, Miller's reconstituted Executive Steering Group
now had a list of 90 things that were supposed to be completed
by June 30, a few
months away, when the transfer of sovereignty was scheduled.
he said again. We need to pick out the 10 most important.
Chairing the ESG was frustrating. Defense was increasingly out
of it. Feith sent a different person from his policy staff each
time. When Feith came, he'd refuse to discuss issues, saying he
hadn't talked with Rumsfeld about them and so, of course, he
couldn't engage. Then he'd come back with Rumsfeld's inflexible
thought he'd never seen a group of people less able to advance
their own interests. In the field the division commanders knew
what needed to be done, but they weren't getting support. Where
is the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Dick Myers? Miller
wondered. Why wasn't Meyers pounding the table saying, “Why
aren’t my soldiers supported?”
316 to 317
JULY 15, 2004, Steve Herbits, Rumsfeld's one-man think tank, sat
down at his computer and wrote a scathing seven-page report
entitled "Summary of Post-Iraq Planning and Execution
Problems." Though he discussed
the postwar planning and policies, and Bremer, his real target was
his friend of 37 years, Don Rumsfeld. The memo listed a series
of tough questions:
"Why didn't Rumsfeld supervise him [Bremer] the way he did
made the decision and why didn't we reconstitute the Iraqi
no one realize we were going to need Iraqi security
forces?" . "Did
no one anticipate the importance of stabilization and how best
to achieve it?"
"Why was the de-Baathification so wide and deep?"
style of operation," Herbits wrote, was the "Haldeman
model, arrogant," referring to Nixon's White House chief of
staff, H. R. "Bob" Haldeman.
contrary to popular image," Herbits wrote of Rumsfeld.
"Would not accept that some people in some areas were
smarter than he . . . . Trusts very few people. Very, very
glove syndrome" - a tendency not to leave his fingerprints
was "often abusive" in meetings. "He diminished
important people in front of others.
had a prosecutor's interrogation style. While he was trying to
improve product - and his questioning almost always did - his
style became counterproductive Summary: Did Rumsfeld err with
the fundamental political calculation of this administration:
not getting the post-Iraq rebuilding process right within 18
WENT TO SEE BUSH alone in early June. He had to get out. His
doctor had told him he was jeopardizing his health. He'd had a
heart attack years ago when he'd been on the Clinton NSC staff.
said he didn't want any member of his war cabinet leaving now,
in the election year.
knew he and the CIA were targets. The Senate Intelligence
Committee was investigating Iraq WMD, Silberman and Robb were
investigating. The 9/11 Commission report was coming out soon.
He insisted that he was out.
president had no choice. . The June 4 Washington Post front-page
headline read, "Tenet Resigns as CIA Director; Intelligence
Chief Praised by Bush, but Critics Cite Lapses on Iraq
War." Tenet had given a tearful speech at the CIA
headquarters in Langley, Virginia, the day before, saying he was
leaving because he wanted to spend more time with his wife and
teenage son, who would be leaving for college the following
year. He had been director for seven years, under two
presidents, and had seen the agency for better or worse through
both 9/11 and the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. On July 11, he
officially left office.
days later, the 9/11 Commission released its report. Among its
many recommendations was the creation of a director of national
intelligence who would oversee the entire intelligence
community, including the CIA.
334 to Page 337
few more weeks went by. Now the plan was stalled by the State
Department, which was concerned about transferring sensitive
U.S. military technology to a foreign government. Finally, at
the end of December, they repainted three C-130s with Iraqi
flags on the tails.
thought that wasn't too bad a record. Three months was an
accomplishment. But Miller thought it was ridiculous that it
took this much effort to get a simple presidential order carried
out in the spirit in which it was issued. The snail's pace was
not because nobody gave a damn - though Miller thought it sure
looked that way at times. It was because too often no one was
made responsible and then held responsible.
complaints finally got some attention at the Pentagon. Myers
called to declare, "We've got a master plan."
went over to the Pentagon for a briefing, taking Miller and
O'Sullivan with him. Skip Sharp, who headed the plans and policy
directorate, gave them a presentation with 60 or 70 items that
he said needed to be
accomplished in Iraq. It was another ponderous list of basic
security issues. Each item was marked with the familiar
stoplight red, yellow or green, marking alleged progress.
the end of the Pentagon meeting, Hadley said to Miller,
"Here, Frank, take it. Keeper of the lists. Take it."
knew that the State Department had a very similar list. So much
of it was the same-worthy goals such as getting the electricity
working, building sewer lines, and putting Iraqis back to work.
