Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Bush Sought "Way" to Invade Iraq, Says O'Neill

If you missed the recent 60 Minutes program with a segment about former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill and his revelations about the innner workings of the Bush Administration, it is worth following this link (60 Minutes) and watching.

A new book called The Price of Loyalty has just been published that draws on interviews with several high ranking officials who gave the author their personal accounts of their experience within the Bush Administration. Paul O’Neill was the most forth coming of those interviewed for the book, not only sharing his insight but giving the authors thousands on internal Bush administration documents.

O’Neill seems appalled at the way Bush conducted the business of running the country and he has some very interesting things to say. He says that in cabinet meetings the President was "like a blind man in a roomful of deaf people.” “There was no discernible connection," forcing top officials to act "on little more than hunches about what the president might think." O’Neill says that the president did not make decisions in a methodical way and there was no free-flow of ideas or open debate.

Most interesting is O’Neill report of Bush’s obsession with Iraq from the very first National Security meeting. O’Neil recalls that during the campaign, candidate Bush had criticized the Clinton-Gore Administration for being too interventionist, but that from day one Bush was planning an invasions of Iraq. “From the very beginning, there was a conviction, that Saddam Hussein was a bad person and that he needed to go,” says O’Neill. He says that going after Saddam was topic "A" 10 days after the inauguration, eight months before Sept. 11. “From the very first instance, it was about Iraq. It was about what we can do to change this regime,” "It was all about finding a way to do it. That was the tone of it. The president saying ‘Go find me a way to do this,’

I don’t guess Mr. O’Neill’s revelations should surprise any of us by this point, but they offer insight in to just what a poor leader Bush really is and offer further confirmations that the decision to invade Iraq was already made before Bush ever got elected and Bush was not to be deterred. Bush was going to have his war with Iraq no matter what.

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