Asked by the nation’s premier investigative reporter if he had sought his dad’s advice before invading
The 41st president of the
Bob Woodward’s shoe-leather reporting is as thorough as when he and Carl Bernstein broke the Watergate scandal 30 years ago. And Woodward’s 75-odd interviews with members of this administration’s inner sanctums, Bush included, nail down the most notable fact of this presidency – it’s a top-down affair. President Bush doesn’t readily consult or even take directions from his Cabinet, much less from his neoconservative minions.
In Woodward’s words, “Bush is in charge. Bush is all over it.”
Described as Woodward’s “most powerful and persuasive book in years,” Democrats and Republicans are touting it on their respective websites. Cleaving to facts as it does, the Woodward volume is an antidote to the conspiracy kooks’ logically lame fulminations, that this was a war by a Jewish neocon cabal for the benefit – and at the behest – of
Those who saw “Jewish machinations” – where there were only officials who happened to be Jewish – accused these Jews of taking Americans to war to “build [a] greater
Indeed, “Just five days after Sept. 11, the president [my emphasis] indicated to National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice that he was determined to do something about Saddam Hussein.” On Nov. 21, 2001, the man who characterized his war as “the story of the 21st Century,” demanded an invasion plan from Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. “Get on it,” the president commanded. Gen. Tommy Franks was then given carte blanche to develop such a strategy, for which the president, unbeknownst to Congress, siphoned $700 million from a supplemental appropriation for the Afghan War.
Woodward’s Gulf War II cast of characters is even better than the Watergate lineup. These include:
- The squabbling exiles. Contra the conspiracy-mongers, it was not the Israelis, but the leader of the Iraqi National Congress, Ahmed Chalabi, and other defectors who fed the administration fabricated information about weapons of mass destruction.
- The “Rock Stars,” members of an Iraqi-based Muslim sect hired by the CIA to help topple Saddam.
- Two Kurdish groups with whom recruitment agreements were signed.
Codename “Saul,” Woodward’s latest “Deep Throat,” a CIA secret agent who urged invasion. “Saul” is Cuban (in case you anticipated an Israeli from the Shin Bet).
Bush’s handiwork was all over this last initiative as well. On Feb. 16, 2002, he signed a “Top Secret intelligence order” granting authority to the CIA and the military to commence covert operations in
Dec. 21, 2002, saw CIA Director George Tenet and his deputy John McLaughlin summoned to the Oval Office to screen a slideshow of
Puppet masters were nowhere apparent when, in January 2003, Bush told no one but Rice and Rumsfeld he had made up his mind: It’s war. Almost as an afterthought, Rice reminded him to apprise Colin Powell. But another dignitary perused the top secret war plans first. No, the blueprints were not shown to Ariel Sharon. Marked explicitly “Nonforn” (not to be viewed by any foreign national), the plans were shared with …
After Powell was finally briefed – a 12-minute meeting! – he warned Bush: “You know, you’re going to be owning this place [
“Plan of Attack” proves
©By ILANA MERCER
April 23, 2004