Why Are We Not Surprised?

Lifting the veil: Some troubling insight to White House decisions
Monday, October 23, 2006
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


What the Pittsburgh audience heard from Mr. [Ron] Suskind and Mr. [Paul] O’Neill about the high degree of politicization of decision-making in the administration was shocking to some extent. The two speakers are extremely well-informed about what happens at the top in Washington and have excellent contacts there. People who don’t live and work in that environment could not know what factors rule when people like President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld determine whether the United States will go to war or not, putting on the line the lives of thousands of U.S. soldiers.

They said that when plans were being made within the administration to go to war with Iraq, no facts entered into the decision. With respect to the public, the previously sacred principle of “informed consent” was not honored by Mr. Bush and his subordinates. Instead, it was a question of carefully selecting what information would be put before the public to sell the point of view that the administration wanted to put forward — that war with Iraq was necessary and never mind whether it had a basis in fact or not. Then-Secretary of State Colin Powell’s speech to the United Nations Security Council in February 2003, an eventual humiliation to him, was a perfect case in point.

The rest is here.

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