Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Mutiny at the White House

Steve Young at HuffPo:

I don't want to go Woodward and Bernstein all over you, but last week, just after Air Force 1 lifted off towards a meeting with Iraq's Prime Minister al-Maliki, someone in the administration who had had enough of the President's insistence that he knows what he's doing, sent a message that everyone seems to have missed: an administration mutiny is in the offing.

The coup d'état warning came in the form of a leaked memorandum that national security adviser, Stephen Hadley, had sent Bush three weeks ago describing, as the New York Times editorial put it, "how Iraq was being pulled apart by sectarian hatreds and warning that Mr. Maliki was either 'ignorant of what is going on' or unwilling or unable to stop it."

Some say the President may actually heed the memo and his public pronouncements of Rumsfeldian praise ("Maliki is the right man for the job") prior to dismissal is just the Bush M.O. at work. That Maliki's Medal of Freedom is already in the smelter.

Which gives further indication the warning shot was not aimed towards Maliki, but just above the President himself; a notice to POTUS that if he continues to ignore the reality of his failed strategy in Iraq that the whistleblower(s) just might keep leaking to the American public that what Bush maintains as a victory or nothing policy, is far worse than nothing, That it is, in fact, so disastrous, an administration intimate is willing to jeopardize his position to out the boss.

That White House 'insider' must have realized that the future of the nation, not to mention his own soul, demands the collapse of this administration, and he's helping by outing its seedy machinations by any means possible.

It doesn't matter much if Bush gets the message or not, just that someone does who can take him down. Or get him committed.


Drips in the White House

The famous discipline of the Bush administration has completely broken down. This level of leaking suggests administration aides no longer feel the sense of cohesion and teamwork - or the fear of retribution - that kept them from leaking in the past. A leaker may go to the papers to make himself or his agency look good, or because the president, or those close to him, aren't listening. But in any case, the public venting of private information suggests factionalism and infighting that can't be peacefully controlled or contained. Even if these were authorized leaks - meant to influence the debate without official fingerprints - it suggests that the Bush administration has so little credibility left that the press and public won't listen unless we think we're eavesdropping.

Even before last week, administration leaking had grown to a steady drip. Senior officials at the State Department, Pentagon, and CIA had already learned to fight their battles by leaking inside stuff and offering anonymous opinions to the papers. (It was an interagency spat of this kind that produced Valerie Plame's outing.) Other leaks have appeared in the many books to be found in the "Finger-Pointing and Recriminations" section at Barnes & Noble.

[...] Perhaps this is the message the struggling administration now wants to send out about Iraq. OK, the president's a liar. But he's not as clueless as he looks.

Clueless or not, he's still a liar.

In the spirit of mutiny, I volunteer to pull Bush's rope when we keelhaul him. I hope the bottom of the ship hasn't been de-barnacled recently, too.

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