Make sure that there are embassy representatives with each of
the military commanders, the State Department list said, and
that each embassy representative has someone from USAID with
them. But the list never really got reduced to eight or 10
BANDAR AND HIS AIDE, Rihab Massoud, had half a dozen meetings
with President Bush in 2004.
Bush's deep religious convictions came
up time and time again, and he talked about his faith and his
relationship with God. The president made it clear that he felt
no doubt that a higher authority was looking after him and
guiding him. "I get guidance from God in prayer," he
said, and mentioned a number of times that he had asked for,
prayed for and received such guidance.
NOTE: FAITH IS NOT GOING TO WIN THIS WAR - ITS PLAIN AND SIMPLE
Lord had played an important part in his life, Bush said, and
prayer was a significant element of his daily routine. It helped
him, he said, and gave him comfort. He made it clear that he
felt the burdens that God had put on his shoulders as president.
Bush said he relied on his faith to carry him through.
Bush saw or talked with the Crown Prince he referred to their
shared, deep belief in God. The Crown Prince sent Bush a prayer,
which the president told Bandar he used.
is the most precious thing I ever got," the president said.
THE TWO MONTHS before the presidential election, Bush would be
campaigning almost nonstop. Rice decided that either she, Hadley
or Bob Blackwill would travel with the president wherever he
Rice was giving her own speeches around the country - a
controversial role for a national security adviser -and Hadley
was much more of the nuts-and-bolts NSC manager, the campaign
travel duty often fell to Blackwill. He got up at 4:30 each
morning so he could go over
the President's Daily Brief with the CIA before Bush received
focus was whether anything in the PDB could cause difficulty in
the campaign. What was out there that might suddenly surface as
an election issue? He gave special attention to intelligence
reports on possible terrorist attacks in the U.S.
The daily campaign
routine began after Bush heard the PDB briefing-which
took 20 to 25 minutes before 7 A.M. Then he and his entourage
headed out to Andrews Air Force Base. There usually were six or
seven events scheduled, in as many as three states, with
helicopters flying Bush from one event to the next. The stops were often an hour or less. Bush landed, made his speech, and then was back in the air.
Karen Hughes, Bush's longtime aide and communications
adviser, spent the travel time writing Bush's remarks and
rewriting his stump speech. Karl Rove would be pushing campaign
strategy on the president, calibrating the impact of
presidential visits in the key battleground states.
you go to this stop in Ohio you can catch the tip of West
Virginia," Rove told Bush in one such instance.
was struck that there was never any real time to discuss policy.
In between the stops or in the air, whenever Iraq came up, it
was always through the prism of the campaign. What had the
Democratic nominee, Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, said that
day about Iraq? What had happened on the ground in Iraq that
might impact the president's bid for reelection? As the NSC
coordinator for Iraq, Blackwill probably knew as much about the
war as anybody in the White House.
had spent months in Iraq with Bremer. But he was with the
campaign only as part of the politics of reelection.
Not once did Bush ask Blackwill what things were like in Iraq,
what he had seen, or what should be done. Blackwill was
astonished at the round-the-clock, all-consuming focus on
winning the election. Nothing else came close.
the days and weeks just before Election Day, violence surged in
Iraq. The classified figures showed that the number of insurgent
attacks in Iraq had soared over the summer, going from 1,750 or
so in June and July to more than 3,000 in August. In September
there was some hope, as the number of attacks fell to
just over 2,000, but in October they were back up to about
violence was now 10 times worse than it had been when Bush
landed on the aircraft carrier in May 2003 and declared that
major combat was over. New Iraqi army and police units rolling
out of training were being butchered. Insurgents were
getting reliable intelligence and acting on it. In Diyala
Province, about 100 miles northeast of Baghdad,
insurgents dressed as Iraqi police set up a false checkpoint on
October 23. They grabbed 49 new Iraqi soldiers off a bus,
forced them to lie down, and executed them with bullets to the
head. Between 30 and 50 percent of all trained Iraqi
units melted away and went home.
was clear to Blackwill that things weren't going well. For over
a year he had been baffled there was no military strategy. Again
and again, Bush talked about Iraq strategy in his campaign
speeches, but never gave specifics. He talked about goals,
expressed his optimism and determination, and gave pep talks.
