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troublemaker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 08:27 PM
Original message
Woodward's Credibility assessed
Edited on Sun Apr-18-04 08:35 PM by troublemaker
There's a lot of controversy in numerous posts tonight about whether Woodward is a Republican shill or a truth-teller or whatever. So I offer this as only one opinion, but a well-informed one.

Woodward is a solid enough reporter. I don't really like him, but I've read most of his books and grew up in DC reading him back when he was still reporting regularly in the Post. He will not knowingly lie but he is willing to bend journalistic standards in order to get out things he "knows" but cannot source well enough. If somebody high up tells him something super-juicy Woodward might make up a false story to get the info into print. Possible examples: Deep Throat and the Casey deathbed interview.

Despite occasional liberties with sourcing, I tend to believe what he ends up saying.

Powell and Woodward have a long-term symbiotic relationship. (Wooward is the guy that made Powell FAMOUS because Powell was the biggest source (and not surprisingly, also biggest hero) of Woodwards Gulf War I book THE COMANDERS.) PATH TO WAR is probably the world's longest deep background briefing--just Powell unloading on everybody he doesn't like.

Woodward's motives are irrelevant -- PATH TO WAR will hurt Bush very badly no matter what Woodwards's motives.
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Soup Bean Donating Member (757 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 08:29 PM
Response to Original message
1. Excellent assessment.
I believe you nailed him. :)
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Hornito Donating Member (460 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 08:30 PM
Response to Original message
2. Woddward's revelations....
Edited on Sun Apr-18-04 08:51 PM by Hornito
(tin foil hat "on")

Very interesting, that in Bob Woodward's new book (see 60 Minutes this evening), he states that even before Colin Powell (and many others in the administration) was told about the decision to invade Iraq, Cheney and Rumsfeld briefed Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia about it, and provided him top secret documents that were specifically marked as "prohibited for viewing by foreigners".

I have questions:

1. Why was this allowed to take place, especially in view that most of the 9/11 hijackers were Saudis?

2. Why were the Saudis, when no other planes were allowed in the skies of the U.S. after the 9/11 attacks, allowed to fly around the country and pick up assorted Saudis, including the bin Laden family, and then spirit them out of the country, before the FBI had a chance to interview any of them? This question has not been properly asked by the 9/11 commission, nor answered by the administration, which leads me to conclude that the commission is simply a whitewash, formed to protect the administration.

The thing that is really scary, is that many top Dems have to be in on this too. Are they too scared to broach "certain questions" for fear of their lives (the anthrax "killer" is still on the loose), or are they actually in on it?

Frankly, I think this lends weight to the theory that certain high-level Saudis were in on the execution of the 9/11 atrocities, acting in concert with certain high-level U.S. administration operatives (Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Libby, Feith, and the rest of the PNAC neocons). And I'll bet anything that Sharon was also told.

Hundreds of millions in the world sit astonished at the stupidity and gullibility of people in the U.S. (you would be amazed to read commentary and news from other parts of the world on this subject, as I regularly do) that certain factions in our own government, were/are allowed to have perpetuated 9/11, apparently, without retribution.

I think our democracy ended on 9/11, and I am no longer sure a change at the helm will bring it back. Even scarier, is that I am no longer sure these fascist neocons (remember, they have captured all branches of government now, and control the military) will relinquish control of our government in November, if they lose. What will they do between now and then, to keep the reins of power? If in fact they so willingly killed 3000 or so on 9/11, and tens of thousands since in Iraq and Afghanistan, what will they then capable of if they think they will lose control, and then perhaps be subject to prosecution for their crimes?

I think it would be a very smart thing, as the election nears, to prepare ourselves for the worst.
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gemlake Donating Member (535 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 08:34 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. Michael Moore
could add another 15 minutes to his movie "Fahrenheit 911" based on Woodward's 60 Minutes interview.
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atre Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 10:21 PM
Response to Reply #2
26. I agree
I did not put on my tinfoil hat until today. Add it all up, though:

1) The PNAC proclaims that they need a new "Pearl Harbor" in order to drum up American popular support for their bold new vision for the global role of America.

2) The Bush Administration is inextricably intertwined with the Saudi government. Apparently it is to the point that the Saudi government is receiving top secret documents before American military figures and to the point that the Saudi government is attempting to influence our elections in favor of Bush.

3) The Saudi government is inextricably intertwined with Al Qaeda. Remember Bob Graham and his revelation while on the Intelligence Committee that the most egregious sponsor of terrorism is the Saudi Arabian government?

