Notes on the Atrocities
Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...

Tuesday, April 20, 2004  

Yesterday I wondered how the right was going to deal with Woodward. Having learned that personal attacks aren't always the best call from the Clarke debacle, they've decided on marginalization. Anyway, that's what David Frum does:

This week’s burst of hyper-ventilating was excited by the new Bob Woodward book. From it, we learn – well what exactly? That Colin Powell opposed the Iraq war. Knew that. That Powell engaged in sarcastic and dismissive attacks on those who disagreed with him, up to and including the vice president. Knew that too. That the president ordered planning for Iraq operations before he made the final decision to go to war. Assumed that. And so on.

According to Frum's analysis, Saudi liaison Bandar (a "frequent purveyor of titillating items to selected journalists") must be the source for the Saudi-related information. Thus we can dismiss it. Frum does admit--now hypothetically, given that the accusations are probably not true--that the Saudi material is damaging.

But if it were true, it would suggest several important and disturbing conclusions.

(1) It would rather give the lie to the claim that the Iraq war was masterminded by Israel, wouldn’t it?
(2) It would suggest that by the end of 2002, the president no longer trusted Powell to do the basic work of diplomacy for him.
(3) Again if true, the story would suggest that the breakdown of relations between Powell and the president did severe damage to the national security of the United States – by placing the president in a position where he had to inform doubtfully friendly states of major decisions before he told them to his own secretary of state!

He said it, not me.

posted by Jeff | 8:28 AM |
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