Former Powell Aide: Bush Policy Is Run by Cabal

#1
Mr. Wilkerson, a retired Army colonel and former director of the Marine Corps War College, said that in his years in or close to government, he had seen its national security apparatus twisted in many ways. But what he saw in Mr. Bush's first term "was a case that I have never seen in my studies of aberration, bastardizations" and "perturbations."

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/21/politics/21wilkerson.html

"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," he said.

The former aide referred to Mr. Bush as someone who "is not versed in international relations, and not too much interested in them, either." He was far more admiring of the president's father, whom he called "one of the finest presidents we've ever had."
Former Powell Aide said also

"I would say that we have courted disaster, in Iraq, in North Korea, in Iran, generally with regard to domestic crises like Katrina, Rita - and I could go on back," he said. "We haven't done very well on anything like that in a long time."
I ask our American friends. Is it right time to say that USA is a great country but current leadership is not the best possible?
 
#2
KGB_resident said:
Mr. Wilkerson, a retired Army colonel and former director of the Marine Corps War College, said that in his years in or close to government, he had seen its national security apparatus twisted in many ways. But what he saw in Mr. Bush's first term "was a case that I have never seen in my studies of aberration, bastardizations" and "perturbations."

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/21/politics/21wilkerson.html

"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," he said.

The former aide referred to Mr. Bush as someone who "is not versed in international relations, and not too much interested in them, either." He was far more admiring of the president's father, whom he called "one of the finest presidents we've ever had."
Former Powell Aide said also

"I would say that we have courted disaster, in Iraq, in North Korea, in Iran, generally with regard to domestic crises like Katrina, Rita - and I could go on back," he said. "We haven't done very well on anything like that in a long time."
I ask our American friends. Is it right time to say that USA is a great country but current leadership is not the best possible?
Sorry, Sergey. While I agree with you, this just isn't news to anyone that's been watching what's been going on for the last 4 1/2 years. Anyone who has worked in US foreign policy can tell you the same thing. There have been countless books, journal and magazine articles and documentaries that have said as much already.

It's basically been a Regency set-up ever since a group of fellows at the Hoover Institute at Stanford University in the late 1990s started to shop for a candidate who could be a blank slate for them.
 
#3
crabtastic said:
While I agree with you, this just isn't news...
In turn I agree with you. But few points attracted my attention.

1. The man is a Soldier. He is not egg-headed reseacher or journalist. So many here would at least respect his opinion.

2. Usage of word 'cabal' has anti-Semitic undertext. Why such a neutral word as 'plot' hasn't been used?

3. I don't know about other ctitical estimates of this degree sounded by high ranked former American official.
 
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Guest
#4
Isn't a cabal, someone who eats someone else? didn't realise human flesh was Koscher! Roast Taleban anyone?
 
#5
Sergey,
Reference your point 2 above;
CABAL: The term took on its present insidious meaning from a group of ministers of King Charles II of England (Sir Thomas Clifford, Lord Arlington, the Duke of Buckingham, Lord Ashley, and Lord Lauderdale), whose initial letters coincidentally spelled Cabal, and who were the signers of the public Treaty of Dover which allied England to France in a prospective war against the Dutch. Lets leave the anti-semitic thing alone, unless you want to play some sort of word association game with Kabbalah?
 
#6
rickshaw said:
Sergey,
Reference your point 2 above;
CABAL: The term took on its present insidious meaning from a group of ministers of King Charles II of England (Sir Thomas Clifford, Lord Arlington, the Duke of Buckingham, Lord Ashley, and Lord Lauderdale), whose initial letters coincidentally spelled Cabal, and who were the signers of the public Treaty of Dover which allied England to France in a prospective war against the Dutch. Lets leave the anti-semitic thing alone, unless you want to play some sort of word association game with Kabbalah?
Thank you Rickshaw for clarification.

http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=cabal

Etymology: French cabale cabala, intrigue, cabal, from Medieval Latin cabbala cabala, from Late Hebrew qabbAlAh, literally, received (lore)
As not native Engilsh-speaker I'm unable to feel thin shades of meaning. But at least possible game of words gives food for suggestions.

http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9018422?query=cabal&ct=

Cabal: a private organization or party engaged in secret intrigues; also, the intrigues themselves. In England the word was used during the 17th century to describe the mystical interpretation of the Hebrew scripture (the Cabala, or Kabbala), as well as to describe any secret or extralegal council of the king, especially the foreign committee of the Privy Council.
I suppose that noble Lords mentioned by you simply used the fact that initial letter of their surnames could form well known (to that time) word.
 
