Saturday, April 28, 2007

What Bush Will Be Doing This Summer

Before I explain what Bush will be doing on his long annual vacation in Crawford, Texas, this summer, let me note a post by James Fallows (hat tip to Kevin Drum) about former CIA Director, George Tenet and the run up to the war in Iraq:
Tenet, as mentioned earlier, would have better served his country (and his reputation) by speaking up more promptly about the Bush Administration’s failure ever to have a “serious debate” about whether it was worth invading Iraq.

But his failing was telling the truth too late — not sticking to, well, a lie like the one Bartlett uttered yesterday (according to the AP) as part of the White House’s attempt to rebut Tenet:
“This president weighed all the various proposals, weighed all the various consequences before he did make a decision.”
I say plainly: that is a lie. To be precise about it, no account of the Administration’s deliberations, by anyone other than Bartlett just now, offers even the slightest evidence that this claim is true. Innumberable accounts offer ample evidence that it is false. I have asked this direct question to many interviewees who were in a position to know: was there ever such a meeting or discussion?

The answer is: there was no discussion. Tenet, who allowed himself to fall under the spell of Bush and did too little to stop the machinations and pressure coming from Cheney and his crowd, is trying to set the record straight very late in the day. I'm not sure we're ever going to get the full story but it's become obvious that every time we get more details, the failure of Bush's presidency just becomes all that much more obvious. Think of it. We went to war without a discussion. We went to war without a realistic strategic assessment of what we were trying to accomplish (sorry, right wing or neocon fantasies about the world don't count). We went to war without a plan. We went to war with an incompetent president and vice president and a secretary of defense who should have been left retired after serving in government for too many years.

When President I'm-the-Decider Bush goes to Crawford, Texas, this summer, he'll be kicking a big can down the road. The name on the can will be 'Iraq' and he'll be kicking it all the way to the next presidency. But it won't be the only can he'll be kicking on those dirt roads of his, just the biggest one. He'll be kicking a can with Nancy Pelosi's name on it, and Harry Reid's name on it, and Henry Waxman's name on it and he'll be kicking a can with Alberto Gonzales's name on it and George Tenet's name on it and Paul Wolfowitz's name on it and he'll even be kicking a can with Carol Lam's name on it and David Iglesias' name on it. Then he'll go have dinner but he'll send out Karl Rove to kick a few more cans and then late at night, when the lights are out, he'll sneak out and he'll kick two more cans in the moonlight when no one's looking: a can with Dick Cheney's name on it and Karl Rove's name on it and he'll be kicking those two particularly hard.

No one should feel sorry for George W. Bush. The bipartisan Iraq Study Group provided Bush with the perfect opportunity to partially redeem himself, but he spurned the opportunity. He has chosen to kick the can. In the end, no one is more to blame for Bush's failed presidency than the shrub himself. George W. Bush will be blaming a lot of people in the years to come—and that too will be a measure of his failure.

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