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WP review: "State of Denial" as an angry Woodward's come-to-Jesus moment

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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 10:18 AM
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WP review: "State of Denial" as an angry Woodward's come-to-Jesus moment
Blind Into Baghdad
Like scenes out of "Desperate Housewives," the war room machinations of the White House.
Reviewed by Ted Widmer
Sunday, October 8, 2006; Page BW05

STATE OF DENIAL
By Bob Woodward


Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, left, watches as President George W. Bush speaks to members of the press on June 12, 2006. Bush held the meetings to reassess U.S. military strategy in the war in Iraq. (Evan F. Sisley/Bloomberg News)

On July 20, 2005, a remote-activated explosive device detonated during a senior staff meeting at the White House. That device, according to Bob Woodward's remarkable new book, was a new form of stealth whoopee cushion, placed strategically under the chair of Karl Rove, senior adviser to the president, and discharged to cacophonous laughter all around. The prank had been planned for a staff meeting on July 7 but was postponed because of the terrorist bombings in London that day. July 20 was deemed a much more propitious day -- all that happened was the release of a new survey of the war placing the total number of Iraqi dead at 25,000.

A week after its hasty release, millions of Americans have heard the stunning accusations leveled in State of Denial . If journalism is the first draft of history, President Bush is going to have a very hard time in the posterity he is now approaching. Woodward's new book, the third in his trilogy on George W. Bush, conveys a great deal of information, none of it good for the president and his team. It gives far more operational detail on Iraq than its predecessor, Plan of Attack . It also goes much further in asserting the author's distaste for the war and the administration's handling of it than anything Woodward has written previously. In fact, it is the angriest book Woodward has written since his first, All the President's Men . Like that masterpiece, State of Denial feels all the more outraged for its measured, nonpartisan tones and relentless reporting. It is nothing less than a watershed.

The book begins in December 2000, with a shaky president-elect searching for the right secretary of defense and giving in to Dick Cheney's suggestion that his old friend Donald Rumsfeld is available. The story continues to very near the present (July 2006), when Woodward conducts the last of his many interviews with Rumsfeld. It gives a full chronicle of the Iraq adventure, including far more than has been previously reported on what our leaders said and did after the apparent victory of March 2003. In so doing, it reveals a government crippled by dysfunction at precisely the wartime moment when leadership was most necessary....

***

In crisis after crisis, the government simply failed to operate the way it was designed to. Memos failed to circulate or arrived after they became irrelevant. Briefings conveyed only the news that listeners wanted to hear. Controversial information was rarely presented to the president, who rarely asked for it. New proposals were quashed, and policy was stymied by terrible infighting, or worse, indifference. On point after point, the government's performance was over budget, unapologetic and late. In other words, the Bush administration has become the new Amtrak....

***

Long after reading this book, lasting images will remain of an "inexperienced president" with his "legs dancing" under the table during serious briefings, failing to rein in his quarreling deputies and laughing inordinately at inappropriate jokes....

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/20...
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Hugin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 10:21 AM
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1. "laughing inordinately at inappropriate jokes"
So, the Brazilian Joke wasn't made up?
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CJCRANE Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 10:36 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. I just got an image of * as Joe Pesci in Goodfellas -
"What? You think I'm funny?"
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 04:33 PM
Response to Reply #1
13. Like the bumpersticker said..
SOMEWHERE IN TEXAS A VILLAGE IS MISSING AN IDIOT
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peekaloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 10:25 AM
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2. Laughing at fake farts while recounting the Iraqi dead.
Phew, glad the adults are in charge.

State of Insanity would have been a better title.
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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 11:45 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. Woodward really seized on a telling anecdote there. nt
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glitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 12:47 PM
Response to Original message
5. Inexperienced loser rather than mean-spirited puppet for his mastermind
looter masters? Haven't read the book but just how much of PNAC does Woodward go into? How much has he ever gone into Bush and Rove's background with Lee Atwater? Buffoon vs nasty little fascist?

Sounds more like limited hangout than some kind of come to Jesus.

If someone has read the book and Woody does go into PNAC and the massive transfer of wealth this administration has successfully achieved for their cronies, let me know.
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Kurovski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 01:44 PM
Response to Original message
6. "Dancin' Legs George"
What a farkin' mess.
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jayctravis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 02:44 PM
Response to Original message
7. Wait, seriously...an expolsive "whoopee cushion"?
I kept thinking this was a metaphor, but what are they doing with explosive ANYTHING in our house on our dime? I guess it's nice to know they delayed its use to be "tactful"...

But if they're planning long term pranks with "explosive devices" they need to get the hell out.
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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 02:57 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Somehow -- I love your post! nt
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slaveplanet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 04:41 PM
Response to Reply #7
15. These bastards just love
their little "false flag" operations.

makes them absolutely giddy...
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tenshi816 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 03:04 PM
Response to Original message
9. I wonder if
Woodward feels embarrassed or guilty at all about the two previous suck-up books he wrote about the Dumbass.
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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 03:45 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. Interesting question. He seemed genuinely angry...
on "Meet the Press" this morning, relating how Cheney had cursed, and hung up the phone on him, about this latest book.
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tenshi816 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 03:59 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. Yeah, his behavior is that of someone who realizes
he's been fooled - and to quote the Pretzeldent, "fool me once - won't get fooled again."
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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 04:12 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. LOL! Hadn't thought of that Bushism in a while. nt
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Blue_In_AK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 04:35 PM
Response to Reply #9
14. Some of us have speculated in other posts
that the "suck-up" books were tools used to gain the trust of administration insiders so they would ultimately divulge more damaging information. It's possible.
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tenshi816 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-09-06 08:53 AM
Response to Reply #14
16. You know, I was wondering that too.
It makes sense when you think about it, because it just never seemed right to me that the same man who played such a huge role in bringing down the Nixon administration could turn into such a BushCo lapdog. Maybe Woodward had it planned this way all along.

I prefer to think so anyway.
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