"We have a strategy that says to our commanders, adapt to
the ways on the ground," Bush said in a September 23 speech
in Bangor, Maine. "The way to prevail, the way toward the
successful conclusion we all want, the way to secure Iraq and
bring our troops home is not to wilt or waver or send mixed
signals to the enemy. We can grieve, but we will not
had taught strategy at Harvard. Strategy involves a series of
actions to achieve a goal and entails answering questions
such as: What is going to be done? By whom?
When? Where? How? The president, whom Blackwill liked and
respected as a political leader, instead talked about winning
and goals. But as Blackwill taught in his class,
"Aspirations aren't strategy." The administration had
no real strategy, he concluded.
had made it clear that her authority did not extend to Rumsfeld
or the military, so Blackwill never forced the issue with her.
Still, he wondered
why the president never challenged the military. Why didn't he
say to General Abizaid at the end of one of his secure video
let's have another of these on Thursday and what I really
want, from you is please explain to me, let's take an hour and a
half, your military strategy for victory."
of a strategy in Iraq and the worsening situation on the ground
never quite grabbed hold in the campaign. Part of that had to do
with skillful politics. The public learned of specific,
spectacular violence through news reports. But the real evidence
of just how badly things were going-the data and trends on the
violence, the number and the effectiveness of the
enemy-initiated attacks-was all kept classified, hid- den away
from the voting public.
364 to 366
worst thing, Armitage said, would be for a deputy to be promoted
to the top spot. "Don't do it," Armitage warned.
said he agreed. The number one and the number two jobs were
different, requiring different skills. He also felt that it was
important for a second-term president to demonstrate that he was
robust and powerful, that he could bring in people even more
qualified for the top jobs than the people leaving. He called
this the "oh, wow'~ factor. Finding new, true heavyweights
for the top posts would generate it’s own momentum and
also agreed the president ought to replace most of his national
security team. They had a lot of baggage, especially the Iraq
War. Bush needed a clean start. In the first term he hadn't had
the diplomacy of the country harnessed behind his agenda, Hadley
believed, and Powell had only carried out a modified version of
Bush's agenda. It was often too much Powell, and not enough
Bush. Powell was too independent- minded. So it made sense to
make Rice secretary of state.
Rumsfeld was a managerial and bureaucratic lone ranger. No one
would call Rumsfeld a team player, and he wasn't going to
change. He continued to disparage the NSC and the interagency
process on both the largest and smallest matters. Hadley was
known to refer sarcastically in private to "the great Don
joined the parade who told Bush he needed a new national
security team. But Bush had different ideas, and he asked Hadley
to move up to fill Rice's shoes as national security adviser.
"I need you to do this," the president said.
summons-and opportunity-for presidential service at this level
could not be refused, at least not by Hadley.
it's ironic, isn't it," Hadley later said to Armitage,
"that I find myself in this position."
Armitage said. "I don't know whether to congratulate you or
offer you condolences."
said he wasn't sure himself.
HARD DUTY OF INFORMING Colin Powell that he was out fell to
Card. He phoned Powell and invited him to his West Wing office.
president wants to make a change," Card said, delivering
the classic line.
fine. We talked about that," Powell replied.
president is likely to name Condi. I'm pretty sure it's going to
be Condi. Obviously something could happen between now and the
time it does, but I think it's going to happen, and you should
plan on it."
Powell asked, "when do you want my letter?"
you get the letter to me, I will hold it. No one will know I
have It." ~
release it only at a mutually agreed-on time.
a lot coming up right now," Powell said. "We've got
all the meetings in
December, all the ministerial meetings, a lot of other things
coming along." There were NATO conferences, an annual
summit in Chile, a
December gathering of Arab leaders in Morocco. The Iraqi
elections would be January 30. "Do you want to wait and let
me go through all
Card replied, and said there were going to be other cabinet
changes too. "The president thinks if we're going to do it
and we're doing all the others, we ought to do them all at
there going to be a change at the Defense Department?"
haven't seen any indication of that yet," Card replied.
