more on the o'neill tell-all book: today the buzz is about the bushco response to o'neill, specifically that the administration is calling into an investigation over how an allegedly "secret" document appeared on 60 minutes (though none of the document's contents were aired; just the cover sheet... i wonder how that probe would fare as opposed to the valerie plame probe).
abc news claims that bush gave a "strong defense" of his iraq policy, but in saying so they seem to equate "strong defense" with "vociferous use of a weak excuse". note what bush actually says: that he simply inherited the "regime change" policy from clinton:
"[T]he stated policy of my administration toward Saddam Hussein was very clear," he said. "Like the previous (Clinton) administration, we were for regime change. And then all of a sudden September 11 hit," Mr Bush said in Monterrey at a press conference with Mexican President Vicente Fox.
i'm not quite sure i believe that was clinton's policy (i thought clinton was more in favor of sanctions, un inspections, and the like), but if it was, that must've been the only one of clinton's policies that bush didn't immediately strangle. we all know that clinton had policies against osama bin laden but bush didn't give a damn about him until the towers fell.... either way, this admission does prove that going to war against saddam really didn't have a damn thing to do with 9/11 or "terrorism".
o'neill has tons of evidence and some damning things to say, but unfortunately he's still a politician, so he gets all wishy-washy, saying things like "It was not my intention to be personally critical of the president of anybody else," and even saying he would "probably" vote for bush again in november! come on, paul, stand up for yourself.
however, the same could not be said for the army war college, which issued a scathing report saying that the war on iraq was "unnecessary", the "war on terrorism" is "unrealistic", and that bush has basically fucked everything up. how bad must things be if a warmongering republican president faces this kind of insubordination from his own military?
the white house is trying to blow off the army war college report, too, as though those decades of miliary service mean nothing compared to bush's time going AWOL. look at this quote (printed in the washington post) from top pentagon spokesman lawrence diRita:
"People are publishing stuff all the time. That's the value of kind of having people throw analysis out there. You learn even from analysis you don't agree with. I don't even want to characterize it as something I don't agree with because I just haven't read it," said Di Rita, adding that he does not know if Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld plans to read the document.
okay, that seems fairly innocuous, right? but now check out this quote, also from diRita, printed in a different washington post article:
"If the conclusion is that we need to be scaling back in the global war on terrorism, it's not likely to be on my reading list anytime soon."
whoa nelly! does that totally, absolutely, 100% contradict the previous quote or what? okay then larry: how can you learn from analysis you don't agree with if you flat-out refuse to read that analysis? this second quote sounds a lot like the quote i cited last time, that one referring to paul o'neill (printed again here for effect):
"We didn't listen to him when he was there," said a top aide. "Why should we now?"
not only can the bush administration not handle any kind of criticism, they refuse even to listen to policy analysis that they don't agree with. it doesn't matter who it comes from: treasury secretary, the intelligence community, the military itself... i wonder, if jesus came back & personally told bush how un-christian war-mongering is, would bush listen? or would he just try to smear jesus like he does to everyone else?