#7
Sergey,
Delighted to oblige.
R
 
#8
KGB_resident said:
rickshaw said:
Sergey,
Reference your point 2 above;
CABAL: The term took on its present insidious meaning from a group of ministers of King Charles II of England (Sir Thomas Clifford, Lord Arlington, the Duke of Buckingham, Lord Ashley, and Lord Lauderdale), whose initial letters coincidentally spelled Cabal, and who were the signers of the public Treaty of Dover which allied England to France in a prospective war against the Dutch. Lets leave the anti-semitic thing alone, unless you want to play some sort of word association game with Kabbalah?
Thank you Rickshaw for clarification.

http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=cabal

Etymology: French cabale cabala, intrigue, cabal, from Medieval Latin cabbala cabala, from Late Hebrew qabbAlAh, literally, received (lore)
As not native Engilsh-speaker I'm unable to feel thin shades of meaning. But at least possible game of words gives food for suggestions.

http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9018422?query=cabal&ct=

Cabal: a private organization or party engaged in secret intrigues; also, the intrigues themselves. In England the word was used during the 17th century to describe the mystical interpretation of the Hebrew scripture (the Cabala, or Kabbala), as well as to describe any secret or extralegal council of the king, especially the foreign committee of the Privy Council.
I suppose that noble Lords mentioned by you simply used the fact that initial letter of their surnames could form well known (to that time) word.
Sergey,
You might well be right, but naturally we Brits claim this for ourselves and damn anybody else who does - its the same sort of mindset that coloured the major part of the world the right shade of red in the C19th :)
 
#9
rickshaw said:
but naturally we Brits claim this for ourselves and damn anybody else who does - its the same sort of mindset that coloured the major part of the world the right shade of red in the C19th :)
Rickshaw! You Brits have so many inventions, scientists, great warriors as Lord Nelson.

I congratulate you with 200th anniversary of Trafalgar victory.
 
#10
KGB_resident said:
rickshaw said:
but naturally we Brits claim this for ourselves and damn anybody else who does - its the same sort of mindset that coloured the major part of the world the right shade of red in the C19th :)
Rickshaw! You Brits have so many inventions, scientists, great warriors as Lord Nelson.

I congratulate you with 200th anniversary of Trafalgar victory.
Sergey,
Whilst avoiding the temptation of entering into an Anglo-Russian back-slapping mutual admiration society, what more can I say in acknowledgement of your best wishes to us, than to reciprocate by applauding the nation that gave me the spirit to bring tears to my eyes and the music that is the justification!
 
#11
KGB_resident said:
crabtastic said:
While I agree with you, this just isn't news...
3. I don't know about other ctitical estimates of this degree sounded by high ranked former American official.
How about Bush's first Treasury Secretary, Paul O'Neill? Do you remember Ron Suskind's book, "The Price of Loyalty" that came out over two years ago? I think my Treasury Secretary trumps your Colonel. Then there's Richard A. Clarke (Chairman of the Counter-Terrorist Security Group of the National Security Council from 1992-2003) who wrote the book "Against All Enemies".

How about Bob Woodward who, on the basis of the glowing account he wrote in "Bush at War" (re: Afghanistan), was given unprecedented access to the White House and then came out with the polar opposite that was "Plan of Attack" (re: Iraq)? Then there's also "The Rise of the Vulcans" by James Mann and "America Unbound" by Ivo Daalder and James Linsday (both members of the NSC under Clinton).

The list goes on and on...
 
#12
crabtastic said:
How about Bush's first Treasury Secretary, Paul O'Neill? Do you remember Ron Suskind's book, "The Price of Loyalty" that came out over two years ago? I think my Treasury Secretary trumps your Colonel. Then there's Richard A. Clarke (Chairman of the Counter-Terrorist Security Group of the National Security Council from 1992-2003) who wrote the book "Against All Enemies".

How about Bob Woodward who, on the basis of the glowing account he wrote in "Bush at War" (re: Afghanistan), was given unprecedented access to the White House and then came out with the polar opposite that was "Plan of Attack" (re: Iraq)? Then there's also "The Rise of the Vulcans" by James Mann and "America Unbound" by Ivo Daalder and James Linsday (both members of the NSC under Clinton).

The list goes on and on...
You are right, I surrender.
 
#13
In the context of this particular group of people, the term "Cluster-F*ck" may be used as a synonym for cabal.
 
#14
KGB_resident said:
crabtastic said:
While I agree with you, this just isn't news...
In turn I agree with you. But few points attracted my attention.

1. The man is a Soldier. He is not egg-headed reseacher or journalist. So many here would at least respect his opinion.

2. Usage of word 'cabal' has anti-Semitic undertext. Why such a neutral word as 'plot' hasn't been used?

3. I don't know about other ctitical estimates of this degree sounded by high ranked former American official.
There is an element inside the State Department and CIA that have their own agenda. Rice went to State to clean it up just as Porter Goss is doing over at CIA. Colonel Wilkinson probably has forgotten that its the President that sets the foreign policy and not the snobs in Foggy Bottom.
 
#15
tomahawk6 said:
There is an element inside the State Department and CIA that have their own agenda. Rice went to State to clean it up just as Porter Goss is doing over at CIA. Colonel Wilkinson probably has forgotten that its the President that sets the foreign policy and not the snobs in Foggy Bottom.
Foggy Bottom? Someone's been listening to Pat Robertson! Naughty, naughty!
 