Powell understood. If all the cabinet changes were going to be
announced at once, and
yet there was no indication of a change at Defense, it meant
Rumsfeld was probably
staying. Clearly disappointed, Powell became much more emotional
than Card had expected.
suddenly became emotional for Card too. The meeting turned sad.
Nobody could have been a better secretary of state for Bush's
first four years, Card thought. Bush had come in with no foreign
policy expertise or interest, and he picked Powell, who was
known and respected in the United States and around the world.
Powell was no shoot-from-the-hip Texan. He'd been tested as
Reagan's national security adviser and as chairman of the Joint
Chiefs. Back in 2001, Powell was already thought of as a
statesman, and he had helped Bush clear lots of hurdles. But
Card did not think Powell would be right for the second term.
Maybe he would go on to be the secretary-general of the United
was a towering figure, and Card wanted him to leave at the top
of his game, but he thought the secretary of state was kind of
like a Hall of Fame-bound baseball player who wants one more
time at bat. It was sad, but not everyone could be Ted Williams
and go out with a home run.
made great contributions," Card said, trying to comfort.
"But we're going to another phase."
NOTE: TEARS WERE FALLING AT THIS POINT!
Card gave a full report to the president and recounted the
feeling of sadness and how Colin Powell was not Ted Williams.
was impatient as usual. He had picked Rice and she had accepted.
He wanted to get it announced. Where was Powell's resignation
waited several days and the letter didn't come. He called Powell
at home. It was a polite but curt conversation. Where's the
letter? "It's on its way," Powell said.
letter arrived Sunday, November 14. Two days later, Bush
announced Rice's nomination. He praised Powell, and in a single
paragraph announced that Hadley would be his new national
the president's father had confided that he was unhappy with
Rice. "Condi is a disappointment, isn't she?" the
former president had offered, adding, "She's not up to the
his military contacts, as far as Scowcroft could tell, General
Myers, the outgoing chairman of the JCS, was a broken man, a
General Pace was worse. Pace had watched Myers with Rumsfeld for
four years, knew exactly what he was getting into, and accepted
was the worst, Scowcroft felt. "What's happened to Dick
Cheney?" all the old hands were saying to him, the people
who'd known him for years. "It's a chorus. 'We don't know
this Dick Cheney.' "
was behaving as he always had, going back to the Ford
administration-"enigmatic, obstructionist, devious, never
knows what his game is." To Scowcroft, Rumsfeld was a
wholly negative force.
tragic, Scowcroft felt, was that the administration had believed
Saddam was running a modem, efficient state, and thought that
when he was toppled there would be an operating society left
behind. They hadn't seen that everything would collapse, and
that they would have to start from zero. They hadn't seen the
need for security, or that probably 90 - percent of the Iraqi
army could have been saved and used. So Iraqis now felt
overwhelmingly insecure. Without security there was little
opportunity to give people a stake in their society, little
reason for them to have a positive attitude. It seemed to
Scowcroft that the Iraqis were in despair.
the administration wouldn't reexamine or reevaluate its policy. As
he often said, "I just don't know how you operate unless
you continually challenge your own assumptions." Most
distressing to Scowcroft was to see his good friend and former
leader Bush senior, "41," as Scowcroft called him, in
"agony," "anguished" and
"tormented" by the war and what had happened
afterward. It was terrible. The father still wanted his son to
succeed. But what a tangled relationship! In his younger years,
Scowcroft thought, George W. couldn't decide whether he was
going to rebel against his father or try to beat him at his own
game. Now, he had tried at the game, and it was a disaster.
