Saturday, April 17, 2004

Woodward's Plan of Attack

Continuing where Bush At War left off, Bob Woodward is set to release a new book which probes George Bush's handling of the Iraq mess. The major revelation thus far is that Bush charged Rumsfeld with drawing up a war plan as early as November 2001, something done outside the purview of Congress and even some members of Bush's cabinet. The plan also drew on funds that were actually allocated for operations in Afghanistan.

An extended article about Woodward's findings from the Washington Post outlines some of the faultlines in the administration, most of which have been reported (or at least hinted at) elsewhere: Powell hates Cheney; a possessed Cheney and his minions (Wolfowitz, Feith, and Libby) led the march to war; Condi Rice was in the dark for quite a while.

Interestingly, the Post article even reveals Powell felt Cheney and his boys "had established what amounted to a separate government" with Doug Feith's Policy Counterterrorism Evaluation Group, which eventually mutated into the Office of Special Plans. Powell went as far as to call Feith's setup a "Gestapo" office.

Nonetheless, the Good General decided to throw his hat into the ring by lobbying for the war before the UN in February 2003, armed with "slam dunk" evidence against Hussein's regime provided by Tenet's CIA. And, well, we all know how that turned out.

The book, titled Plan of Attack, is set for release next week. Woodward will do the customary appearance on CBS' 60 Minutes this Sunday, and will likely unveil further details, most of which do not portray the administration in glowing terms and confirm for the umpeenth time that Iraq was in the crosshairs all along.

The funny thing about Woodward is that while he's an establishment journalist who has been given unprecedented access to the Bush administration because he can be frequently relied upon to fawn in the face of power, it looks like there might be enough material in this new book alone to start impeachment proceedings. Of course, that won't happen, but I suppose we can dream.