Woodward: Bush lying about Iraq violence
“I will not withdraw even if Laura and Barney are the only ones supporting me.”
— Bush to key Republican leaders on his desire to “stay the course” in Iraq — no matter what, in Bob Woodward’s new book, State of Denial
That Dear Leader and his failed administration are trying to conceal the level of violence going on in Iraq is pretty much a given. What news reports we do see point out the obvious failure of this administration to be honest about a situation that is spinning out of control. Woodward’s book makes it clear that urgent warnings back in 2003 about the insurgency were simply ignored, as Bush insisted the message had to be that things were peachy in IED land.
Perhaps Woodward’s now trying to sharpen his teeth after for going soft on the administration re: the Plame Affair. (NYT):
The book says President Bush’s top advisers were often at odds among themselves, and sometimes were barely on speaking terms, but shared a tendency to dismiss as too pessimistic assessments from American commanders and others about the situation in Iraq.
As late as November 2003, Mr. Bush is quoted as saying of the situation in Iraq: “I don’t want anyone in the cabinet to say it is an insurgency. I don’t think we are there yet.”
Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld is described as disengaged from the nuts-and-bolts of occupying and reconstructing Iraq — a task that was initially supposed to be under the direction of the Pentagon — and so hostile toward Condoleezza Rice, then the national security adviser, that President Bush had to tell him to return her phone calls.
Cheney comes off as a Dr. Strangelove freakshow:
Vice President Cheney is described as a man so determined to find proof that his claim about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq was accurate that, in the summer of 2003, his aides were calling the chief weapons inspector, David Kay, with specific satellite coordinates as the sites of possible caches. None resulted in any finds.
Rumsfeld is perceived by some in the admin as off his rocker.
Mr. Rumsfeld reached into political matters at the periphery of his responsibilities, according to the book. At one point, Mr. Bush traveled to Ohio, where the Abrams battle tank was manufactured. Mr. Rumsfeld phoned Mr. Card to complain that Mr. Bush should not have made the visit because Mr. Rumsfeld thought the heavy tank was incompatible with his vision of a light and fast military of the future. Mr. Woodward wrote that Mr. Card believed that Mr. Rumsfeld was “out of control.”
Bush and Rumsfeld refused to sit for an interview, but as usual, Woodward got a lot of the administration higher-ups to talk about the dysfunctional relationships in the White House that have brought us to where we are today.