The Office

Ron Suskind's latest expose on the Bush Administration, The One Percent Doctrine, is reviewed in Salon today and it's chock full of damning details. Of course, there's been a whole lotta books on this administration of this type and we've yet to reach any kind of tipping point.

A meticulous work of reporting, based on interviews with nearly 100 well-placed sources, many of them members of the U.S. intelligence community, Suskind's book paints perhaps the most intimate and damning portrait yet of the Bush team.

At this point, one could forgive readers for asking, "How many more damning portraits of the Bush administration do we need?" From yellowcake to Joe Wilson to Abu Ghraib, the list of Bush scandals and outrages is endless, but nothing ever seems to happen. As the journalist Mark Danner has pointed out, the problem is not lack of information: The problem is that Americans can't, or won't, acknowledge what that information means.

In particular, in addition to providing more detail on the usual shenanigans of this administration, the book sheds new light on Cheney's stealth bureaucratic machinations. A stunning summary from Salon:

Suskind's more momentous disclosure is the degree to which Cheney deliberately kept Bush in the dark, so as to be able to achieve his desired ends. For example, when Crown Prince Abdullah, the de facto Saudi ruler, visited Bush in 2002, the advance packet sent by the Saudis to prepare Bush for the meeting was mysteriously diverted to Cheney's office. Bush never read it. As a result, he had no idea what the agenda of the meeting was and failed to respond to the Saudi's requests for American help with the exploding Israeli-Palestinian crisis, which severely weakened Abdullah's position as an ally in the "war on terror." Nor did he extract any concessions from them. For Cheney, it seems, the less Bush was prepared for Abdullah, the less chance he would make any concessions to the Arab leader. Or perhaps Cheney simply wanted to control the meeting for the sake of control.

This is amazing stuff, The Office meets Yes Prime Minister by way of Dr. Strangelove. The fate of the free world rests on these guys?

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- June 23, 2006 1:12 PM // Books , Politics