The incompetence we've all witnessed over the last 5+ years has (again) be confirmed by another Washington insider. Bob Woodward's new book, State of Denial, is due out Monday.
Of course, if you've read any of his previous efforts, you know that he's identified the incompetence we've seen from our leaders -- but strangely, he's never really pointed it out. He's first effort, Plan of Attack, coolly delineated the administration's bungling but couched them in the language of "business as usual".
Mr. Woodward apparently doesn't have the guts he once had -- the guts to point out incompetence.
That <b>may</b> be changing with his latest effort.
Having not read it, I can only go on the review/editorial in the Times. Here are some excerpts from that review that -- while indicative of blatant incompetence -- while never-the-less be meaningless to the faithful:
Mr. Woodward writes that in the weeks before the Sept. 11 attacks, Mr. Tenet believed that Mr. Rumsfeld was impeding the effort to develop a coherent strategy to capture or kill Osama bin Laden. Mr. Rumsfeld questioned the electronic signals from terrorism suspects that the National Security Agency had been intercepting, wondering whether they might be part of an elaborate deception plan by Al Qaeda.
On July 10, 2001, the book says, Mr. Tenet and his counterterrorism chief, J. Cofer Black, met with Ms. Rice at the White House to impress upon her the seriousness of the intelligence the agency was collecting about an impending attack. But both men came away from the meeting feeling that Ms. Rice had not taken the warnings seriously.
The book describes an exchange in early 2003 between Lt. Gen. Jay Garner, the retired officer Mr. Bush appointed to administer postwar Iraq, and President Bush and others in the White House situation room. It describes senior war planners as having been thoroughly uninterested in the details of the postwar mission.
After General Garner finished his PowerPoint presentation — which included his plan to use up to 300,000 troops of the Iraqi Army to help secure postwar Iraq, the book says — there were no questions from anyone in the situation room, and the president gave him a rousing sendoff.
But it was General Garner who was soon removed, in favor of Mr. Bremer, whose actions in dismantling the Iraqi army and removing Baathists from office were eventually disparaged within the government.
Vice President Cheney is described as a man so determined to find proof that his claim about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq was accurate that, in the summer of 2003, his aides were calling the chief weapons inspector, David Kay, with specific satellite coordinates as the sites of possible caches. None resulted in any finds.
The picture Woodward paints would seem to agree with the incompetence we've witnessed. But somehow red-state America will continue to be more concerned about propping up the rhetoric, than effectively dealing with our problems.