Sunday, January 25, 2009

Guilty, Guilty, Guilty!

It's been a while since I bothered updating my Impeachment Index, partially out of exhaustion, attention to other matters, etc.

But the latest issue of Vanity Fair has An Oral History of the Bush White House which is a fairly extensive "greatest hits" based on interviews with a whole bunch of highly placed people. [via]

I'm too much of an historian not to say "take it with a grain of salt." But it's fundamentally consistent with the view we've had for years from the outside: they lied, and broke laws, and got most of the important stuff wrong over and over and over again.

My favorite two bits (though the whole thing is worth reading, despite its length):
Joschka Fischer, German foreign minister and vice-chancellor:
I was invited to a conference in Saudi Arabia on Iraq, and a Saudi said to me, Look, Mr. Fischer, when President Bush wants to visit Baghdad, it’s a state secret, and he has to enter the country in the middle of the night and through the back door. When President Ahmadinejad wants to visit Baghdad, it’s announced two weeks beforehand or three weeks. He arrives in the brightest sunshine and travels in an open car through a cheering crowd to downtown Baghdad. Now, tell me, Mr. Fischer, who is running the country?
Not only did they screw up the Middle East, they thought nothing of screwing over their own people:
Lawrence Wilkerson, top aide and later chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell: The Cheney team had, for example, technological supremacy over the National Security Council staff. That is to say, they could read their e-mails. I remember one particular member of the N.S.C. staff wouldn’t use e-mail because he knew they were reading it. He did a test case, kind of like the Midway battle, when we’d broken the Japanese code. He thought he’d broken the code, so he sent a test e-mail out that he knew would rile Scooter [Libby], and within an hour Scooter was in his office.
Yeah, the VP's office was spying on the NSC. I actually laughed out loud at that one.

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