Scowcroft was sure that 41 would never have behaved this way -
"not in a million years."
other, bigger message in Bush's speech, however, was that the White
House was going to come out swinging at anyone who claimed Bush
and Cheney had misled the country before the war. The effect was
to equate criticism with undermining the troops.
it's perfectly legitimate to criticize my decision or the
conduct of the war, it
is deeply irresponsible to rewrite the history of how that war
began," Bush said, prompting applause from the audience of
troops and veterans. "The stakes in the global war on
terror are too high, and the national interest is too important,
for politicians to throw out false charges," he added, to
more applause. "These baseless attacks send the wrong
signal to our troops and to an enemy that is questioning
NOVEMBER 16, Cheney gave an address to a conservative
organization called the Frontiers of Freedom Institute, and
amplified Bush's challenge. The accusation that they had lied
was "one of the most dishonest and reprehensible charges
ever aired in this city," he said, adding, "The saddest
part is that our people in uniform have been subjected to these cynical
and pernicious falsehoods day in and day out. American soldiers
and Marines are out there every day in dangerous conditions and
desert temperatures-conducting raids, training Iraqi forces,
countering at- tacks, seizing weapons, and capturing killers-and
back home a few opportunists are suggesting they were sent into
battle for a lie. The President and I cannot prevent certain
politicians from losing their memory, or their backbone-but
we're not going to sit by and let them rewrite history."
day, the White House released a 5,OOO-word, point-by-point
rebuttal of a 913-word New York Times editorial that was
sharply critical of Bush's prewar WMD rhetoric, and the more
recent administration "claims that questioning his actions
three years ago is a betrayal of the troops in battle
NEXT DAY, Congressman Jack Murtha, a Pennsylvania Democrat,
introduced a resolution in Congress calling for American troops
in Iraq to be "redeployed"-the military term for
returning troops overseas to their home bases-"at the
earliest practicable date." Murtha, a former Marine Corps
drill instructor and the first Vietnam veteran elected to
Congress, had excellent sources among the armed forces. No one
had better credentials as a supporter of the military than the
series of videoconferences was set up so Hadley could talk at
length with Baghdad-the embassy and General Casey's command. He
got into SO much detail, drilled down so far, and had to pullout
so much information that the conferences were often not with
Casey or Khalilzad but with their deputies. The national
security adviser became, in effect, the mission manager for
Iraqi oil production quotas.
saw how awkward it was for Hadley to try to bridge Rice's and
Rumsfeld's views. He was not sure Hadley could succeed. After
weeks of work, Hadley came up with a plan that, at least on
paper, looked integrated with the six main parts. The new part
was a proposal to create rapid repair elements that could
quickly fix almost any damage inflicted by the insurgents, an
idea the government of Colombia had used in its battle against
repair units would be called Strategic Infrastructure Battalions
and would be comprised largely of Iraqi tribal-based forces that
the pipelines. Since there was some evidence that these
battalions had been complicit in the attacks, a whole new
retraining and vetting effort would be undertaken. In addition,
U.S. forces and regular Iraqi forces would be embedded or
partnered with the tribal units to increase their
effectiveness and monitor them.
other elements included: physically hardening. The pipelines;
building resilience and redundancy in the pipelines, including
pipelines that would run alongside the primary; ferreting out corruption
in the oil and electrical ministries; and improving intelligence
coordination. They would ask for $250 million in the supplemental
budget to fund it all.
asked that Rice and Rumsfeld be briefed separately. The plan was
presented as what one official called “a fully coordinated,
fully integrated, fully vetted, multi-pronged strategy to help
Iraqis address this problem."
seemed satisfied because the plan involved helping Iraqis get
an Iraqi solution. "We can't solve this for them, although
we can help them solve it."
three years after the invasion and two years after the transfer
of sovereignty, the administration was addressing the same
for the first three years suffered the equivalent of a 9/11
attack every week. You can imagine the traumatic effect a 9/11
attack being repeated weekly would have on American society.
Don't you think it's having a similar effect on Iraqi
dismissed the notion. "Wait a minute," Adelman
insisted. 'A former boss of mine always said identify three or
four things, then always ask about, get measurements and you'll
get progress or else you'll never get any progress." The former
boss was Rumsfeld himself, who had driven the point home to Adelman
35 years before, when he worked for Rumsfeld at the Office of
Economic Opportunity. What are they? Adelman insisted.
said it was so complicated that he could not give a list.
believed that meant there was a total lack of accountability. If
Rumsfeld didn't agree to any criteria, he couldn't be said to
have failed on any criteria.
you don't have anything," Adelman said. He left as
disturbed as ever. No accountability. When he had been
Rumsfeld's civilian assistant in the Ford administration, all
Rumsfeld had to do to be a great secretary
of defense was to bitch about Kissenger. It became his main occupation,
along with bashing the Soviet Union and stopping SALT II, the
treaty for strategic arms limitations.
