The book’s opening anecdote tells of an unnamed CIA briefer who flew to Bush’s Texas ranch during the scary summer of 2001, amid a flurry of reports of a pending al-Qaeda attack, to call the president’s attention personally to the now-famous Aug. 6, 2001, memo titled “Bin Ladin Determined to Strike in US.”
Bush reportedly heard the briefer out and replied: “All right. You’ve covered your ass, now.”
(Illustration: George and Tony prancing at Camp David, February 2001, found here).
Richard Clark, the former chief counter-terrorism adviser in the Bush White House, sees that summer a bit differently.
Via NBC News in March 2004:
Clarke said that “on June 21, I believe it was, George Tenet called me and said, ‘I don’t think we’re getting the message through.
These people aren’t acting the way the Clinton people did under similar circumstances.’
And I suggested to Tenet that he come down and personally brief Condi Rice, that he bring his terrorism team with him.
“And we sat in the national security adviser’s office.
And I’ve used the phrase in the book to describe George Tenet’s warnings as ‘He had his hair on fire.’
He was about as excited as I’d ever seen him.
“And he said, ‘Something is going to happen.’”
Fairly prophetic as it so happened…
An excellent detailed background on the run-up to that Aug. 6, 2001, memo and the whole total asshole fuck-up in that summer can be found at HistoryCommons.
George W, The Dick, all those shitheads should at least be standing trial, if not for war crimes, then at least for horrible, deliberate incompetence accumulating in the catastrophic Iraqi invasion, the linchpin for the chaos in the region today.
President Obama’s choice to ‘look forward,’ and not backward in fault/prosecution in the Bush administration’s handling of Iraq was a major roadblock to actual justice. Sad, pity for everyone.
Meanwhile, the Brits have at least formulated an inquiry into how the UK got mixed up in all that vile shit — the so-called Chilcot Inquiry after its chairman, Sir John Chilcot, and started investigated work in 2009 on how Tony Blair sucked Great Britain into George W’s scheme to manhandle Iraq.
However, the operation has encountered enormous slow-down problems — after all the top-echelon assholes testified, even Blair himself, the operational toilet backed up due to politics. Publication of the reported findings has been delayed time and again, getting to be a bit of a pisser.
From the Guardian this past February:
One of the most contentious points of the inquiry has been a tug-of-war between the inquiry and the Cabinet Office over documents and records of conversations between former prime minister Blair and US president George Bush in the runup to the invasion.
Chilcot demanded to publish some 25 of Blair’s notes to Bush and more than 130 records of conversations between the two leaders.
After years of sometimes intense argument with successive cabinet secretaries, the two sides only agreed in May 2014 that a “small number of extracts” or the “gist” of the documents’ contents will be released.
In deference to US sensitivities, none of the published material will reflect Bush’s views.
The New York Times in May:
Months of dispute between Mr. Chilcot and high government officials have turned on Mr. Blair’s deliberations when he took Britain to war alongside the United States on the basis of falsehoods about Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction and in the face of overwhelming public opposition.
Not only have government officials sought to limit publication of these exchanges, but Mr. Blair and other senior figures have been given time to reply to their critics — a process that could last into next year.
“There is a danger that the pattern of delay looks like an establishment stitch-up,” said Tim Farron, a Liberal Democrat politician.
And this week, the whole matter got a bit in the cups — via the UK’s Telegraph:
David Cameron has told Sir John Chilcot to “get on with” his report into the Iraq War, after being moved by the “powerful” pleas of a bereaved mother at an Armed Forces memorial service.
The Prime Minister demanded Sir John sets out a timetable for publishing his report into the war for the sake of “the parents and the families who want answers”.
Mr Cameron intervened after being approached by a mother whose son was killed in Basra, Iraq, in 2007 during a military commemoration at the Staffordshire Arboretum earlier this summer.
Mr Cameron became visibly irate as he insisted Sir John must produce the report “as soon as possible”, and, before then, set out when it will be delivered.
“Right now, I want a timetable,” Mr Cameron told reporters on a trade visit to Vietnam.
“More important than anything is thinking of the parents who lost loved ones in Iraq.
“The most powerful conversation I’ve had about this was with a mother who said to me at the Staffordshire Arboretum, when we were commemorating the Bastion Memorial Wall for Afghanistan, was just, you know, it’s the parents and the families who want answers.
“And for their sake, as well as for the sake of the public, we’ve got to get on with this. I can’t make it go any faster because it’s a public inquiry and it’s independent, but I do want a timetable and I think we deserve one pretty soon”.
And those answers could get hairy.
Via RT: ‘Tony Blair should stand trial for war crimes if the Chilcot Inquiry rules the former prime minister broke international law by invading Iraq in 2003, Labour leadership candidate Jeremy Corbyn has said. The surprise frontrunner in the contest said he was convinced the war was “illegal.”’
A wonder to George W with his ass covered…