Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Bush’s Iraq Invasion Fiasco

[[W A R]] * Raw Story this morning posted a number of revelations from the new book Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War, written by Newsweek investigative reporter Michael Isikoff and David Corn, Washington editor of The Nation. Among the tidbits meant to spur sales:
President Bush was driven by a visceral hatred of Saddam Hussein, which he privately demonstrated in expletive-laden tirades against the Iraqi dictator. In May 2002--months before he asked Congress for authority to attack Saddam--Bush bluntly revealed his ultimate game plan in a candid moment with two aides. When told that reporter Helen Thomas was questioning the need to oust Saddam by force, Bush snapped: “Did you tell her I intend to kick his sorry mother fucking ass all over the Mideast?” In a meeting with congressional leaders, the President angrily thrust his middle finger inches in front of the face of Senator Tom Daschle to illustrate Saddam’s attitude toward the United States.

When Bush was first briefed that no WMDs had been found in Iraq, he was totally unfazed and asked few questions. “I’m not sure I’ve spoken to anyone at that level who seemed less inquisitive,” the briefer told the authors.

After the
[Iraq] invasion [in March 2003], Dick Cheney’s aides desperately sifted through raw intelligence nuggets in search of any evidence that would justify the war. On one occasion they sent the WMD hunters in Iraq a satellite photo that they suspected showed a hiding place for WMDs. But it was only an overhead photo of a watering hole for cows.

Many of the White House’s most dramatic claims about the threat posed by weapons of mass destruction were repeatedly questioned by senior members of the U.S. intelligence community-but these dissents and views were suppressed or ignored by the White House. Admiral Thomas Wilson, the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency until May 2002, is quoted in the book as casting doubt on virtually the entire White House case for an invasion of Iraq. “I didn’t really think [Iraq] had a nuclear program,” retired Admiral Wilson told the authors. “I didn’t think [Saddam and Iraq] were an immediate threat on WMD.”

Congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle seriously doubted the case for war--and questioned the top-secret briefings they received directly from Cheney. One senior Republican, House Majority Leader
Dick Armey, warned the President in a September 2002 meeting that Bush would be stuck in a “quagmire” if he invaded Iraq. But Armey and others were afraid for political reasons to challenge the White House on the prewar intelligence.
Yet again, we see evidence of Bush’s arrogance, peevishness, and lack of curiosity about the evidence motivating some of his most critical decisions in the lead-up to the Iraq invasion. But at least we’re spared any more mentions of his fondness for farting in front of new aides to get a laugh.

The whole Raw Story piece can be found here.

None of Hubris’ revelations are likely to improve the public’s mood about the White House’s handling of the Iraq war, or Bush’s role in that failed, deadly, and budget-busting campaign. A new CNN poll already shows that Republicans are likely to pay--and pay hard--in this November’s midterm elections for their willingness to follow in lockstep behind the prez.

No comments: