“During the same critical period, Vice President Cheney was urging Secretary of State Colin Powell to consider seriously the possibility that Iraq might be connected to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Powell found the case worse than ridiculous and scornfully concluded that Cheney had what Powell termed a “fever.” (In private, Powell used to call the Pentagon policy shop run by Undersecretary of Defense Douglas J. Feith, who shared Cheney’s burning interest in supposed ties between al-Qaeda and Iraq, a “Gestapo office.”)
Powell was right to conclude that Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden did not work together. But Cheney and Powell did not have this crucial debate in front of the president — even though such a discussion might have undermined one key reason for war. Cheney provided private advice to the president, but he was rarely asked to argue with others and test his case. After the invasion, Cheney had a celebratory dinner with some aides and friends. “Colin always had major reservations about what we were trying to do,” Cheney told the group as they toasted Bush and laughed at Powell. This sort of derision undermined the administration’s unity of purpose — and suggests the nasty tone that can emerge when open debate is stifled by long-running feuds and personal hostility.”
The picks of the week from around the web.
OK, it’s a short one this week, which fits well with my general blogging activity. Rest assured, however, that things will soon pick up!