4) During the summer of 2001, the Bush Administration receives ample evidence of a gathering storm: an attack was coming. They react by demoting the position of chief counterterrorism officer from a cabinet level position to a mere assistant-level position. They react by taking several measures to protect their own hides (no longer using commercial aircraft, longest vacation in American history). They do not react by increasing security at airports or by restraining the terror cells they knew were engaged in suspicious activity. At this time, the Administration was in a supreme state of managerial incompetence. Almost to the point of wilfullness. The Gorelick editorial proves an additional fact: Ashcroft enhanced the barriers between the FBI and the CIA.

The Jewish angle was always just a red herring. Perle and Wolfowitz were just in it for profit.
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CabalBuster Donating Member (282 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 08:31 PM
Response to Original message
3. He seemed to portray Powell as the only "sane" one in the war cabal
predicting that Iraq would be broken and therefore "owned" by Bush.
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fairfaxvadem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 08:40 PM
Response to Reply #3
8. I'm sure that is close to the truth.
Powell's continued defense of Bush and this Administration has always sounded hollow to me. I guess I consider him someone who sticks to the "I made my bed, I gotta lie in it" philosophy.

I don't think Powell is saint, don't get me wrong. He must not sleep well at night wondering if sticking it out with these clowns in hope of gaining some level of control or influence over a really bad situation was worth it or not.

I say not.
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gemlake Donating Member (535 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 08:40 PM
Response to Reply #3
9. Why isn't Powell taken to task
for being an enabler for the war, by intentionally lying to the UN? Woodward's "good soldier" explanation for Powell doesn't add up. Powell is no hero. Millions of ordinary people marched against this war, because they knew it was based on lies. That Powell understood the war wouldn't be a cakewalk is unremarkable. If Powell had resigned, he would have my respect. But he chose to lie to the UN and the public.
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 10:06 PM
Response to Reply #9
23. powell is more responsible
in my view. he knew, we as a nation made clear we didnt trust bushco and it was powell we were listening to. that is why they used powell in u.n. adn had him say what he did. he knew he was playing on his reputation with the american people. he doesnt get off, he is responsible for the sell out. though later i read more about his part in iran/contra and i may not have had so much faith in him if i had known at the time
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0007 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 08:33 PM
Response to Original message
4.  Bob Woodward is very creditable, you can take that to the bank
junior should be put in the looney bin.
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fairfaxvadem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 08:35 PM
Response to Original message
6. I agree with your assessment
I basically said something similar, although not half as well as you did, in another post, but the conversations on this tonight are too many to keep up with.

Woodward surely has his own belief system, as do we all. And if he is an opportunist, that doesn't mean that he is therefore a liar.

There was something in his demeanor on 60 Minutes tonight, though, that I thought was curious. Hard for me to say exactly what it was; reluctance? nervousness?

Much of what he revealed confirmed what most of us thought or suspected anyway, but most posters here are far better informed than the average citizen. I'm interested in reactions to this story from folks who are NOT like most of us here. That will be the key.
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troublemaker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 08:42 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. reluctance? nervousness?
Fear? Sadness? I can't quite peg it either... perhaps sadness mostly. Woodward probably LIKES Bush and is sad he has to submarine the guy to get to Cheney, Rumsfeld et al.

I should have added these two stray data points in original post:

Woodward worked in Naval Intelligence in the Pentagon, but I think as a press officer

Woodward identified himself to Hugh Sloane as a Republican (in ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN.)
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fairfaxvadem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 08:50 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. one thing that did occur to me watching Woodward...
He has to be thinking that for many people who may not be paying close attention to the events of the past 3 years, beyond the soundbites, just how Kooky much of this is going to sound. As in, "I have to say what I know, but this is going to sound so way out there to a lot of people, that I'm hesitant to even tell you that Bush said there is a Higher Father because this is so unbelievable, but that's what the guy told me, so there it is."

Does that make sense?
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scarletwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 08:38 PM
Response to Original message
7. I agree that Woodward's motives are "irrelevant"
Edited on Sun Apr-18-04 08:50 PM by scarletwoman
What interests me are the motives behind the faction of the Oligarchy that he works for.

sw

edited to add:

I have three questions:

1. Will the White House attack machine go into high gear after Woodward, as they did O'Neill and Clarke? I don't mean semantically mangled justifications for points raised by the book. I mean all-out character assassination. If that DOESN'T happen, then think about whose favor Woodward stands in.