Adelman thought, Rumsfeld's task was of greater strategic and
historical meaning. The Pentagon, Rumsfeld and Bush-to say
nothing of the very age in which they lived-would be remembered
for either winning or losing the Iraq War.
PRESIDENT MONITORED Khalilzad's efforts to put together a new
government. It was slow and tedious. Bush repeatedly reminded
his ambassador of the immense frustration in the U.S. People
want to see progress
in Iraq, he told Khalilzad, and it's hard to portray progress when
there's so much political wrangling around this new government.
Iranians started saying openly and emphatically that Jafari was
their candidate. For Washington, Iranian support for Jafari was
reason enough to dump him. Besides, nobody at the NSC could
think of a time when Jafari had taken a decisive stand on
addition, Jafari's crutch was Moqtada al-Sadr, who had supported
him early in the process.
WEEK RUMSFELD was holding three days of closed-door Pentagon
meetings with the combatant commanders and top civilians in
Defense. Before Rumsfeld, these regular meetings had been run by
the chairman of the Joint Chiefs. Rumsfeld now ran the meetings.
Jones, the NATO commander, told Pace he believed that Rumsfeld
so controlled everything, even at the earliest stages, that they
were not generating independent military advice as they had a
legal obligation to do. Rumsfeld was driving and affecting the
debates and decisions "politically." They, the
uniformed military, should be worried about the "political
spin," he said. He proposed that Pace meet alone with the
combatant commanders and service chiefs-without Rumsfeld,
without any Defense Department civilians. "I've got
issues," he said, that needed to be addressed and debated
without Rumsfeld present.”
agreed to hold a one-hour meeting one morning that week with
just the service chiefs and combatant commanders.
the meeting, Jones said he wanted to focus on one issue-the
value of forward basing. The Marines, Army, Navy and Air Force
had bases all over the world so they would be at trouble spots
to prevent conflict, se- cure borders, capture or defeat
terrorists. Rumsfeld's idea was to bring as many of the forces
as he could back to the United States. Jones argued that this
was altering the basic concept and premise of American global
presence. They had an obligation to state their views and fight
this new theology because it would weaken the position of the
United States in the world. A number of those present agreed in
principle, but no one seemed willing to take on the secretary of
court's decision was a major blow to the Bush administration's
ideas about fighting the war on terror. In the decision, the
High Court said that the administration had to adhere due
months earlier, on May 1, Rumsfeld had circulated a six-page secret
memo proposing some fixes, entitled "Illustrative New 21st
Institutions and Approaches."
was almost the latest version of the “Anchor Chain" memos
he had written in his first months as secretary in 2001-a cry
from his bureaucratic and managerial heart. Not only was the
Defense Department tangled in its anchor chain but so was the
rest of the U.S. government, and the world.
Like Andy Card,
Rumsfeld was sensitive to the charge of incompetence.
He dictated, "The charge of incompetence against the U.S.
government should be easy to rebut if the American people
understand the extent to which the current system of government
makes competence next to impossible."
THE END OF THE SECOND INTERVIEW I quoted former Secretary of
Defense Robert McNamara, 'Any military commander who is honest
with you will say he's made mistakes that have cost lives."
"Urn hmm," Rumsfeld said.
don't know. I suppose that a military commander-"
you are," I interrupted.
I'm not," the secretary of defense, said. "Yes,
sir," I said.
no. Well . . ."
"Yes. Yes," I said,
raising my hand in the air and ticking off the hierarchy.
"It's commander in chief, secretary of defense, combatant
can see a military commander in a uniform who is engaged in a
conflict having to make decisions that result in people living
or dying and that that would be a truth. And certainly if you go
up the chain to the civilian side to the president and to me,
you could by indirection, two or three steps removed, make the
Two or three steps removed? It
was inexplicable. Rumsfeld had spent so much time insisting on
the chain of command. He was in control – not the Joint
Chiefs, not the uniformed military, not the NSC or the NSC
Staff, not the critics or the opiners.
How could he not see his role and responsibility?
could think of nothing more to sat.
