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CBS News | Did Bush Press For Iraq-9/11 Link? | March 21, 2004 11:29:54:
"'I blame the entire Bush leadership for continuing to work on Cold War issues when they back in power in 2001. It was as though they were preserved in amber from when they left office eight years earlier. They came back. They wanted to work on the same issues right away: Iraq, Star Wars. Not new issues, the new threats that had developed over the preceding eight years.' "
First let me state that I think Bush, the man, has less to do with this whole debacle than it might seem. He is an easy target because he is supposed to be in charge but that was never really true. The people in charge are a group of ideologists that share a common worldview, handpicked by Cheney to serve in this administration. It was a turning point when Cheney got involved with the Bush campaign and another turning point when he assumed the position of Vice Presidential Candidate from his position as scout. It was at that point that we were doomed to endure a bunch of old Cold Warriors going back to the Reagan and Nixon administrations.
Is Bush a cunning mastermind or a useful idiot? The evidence seems to indicate the latter over the former. I've yet to hear Bush make an intelligent argument for any of his policies that go beyond the usual talking points. For all of Clinton's moral failings you couldn't shut the guy up when he started to talk about his policies. You could tell that the ideas where either coming from Clinton or that he was deeply involvement with policy. Not so with Bush, he shies away from talking to the press, and when he does he comes back to the same talking points again and again. He has either not developed an intellectual understanding of the issues or cannot articulate what he believes. Neither option indicates that Bush is the cunning mastermind of his administration. Instead we see "top officials" out front discussing what I believe are their policies.
Even if Bush isn't the intellectual engine of this administration it still leaves us with an option that gives him some credit: Bush the decision maker. In this role he needs only to listen to all sides in a debate and decide who makes their case more clearly. A leader need not be an expert on all matters over which he presides if he can skillfully manage those experts.
After 9-11 the Bush administration asked their experts to find links between Iraq and terrorism.
"It was a serious look. We got together all the FBI experts, all the CIA experts. We wrote the report. We sent the report out to CIA and found FBI and said, 'Will you sign this report?' They all cleared the report. And we sent it up to the president and it got bounced by the National Security Advisor or Deputy. It got bounced and sent back saying, 'Wrong answer. ... Do it again.'
So either Bush saw the memo and ignored his experts or the people around him are filtering the information the President receives. In either scenario the wrong conclusion was drawn and we know that something is seriously broken in the Bush Whitehouse. I cannot recall ever seeing this many people coming out of an administration with the same story; ideologically driven, won't listen to people that disagree with them, focused on political gain over practical solutions.
Its a recipe for disaster. Re-electing Bush will only put the same people that have failed us many times already back into power. Unless we can think that Bush will not bring back people like Cheney, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz I see no reason to trust them with the reigns of control again.
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