#17
AndyPipkin said:
Foggy Bottom is where the State Department is located, yer 'tard.
Ah, Andy, how wonderful that you're there to catch me when I don't write things in a hurry and don't word them properly, so:

1. I was, of course, trying to stir things up with T6 by wondering if he uses the term Foggy Bottom in the same derogatory context as Saint Pat, i.e. "maybe we need a very small nuke thrown off on Foggy Bottom to shake things up". Seeing as how Foggy Bottom is rarely used as a positive nickname, I thought I might as well go out. Of course, I lack your superior intellect to put such simple thoughts to paper.

2. I knew that.

3. You're still a humourless twat :).
 
#19
Some of them think to deflect criticism of their ideas and activities by an ad hominem denunciation of their critics as anti-Semites.

"Just because we call ourselves 'neocons,' it doesn't mean you can. Of course, if you're right-leaning and don't intend the word disparagingly, you get a pass. Just know that unless you're aware that 'neoconservative' also includes last names like Bennett, Kirkpatrick, Sowell, Kemp and Ashcroft, when you refer to someone as a neocon, you're saying 'Jew.'"

Julia Goren, a neocon and alleged comedienne, quoted in

"A Neocon By Any Other Name
They don't want to be named – and who can blame them?" by Justin Raimondo.
http://antiwar.com/justin/index.php?articleid=3669
 
#20
Tomahawk6 said:
There is an element inside the State Department and CIA that have their own agenda. Rice went to State to clean it up just as Porter Goss is doing over at CIA. Colonel Wilkinson probably has forgotten that its the President that sets the foreign policy and not the snobs in Foggy Bottom.
These elements being "The State Department" and "The CIA". Since when has knowing something about the sitaution you're facing been a sign of snobbery?

While it is the prerogative of the "The President" (or Dick or Rummy as the case may be since the Shaved Chimp is normally too busy chopping wood and looking uber-butch in a stetson in Crawford) to set policy, what grips the sh1t of the professionals is the degree to which the head-shed disregard the analyses of people that have taken the time to learn the specifics of any given issue and try to offer politically impartial advice. Then, when everything goes wrong, they are then expected to take the fall and/or clean up the mess afterwards. To give it some context, this is like the woodentop 2nd Lt, fresh out of the factory, who persistenly ignores the advice of his Platoon Sgt and NCOs and ends up getting his chaps into a world of trouble. Multiply the problem by about 10 million and you have the current situation. Add to this the pressure that analysts are persistently under to produce analyses and estimates that are congruent with the political agenda, rather than a reflection of the facts in the real world; the threats made against their careers for giving this advice etc. and you will be quite able to appreciate their frustrations.

The "my mind's made up, don't confuse me with the facts" approach to decision-making is sending the country down the sh1tter faster than Clinton getting blown by a fat intern ever could. Seriously chaps, with regard to Iraq and national security, what you see here is the worst case of attempted politicization since the Team B fiasco of the 1970s and William Casey at the CIA in the 1980s. (The CIA hates Porter Goss because he operates in the same way as these ass-clowns.)

What's more, there is not one aspect of the Bush's entire policy aganda that is meeting with any meaningful success. "No Child Left Behind" is still leaving children behind, coffin dodgers now realise they are being hosed by the "prescription drug benefit" program, "Social Security Reform" is dead in the water. All he has to show for the first 10 months of his second term is the Defense of Marriage/We Hate the Gays Act. The tax cuts to stimulate growth haven't worked and just ended up ratcheting up the national debt so that it's currently running at (and I'm not making this up) over $8 TRILLION! The debt situation is now getting so out of hand that many countries and private banks are becoming reluctant to increase their holding of US debt any further. The key exception, of course, being China. (Care to guess why?) Things have now gotten so bad that the Republican Congress are currently coming to the conclusion that there's nothing left that can be cut in the budget and they're faced with the prospects of continuing to pay the mortgage with the credit card or raising taxes (guess what they've chosen to do). As a result of the budget cuts, provision of federal, state and local services have been cut. (This includes things like police, firemen etc. and funding for local homeland security efforts.)

Now we see, despite the policy fiascos that have beset him, Bush et al continue to ignore the advice of people who have made the business of policy their life's work. His hubris has now reached the extent that he's perfectly happy just to appoint cronies and yes-men to jobs for which they are hopelessly underqualified. Now the Brits here might wonder about the Ministerial system in the UK- e.g. what the fcuk did TCH know about the MOD before he got there? The difference is that there is only a small cadre of political appointees in the British government and they are surrounded and guided by career people and therefore a limit to the amount of damage they can do. In the US govt, political appointees occupy almost exclusively, the next 4 or 5 levels of the food chain. This is why, last week, there was a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense coaching and making veiled threats against Junior officers and SNCOs that were supposed to be having a "frank and unscripted" videoconference with the Shaved Chimp.
 

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