Thursday, October 20, 2005

Busy Day Entry 1: Former Powell Aide Charges Cheney with “Hijacking Foreign Policy”

Looks like things are going to be hopping here after a couple of slow days; I have lots to update, so bear with me.

First up we have a bit more confirmation on something that I think a lot of us already suspected: Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld hijacked the foreign policy apparatus of the U.S. and used it to push the PNAC agenda. I suspect Mr. Wolfowitz also had a hand in this, but he’s not mentioned. He also says that Condoleeza is “part of the problem”:

Instead of ensuring that Mr Bush received the best possible advice, “she would side with the president to build her intimacy with the president”.

Interesting. So if she’s the new vice president, will it be more of the same?

The article offers a decent summary of the speech, but a video is also available. It's pretty fascinating…here is the link:

And here is the story, from the Financial Times:

Cheney 'cabal' hijacked foreign policy
By Edward Alden in Washington

Vice-President Dick Cheney and a handful of others had hijacked the government's foreign policy apparatus, deciding in secret to carry out policies that had left the US weaker and more isolated in the world, the top aide to former Secretary of State Colin Powell claimed on Wednesday.

In a scathing attack on the record of President George W. Bush, Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, chief of staff to Mr Powell until last January, said: “What I saw was a cabal between the vice-president of the United States, Richard Cheney, and the secretary of defense, Donald Rumsfeld, on critical issues that made decisions that the bureaucracy did not know were being made.

“Now it is paying the consequences of making those decisions in secret, but far more telling to me is America is paying the consequences.”

Among his other charges:

The detainee abuse at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere was “a concrete example” of the decision-making problem, with the president and other top officials in effect giving the green light to soldiers to abuse detainees. “You don't have this kind of pervasive attitude out there unless you've condoned it.”

Condoleezza Rice, the former national security adviser and now secretary of state, was “part of the problem”. Instead of ensuring that Mr Bush received the best possible advice, “she would side with the president to build her intimacy with the president”.

The military, particularly the army and marine corps, is overstretched and demoralised. Officers, Mr Wilkerson claimed, “start voting with their feet, as they did in Vietnam. . . and all of a sudden your military begins to unravel”.

Mr Wilkerson said former president George H.W. Bush “one of the finest presidents we have ever had” understood how to make foreign policy work. In contrast, he said, his son was “not versed in international relations and not too much interested in them either”.

“There's a vast difference between the way George H.W. Bush dealt with major challenges, some of the greatest challenges at the end of the 20th century, and effected positive results in my view, and the way we conduct diplomacy today.”

Posted by crimnos @ 8:10 AM