VIVIDLY REMEMBERED how he had told me in an earlier interview, 'A
president has got to be the calcium in the backbone." His
rhetoric on postwar Iraq was right out of that "calcium in
the backbone" script. All the perpetually upbeat talk and
optimism-from "Mission Accomplished," through "stay
the course" and "when they stand up, we'll stand
down," his proclamations that he'd stay on the same path even
if only the first lady and his dog supported him, the talk about
turning points and turned corners, and the barbs that suggested
anyone who questioned his strategy in Iraq did not support the
troops and instead wanted America to "cut and run" or
"surrender to the terrorists"-it was the same play, over
and over. His strategy was to make repeated declarations of
optimism and avoid adding to any doubts.
researching and reporting for a newspaper series in The
and my two
previous books on Bush's war decisions, I interviewed him four
times-December 2001, August 2002, and finally twice in December
2003. The transcripts for the combined seven and a half hours of
interviews run hundreds of pages.
were the days when Bush was a popular president - post 9/11, and
later during the first nine months after the Iraq invasion. As the
war dragged on, as
Americans and Iraqis continued to die, and as Bush's approval
ratings dropped dramatically in 2005 and 2006, so did my chances
of getting another interview with him.
asked repeatedly for the opportunity to talk with Bush. In
February 2006, Dan Bartlett said he and Hadley would continue to
help me but the president probably would not be interviewed. I
interviewed key members of the administration many times and
reviewed thousands of pages of documents. By the summer of 2006,
Rumsfeld had talked with me on the record for two afternoons, but
Bartlett and Hadley had gone radio-silent and would not return my
early as 2005, I had learned, Hadley was leaning against further
White House cooperation. He knew the issues and events I was pursuing
and the kinds of questions I was asking: What is the strategy for
victory in Iraq? Didn't anyone at the White House notice that the
actions being implemented on the ground in the months after the
invasion were almost diametrically opposed to the plan that had
been briefed to Bush?
was Rumsfeld telling Bush? What was Cheney telling Bush? What did
Bush decide? What did he neglect? When did the administration
begin to realize that they were dealing with a monumental task,
and that major combat was not over? When did they realize that
there would likely never be weapons of mass destruction found in
Iraq? Are things really as good in Iraq as the top civilian and
military officials in the U.S. government keep insisting publicly?
going through my mind is this is just going to be great,"
Hadley said sarcastically to a colleague in October 2005. My book
Iraq, he said, would be published in 2006, after Jerry
Bremer's book. "So,
let's see, this is going to be an issue. So we will go into the
'06 congressional elections with a raging debate on everybody who
will say politically, 'I was with the administration. I wouldn't
have gone into Iraq but I recognized how important it was. And if
the administration had had a plan and if they had any competence
at all I would have stayed with them. But as it is they clearly
didn't have one. This is an incompetent ad- ministration. Iraq is
the most important issue. I support the troops. I understand the
importance of the mission, but given the incompetence of this
administration, as demonstrated by
the Bremer and the Woodward books,
we have no choice but to throw the Republicans out and bring the
troops home.' I mean, this is really going to be awful."
sighed. Later, he picked up the theme again, telling his
colleague, "I've got to help this president get through what
is going to be a really
rugged three years. And if the Democrats take over the
House and the Senate it's going be unbelievable after 2006."
adviser understandably wanted to win the 2006 congressional
elections. Having the president answer questions about Iraq was
conspicuously inconsistent with that goal. The strategy was
all Bush's upbeat talk and optimism, he had not told the American
public the truth about what Iraq had become.
RAPTOR NOTE: WOW!
Sunday June 24th, 2007
Background: The Bush White House had
appointed Paul Bremer to become the President's envoy in
Iraq. He was scheduled to begin his tour of duty on May
14th, 2003. Bremer was under the gun to turn the post
invasion situation into a positive for soon to be US public
relations debacle. Being replaced was Retired Army
General Jay Garner, considered by many in the Bush camp to be a
weak link in the transition...Read On.
"About 7 AM on May 14th, Bremer's first
full day in Baghdad, Robin Raphel ran up to Garner.
"Have you seen this?", she asked. " No",
Garner replied. " I don't know what the hell you've got
there." " It's a de-Baathification policy", she
said, handing him a two page document.
