Friday, January 20, 2006

Wilkerson: "This is not a Republican administration...[t]his is a radical administration."

Colonel (Ret.) Larry Wilkerson, a former policy director for the Bush Administration (and long time Republican), has been voicing his concerns over the lack a realistic method of governing coming from the Bush Administration. The Washington Post had this story buried in the "Style" section. I love Wilkerson, and he reminds me of why I once liked the Republican party. But the article has this to say about Bush:

"This is not a Republican administration, not in my view. This is a radical administration." Wilkerson calls Bush an unsophisticated leader who has been easily swayed by "messianic" neoconservatives and power-hungry, secretive schemers in the administration. In a landmark speech in October, Wilkerson said: "What I saw was a cabal between the vice president of the United States, Richard Cheney, and the secretary of defense, Donald Rumsfeld, on critical issues that made decisions that the bureaucracy did not know were being made." He is particularly appalled by U.S. treatment of enemy detainees, counting at least 100 deaths in custody during the course of the war on terrorism -- 27 of them ruled homicides. "Murder is torture," he says. "It's not torture lite." As for the invasion of Iraq? A blunder of historic proportions, he believes. "This is really a very inept administration," says Wilkerson, who has credentials not only as an insider in the Bush I, Clinton and Bush II presidencies but also as a former professor at two of the nation's war colleges. "As a teacher who's studied every administration since 1945, I think this is probably the worst ineptitude in governance, decision-making and leadership I've seen in 50-plus years. You've got to go back and think about that. That includes the Bay of Pigs, that includes -- oh my God, Vietnam. That includes Iran-contra, Watergate." ... Bad Information Wilkerson, as it turned out, became the point man for making the case for preemptive war against Hussein. He put together the task force that, during a week at CIA headquarters, vetted all the intelligence reports used for Powell's famous pro-war presentation in February 2003 to the Security Council, where he brandished a vial of fake anthrax, played excerpts of intercepted Iraqi military chatter, and warned of mobile bioweapon "factories" and other doomsday machines, none of which actually existed. How did it happen? "Larry thought they had cleaned out the obvious garbage, but it turned out there was more," says James A. Kelly, a former assistant secretary of state who's known Wilkerson for 20 years. "Larry felt that he let down the secretary, but the job was so big in cleaning out the misinformation." Wilkerson won't say outright that he and Powell were deliberately snowed by intelligence reports tailored to fit a political push for war, but he has edged closer to that view, noting, "I've begun to wonder." It turns out that the administration relied on fabricators' claims about Hussein's illusory WMD programs and, in one case, an al Qaeda suspect whom the CIA turned over to alleged torturers in Egypt.
Wilkerson is saying is exactly right, IMHO. It was painfully obvious even before this war started that Bush is an easily manipulated President by some circles, most notably the neoconservative lunatic fringe that wants to take over the entire Middle East step by step, damn the consequences. Our contry is being run by radicals that have no respect for any particular political philosophy except that of achieving more power for themselves.

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