2. Will the heat get turned up on Tenet? If this book helps move Tenet out of the way, you'll have another hint about whose interests are being served.

~~~ Side note: With Tenet (who objects to the 9/11 Commission's suggestion of forming a new domestic intelligence agency) out of the way, will we see the formation of said new agency? Who benefits?

3. Will Powell resign? Who would LIKE to see him resign?

The religious portrait of bush* that I'm reading about in lots of posts here, is perhaps the most dangerous part of the book. Are seeds being sown for a religious war? (which is what this election may be coming down to...)

sw
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legin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 08:55 PM
Response to Reply #7
12. Could be they have decided to dump bush*
'cause I don't think that bush* is even any good for the pro-war people either. Too divisive for the home front, because you got to have a reasonably cohesive home front to prosecute a war successfully, upsets allies, which are needed, and goes out of his way to recruit people to Bin Laden's cause by his stupid remarks, behavour and policies.
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legin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 09:02 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. My post above written before your edit
Good points.

They have been a little slow on getting the character assassination stuff going, I've been expecting it for a while now.
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napi21 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 09:22 PM
Response to Reply #12
17. I don't think they can dump Shrub now. Not enough time.
Who in the world could they run....Cheny, no cause he looks worse than shrub....Powell, no cause he's been shown to be dirty too.....Guiliani, maybe, but I don't know if he'd do it. There's only 6 months left and it's not enough time to repair the Party. Rudy wouldn't want to chance the loss.
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legin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 09:54 PM
Response to Reply #17
22. Without wishing to start a flame war
Maybe Kerry could be a more suitable president, especially if he picks McCain as his VP (though that is probably not going to happen).

Maybe the 'Oligarchy' aren't as worried so much about 'Party Labels' as protecting their interests.

The u.s. is a business and trade country and it must have been noticed in the business comunity the rise of Islamic Coca-Cola, Mcdonalds closing down restaraunts, etc.

The good-will towards the u.s. that bush* has so willfully squandered was one of the vehicles that aided the selling of u.s. goods abroad. "Advertising sells product" was one of the main sayings of my boss at work when I was younger, and bush* has managed to promote a very negative image of the u.s. around the world, which has to be worrying the business community that they are going to be the ones picking up the tab for it.
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legin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 10:10 PM
Response to Reply #22
24. People liked America
They watched u.s. films because they wanted to. They bought jeans, drank Coca-Cola, ate burgers, bought computers because they believed this brightly shone with making progress.

Now thanks to bush* this is a very debatable point.

There is an awful lot of 'ease of market penetration' going down the tubes thanks to GW.
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G_j Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 09:08 PM
Response to Reply #7
15. one more question
why did Rove let these interviews take place?
How could he have been out of this loop?
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Paradise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 09:15 PM
Response to Reply #7
16. I see a pattern evolving in the media, which may mean
Edited on Sun Apr-18-04 09:19 PM by Paradise
that not all of 'their' bodies have been snatched, and that
'they' know these guys are bad actors.
(responding to your original reply)
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EndElectoral Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 08:58 PM
Response to Original message
13. The Republican Discrediting of Woodward has Begun
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troublemaker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 09:51 PM
Response to Reply #13
21. Oh NO. (I wish you hadn't posted this link)
re: Woodward "A good student at Yale, he was ultimately one of fifteen seniors "tapped" for one of that university's secret societies, Book and Snake"

Does this mean DU is going to become home to a whole NEW set of conspiracy theories about Yale secret societies?
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Catt03 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 09:28 PM
Response to Original message
18. I think Woodward is already being protected
Watching the appearance of Woodward on these shows through the week, I noticed on the Today show, Face the Nation and 60 Minutes, that it appeared he is receiving support from the anchors.

Bob Shieffer gave a 5 minute addendum to Woodwards career as a journalist even saying that Woodward may be the "best journalist" ever and made reference to his credibility and research. Mike Wallace did the same. I hope they are right and he has all his notes!

Any way, I thought this a little unusual. Sounded like they are trying to preempt the storm to come from the right.

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emulatorloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 09:41 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. CBS made it clear he has tapes and transcripts and that they listened to
them and what woodward writes, people said. So he has it all documented.
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osaMABUSh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 09:42 PM
Response to Original message
20. Woodward is solid - he earned it during Watergate and
over the years has appeared (although bland on TV) a straight shooter and fair. He even has come across in the recent past as leaning a little to the right which can only help his credibilty.

Any attacks on him will not hold. He has too much inherent credibility.
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atre Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-18-04 10:10 PM
Response to Original message
25. No doubt about it, Powell is the new Deep Throat
Notice during the interview he talked about how Powell was shocked about learning that the Saudi prince knew about the Iraq war plans before he did... Only one person can tell you Powell's inner thoughts: Powell himself.
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