This is an excellent piece, like all SB’s work, but I suggest that its denial of
Woodward’s insider status is exaggerated. Woodward is, and always has been,
an insider, as at least two books have made entirely clear.
Woodward’s official bios note that he earned his BA at Yale on a ROTC
scholarship, and then spent four years in the Navy, whereupon he showed
up at the Post–a fresh-faced kid who had been mildly “liberal” as an
undergraduate, he’s long suggested.
What those bios don’t mention is that Woodward was in Naval intelligence,
and served as a briefing officer for the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Amazingly, he
also was the Joint Chief’s primary liaison with…. the White House, where
he regularly briefed Al Haig in that edifice’s famous “basement.” This was
prior to Watergate.
Woodward’s spooky past has been detailed in Adrian Havill’s book Deep Truth:
The Lives of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein (1993), and in Silent Coup:
The Removal of a President, by Len Colodny and Robert Gettlin (1992). Although
the latter book may be a little woolly on some matters, it’s solid on Bob Woodward’s
past, and Havill’s book confirms its findings.
Woodward has stolidly refused to talk about his background all these years,
but we should talk about it now. Why? Because State of Denial so baldly
contradicts the glamorizing treatment Bush received in Volumes I and II of
Bush at War; and this new volume has been fully covered by the mainstream
media, which has otherwise suppressed the truth about Bush/Cheney’s criminal
invasion of Iraq.
In short, the Bush regime is clearly in the cross-hairs of certain elements in the
Establishment, much as Joe McCarthy was by 1954. And small wonder! The
Busheviks have taken things in quite a dangerous direction–so dangerous that
some powers appear to be inclined to take them down.
Woodward’s book, I would suggest, has much the same house-cleaning purpose
as the Foleygate scandal, which ABC News would never have broken if it didn’t
come from what the guys at ABC would deem a Reputable Source. After all,
this is by no means the first juicy sex scandal involving Bush & Co., nor is it
by any means the hottest. (“Paging Mr. Gannon! You’re wanted in the Lincoln
Bedroom!”) Foley’s folly and BushCo’s denial are only worthy stories now,
because this regime has gone way too far for those, or some of those, who
deem themselves the proper masters of our tottering Republic.
Whose state of denial?
Bob Woodward’s critical new book left the Bush White House feeling betrayed. But his earlier “Bush at War” hagiography betrayed all Americans
By Sidney Blumenthal
Oct. 11, 2006 | As soon as President Bush finished the first-year commemoration of Hurricane Katrina he turned to the fifth-year anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in order to restore his faltering popularity and set the themes for the Republican Party in the midterm elections campaign. Through a series of speeches he proclaimed that he would “stay the course” in Iraq, which he conflated with his war on terror. Polls, after all, showed that his standing on Iraq was sliding while his standing on terror was steady. His effort to merge one into the other, as he had done since before the invasion, was an act of political alchemy. Speaking at a Republican fundraiser on Sept. 28, he proclaimed, “The party of FDR and the party of Harry Truman has become the party of cut and run.”
But on Oct. 5, an unimpressed Sen. John Warner, R-Va., chairman of the Armed Services Committee, declared that Iraq was “drifting sideways,” and that if Bush’s policy was to continue it was time to “change the course.” On Oct. 8, James A. Baker III, the former secretary of state, a close associate of the elder Bush and now the chairman of the bipartisan Iraq Study Group that will report its recommendations early next year to the president, declared his support for Sen. Warner’s call to “change the course” “Yes, absolutely. And we’re taking a look at other alternatives.”
On Tuesday, a New York Times/CBS News poll reported, according to the Times, that “83 percent of respondents thought that Mr. Bush was either hiding something or mostly lying when he discussed how the war in Iraq was going.” That staggering number is the exact mirror image of the 83 percent of respondents in a Washington Post/ABC News poll taken in September 2002 who believed Bush had a clear policy and therefore supported the invasion of Iraq.
Why did this change take so long? Why didn’t the public figure out the facts earlier? Was the press an obstacle to information and understanding?