I agree with Bush: Read
Bob Woodward’s book
strange enough that President Bush would recommend any book. After all, he
admits he never even reads a newspaper, let alone tackles an entire book.
even more strange that he would recommend reading Bob Woodward's latest book,
"Plan of Attack," which hit bookstores this week. But there it is: No. 1 on the
"Suggested Reading List" of the official Bush/Cheney 2004 Web site - ahead of
books by such adoring acolytes as Karen Hughes, Mary Matalin, Lynne Cheney and
I agree with President Bush. In fact, I second the motion. Read Bob Woodward's
book. I already have. And if every American voter did, John Kerry would win by a
no book by a disgruntled former employee. Bob Woodward is the most respected,
and best connected, investigative reporter in the country. President Bush likes
Woodward so much he gave him two, unprecedented, interviews, totaling three and
half hours - and instructed the rest of his team to do likewise.
of Attack," you do not read how Woodward thinks the decision was made to invade
Iraq. You read how George Bush, Dick Cheney, Colin Powell, Donald Rumsfeld,
Condoleezza Rice, Andy Card, George Tenet, Gen. Tommy Franks and others told him
decisions were made. And his tale is frightening.
Woodward we learn, first of all, that Richard Clarke was right. Clarke was
denounced by the White House for suggesting that the Bush administration was
asleep at the switch during the months leading up to Sept. 11. Yet Woodward
confirms that, despite a warning to the president from CIA Director George Tenet
naming al-Qaida as the most serious threat facing the United States, four
meetings of agency deputies were held in the summer of 2001 with zero discussion
of Osama bin Laden. Their entire focus, that early, was on Iraq.
Woodward we learn that President Bush ordered planning for war in Iraq to begin
as early as November 2001 - even though he publicly denied it. On Dec. 28, 2001,
for example, he received a briefing on
war plans from Gen. Franks in Crawford, Texas. He walked out of the meeting and
told reporters they discussed Afghanistan.
Woodward we learn that both Bush and Cheney knowingly exaggerated the dangers
posed by Iraq.
Despite strong suspicions of illegal activity, the CIA admitted to the White
House it had no concrete evidence that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass
destruction or nuclear weapons, or had any connection to al-Qaida. Nevertheless,
the president and vice-president went around the country, telling Americans just
Woodward we learn that President Bush decided to go to war while inspectors were
still searching for WMD and while he was still pretending to work with the
United Nations. He informed Saudi Arabia's Prince Bandar of his decision before
telling Secretary of State Colin Powell. And, when he finally did meet with
Powell, it was to tell him he was going to war, not to ask his advice.
Woodward we learn that Bush paid for his secret war planning by diverting to
Iraq $700 million from funds previously appropriated by Congress, following Sept.
11, for counterterrorism. And he did so without notifying members of Congress.
Under the Constitution, Congress alone has the power of the purse. Bush's covert
transfer of funds was dishonest, if not outright illegal.
we learn from Bob Woodward that, as a reward for getting rid of Saddam Hussein,
Bush received what amounts to an in-kind campaign contribution from the Saudi
royal family. Don't worry about rising gas prices, Prince Bandar assured the
president. After screwing Americans all summer with high prices at the pump,
Bandar promised Bush the Saudis would pump more oil in the fall, thereby
lowering gas prices - just before the election.
you have the official portrait of George W. Bush his campaign wants you to read.
As portrayed to Bob Woodward by leaders of the administration, from the top down,
President Bush lied to Congress and the American people about every aspect of
the war in Iraq. He stole funds from one ongoing war to start another. And he
sold American consumers down the river to the King of Saudi Arabia.
please, do what the president says. Read Bob Woodward's book. Read it and weep.
Press is a political commentator for MSNBC. His new Web site is:
www.billpress.com. His e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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