Garner read quickly: "Coalition
Provisional Order Number 1 - De-Baathification of Irqui
Society." The Baath Party was organized by rank, and
the order said that all "full members" - those in the
top four ranks - would be immediately removed from their posts and
banned from future government employment. Additionally, the
top three layers of management in the ministries would be
investigated for crimes and as possible security risks.
Garner then spoke with various entrenched
agents from the CIA and Bremer to soften the harshness of the
order. "Absolutely not", Bremer said.
"Those are my instructions and I intend to execute
them." "Hell," Garner answered, "you
won't be able to run anything if you go this deep." A
CIA station chief stated that "If you put this out, you're
going to drive up to 50,000 Baathists underground that were the
most powerful, well connected elites from all walks of life.
Garner called Secretary of Defense, Donald
Rumsfeld to obtain some guidance on this matter. Rumsfeld
stonewalled the matter and stated that the order came from
"somewhere else." Garner was stunned.
Raptor note: Paul; Bremer and Donald Rumsfeld
did such a good job with the Iraq War that they have been awarded
the "Presidential Medal Of Freedom.
Garner spoke with Bremer again the following
day due to order #2 which disbanded the Iraqi ministries of
Defense and Interior, the entire Iraqi military, and all of
Saddam's bodyguard. Garner was stunned
Raptor note: Garner was easily stunned.
May 29th, 2007
Submitted here are excerpts from the Woodward
Well into the Afgan bombing campaign, Paul
Wolfowitz, the Deputy Sec Def, called an old friend, Chris DeMuth,
the longtime president of the American Enterprise Institute, the
conservative Washington think tank. Just before coming to
the Pentagon, Wolfowitz had been Dean of the Paul H. Nitze School of
Advanced International Studies at John Hopkins University in
Washington, known as SAIS. AEI and SAIS, just blocks from
each other, were the forum for lots of intellectual
The U.S. government, especially the Pentagon,
is incapable of producing the kinds of ideas and strategy needed
to deal with a crisis of the magnitude of 9/11, Wolfowitz told DeMuth. He needed to reach outside to tackle the biggest
questions. Who are the terrorists? Where did this come
from? How does it relate to Islamic history, the history of the
Middle East, and contemporary Middle East tensions? What are
we up against here?
Wolfowitz said he was thinking along the
lines of Bletchley Park, the team of mathematicians and
cryptologists the British set up during World War II to break up
the ULTRA German communications code. Could DeMuth quickly
put together a skilled group to produce a report for the
president, Cheney, Powell, Rumsfeld, Rice and Tenet?
Asking a think tank if it would be willing to
strategize for the top policy-makers in a time of extraordinary
crisis was like asking General Motors if they would be willing to
sell a million more cars. DeMuth, a smooth, debonair lawyer
trained at the University of Chicago Law School and expert on
government regulation, readily agreed. AEI was practically
the intellectual farm team and retirement home for Washington
conservatives. Among it's scholars and fellows were former
House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Lynne Cheney, the wife of the
vice-president. Cheney himself had been an AEI fellow
between his stints as secretary of defense and president and CEO
of the giant defense contractor, Halliburton.
DeMuth recruited a dozen people and on
Thursday November 29th, 2001 the group met at a secure conference
center for a weekend of discussion. This study group
developed a seven page report called "Delta of
Terrorism". It concluded that " What we saw on
9/11 and the less dramatic attacks of the 90's like the USS Cole,
manifest that a war was going on within Islam-across the
region. It was a deep problem, and 9/11 was not an isolated
action that called for policing and crime fighting.
It concluded that the United States was in
for a two generation battle with radical Islam.
Raptor note - Wolfowitz, Gingrich, Dick
& Lynne Cheney, Rumsfeld, Powell, Rice and Tenet?????- I think I am
going to throw up! When the "Best And The Brightest"
thought they could win the Vietnam War, they probably worked a
fellowship or two at AEI! What really makes me ill is how
"suits" cook up policy and then jamb it down our
The memo also concluded that a confrontation
with Saddam was inevitable. Hussein was a gathering threat
and he would have to leave the scene before the problem could be
addressed. Copies of the memo, straight from the
noeconservative playbook, were hand delivered to the war
cabinet. Cheney was pleased with the memo, it had a strong
impact on President Bush and Condi Rice found it very, very
persuasive. Again...I am going to throw up!