SLEEPWALKING THROUGH HISTORY….According to the New York Times, Bob Woodward’s sources in his latest book, State of Denial, are now telling him that the Bush administration was not quite the well-oiled machine that he reported earlier:
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. The American commander for the Middle East, Gen. John P. Abizaid, is reported to have told visitors to his headquarters in Qatar in the fall of 2005 that ?Rumsfeld doesn?t have any credibility anymore? to make a public case for the American strategy for victory in Iraq.
….[In September 2003] Robert D. Blackwill, then the top Iraq adviser on the National Security Council…concluded that more ground troops, perhaps as many as 40,000, were desperately needed….The White House did nothing in response.
….The book describes a deep fissure between Colin L. Powell, Mr. Bush?s first secretary of state, and Mr. Rumsfeld….[Andrew] Card then made a concerted effort to oust Mr. Rumsfeld at the end of 2005, according to the book, but was overruled by President Bush, who feared that it would disrupt the coming Iraqi elections and operations at the Pentagon.
There’s more, and the Washington Post has its own book plug here, with presumably more extensive excerpts planned for Sunday. Bottom line: Powell didn’t get along with Rumsfeld, Rumsfeld didn’t get along with Rice, Cheney didn’t get along with anyone, the war was going to hell the entire time, and Bush was sleeping through the whole thing. Cheers!