Lawrence Wilkerson: Why Does Rumsfeld Always Win?

lawrence-wilkersonWhy does Donald Rumsfeld always win? We’re reading the George Packer account of the genesis of the Iraq war, The Assassin’s Gate, and Packer points out that Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney and their surrogates won every bureaucratic battle they encountered.

How does this happen? Lawrence Wilkerson was the chief of staff for Colin Powell from 2002 to 2005; he describes Powell’s testimony on WMDs before the UN Security Council as a “low point.” He’s only recently gone on record to describe what brought us war in 2003: it was a cabal, a concert of efforts by a small group of people determined to cause a war and then get out quickly.

Its insular and secret workings were efficient and swift — not unlike the decision-making one would associate more with a dictatorship than a democracy. This furtive process was camouflaged neatly by the dysfunction and inefficiency of the formal decision-making process, where decisions, if they were reached at all, had to wend their way through the bureaucracy, with its dissenters, obstructionists and “guardians of the turf.”

But the secret process was ultimately a failure. It produced a series of disastrous decisions and virtually ensured that the agencies charged with implementing them would not or could not execute them well.

Lawrence Wilkerson, The White House Cabal, The Los Angeles Times, October 25, 2005

Wilkerson will be in a studio for a full hour next Tuesday. He’s eager to take questions, to explain what it is that we don’t understand about our own government. How does a bureaucracy create a war? What are we to make of the reports of turf wars between State, Pentagon and CIA? How did so many people, who were so disappointed with lack of transparency or or process or a plan, fail to say anything for so long?

Extra Credit Reading
New America Foundation, Weighing the Uniqueness of the Bush Administration’s National Security Decision-Making Process: Boon or Danger to American Democracy?The Los Angeles Times, The White House Cabal, Lawrence Wilkerson Op-ed, October 25, 2005

CNN, Former aide: Powell WMD speech ‘lowest point in my life’

Related Content

  • How does this happen?

    Wilkerson can give us some of the behind the scene details, but we should hold ourselves responsible. These kinds of things happen when we hire (vote for) people and don’t pay attention to their resumés.

    W orignally ran as the next CEO of the US. BUt he had been a failed CEO. He had no experience in D.C., so how did we think he would be able to run things without some insiders in his administration? If he doesn’t know how things work and they do, they will control the show. Cheney, well, he had a history that was so well documented, and we simply chose not to look.

    Why don’t we look?

    Is it fear? Most likely, as fear is behind most bad decision-making. So why was Gore afraid to really run against W? I mean, c’mon, it should have been easy to launch right off W’s campaign themes and discredit him at every turn. And how hard can it be to point out how horrible Dick Cheney is. Gore, and his campaign team, chose not to tell us what we might really be electing. (Ok, we didn’t really elect this guy, but there shouldn’t have even been enough votes to make it close.)

    But now what? How do we do anything about this? Are we stuck for another 3 years because the Republican controlled Congress isn’t going to stand up for us? Maybe we another kind of accountability system. What if we had a special referendum, where the public got to vote directly about an impeachment possibility? Or at least an independent investigation? (One where the investigator isn’t hired by the team being investigated!) I don’t know, but it seems like there needs to be some way for we, the people, when we’re concerned that we’ve made an egregious error, one that has resulted in heinous acts that we cannot abide, to stand up for ourselves.

  • On another note: I question Wilkerson’s definition of failure. How many in the administration and how many of their cronies have made quite a nice living off of their policy decisions? Would it be fair to say that any economic gains made in the last couple of years are really due to monies poured into war and so-called reconstruction efforts?

    Even if all these people are out of government jobs in 3 years, they won’t be suffering. Their stock portfolios will be fine. They’ll find cushy consulting jobs. They’ll get well paid speaking engagements. Hell, Libby’s suddenly making a bundle off his book now that he’s been indicted. No PR is bad Pr, right? A failure? Really?

    For the rest of the world, yes. But it seems likely they would do the same thing again. They don’t seem to be considering any changes in their methodologies. They must find all of this to be a success.

  • Andy Vance

    First, my favorite Cheney cheap shot (but prescient – it was made in September 2000) :

    Cheney has the old glint in the eye, the arrogance with the lives of others, the wide-legged certainty of the ferocious old cold warrior that he is. The architect of the western excursion is exactly the kind of man who would never allow a mine shaft gap. And so the idea that the political parties have grown toward one another into a muddled center seems accurate in at least one sense: This time around, the roles of Dean Rusk and Robert McNamara have been cast for a Republican. And it’s exactly the role the man was born to play.

    Josh Marshall goes beyond the Cheney-bashing and puts his finger on the larger phenomenon:

    Cheney is conservative, of course, but beneath his conservatism is something more important: a mindset rooted in his peculiar corporate-Washington-insider class. It is a world of men–very few women–who have been at the apex of both business and government, and who feel that they are unique in their mastery of both. Consequently, they have an extreme assurance in their own judgment about what is best for the country and how to achieve it. They see themselves as men of action. But their style of action is shaped by the government bureaucracies and cartel-like industries in which they have operated. In these institutions, a handful of top officials make the plans, and then the plans are carried out. Ba-da-bing. Ba-da-boom.

    In such a framework all information is controlled tightly by the principals, who have “maximum flexibility” to carry out the plan. Because success is measured by securing the deal rather than by, say, pleasing millions of customers, there’s no need to open up the decision-making process. To do so, in fact, is seen as governing by committee. If there are other groups (shareholders, voters, congressional committees) who agree with you, fine, you use them. But anyone who doesn’t agree gets ignored or, if need be, crushed. Muscle it through and when the results are in, people will realize we were right is the underlying attitude.

  • Andy Vance

    What has most vexed me since the runup to the war, and what I’d really like Mr. Wilkerson to address, is how common sense seemed to evaporate in Washington. There seemed to be a giddyness surrounding this deadly serious endeavor, like we were embarking on another mission to Grenada instead of the planet’s most volatile region.

    It was surreal. I’m not an anti-war activist; I really wasn’t all that politically inclined before this all began. Perhaps I’m being naive. But I’d like to know: Where were the adults? Out here in the hinterlands, I felt like I was riding in the backseat as Toonces, The Cat Who Could Drive A Car proceeded to steer us over a cliff. Congress and the press…. just laughed.

    Thucydides puts it better:

    To fit in with the change of events, words, too, had to change their usual meanings. What used to be described as a thoughtless act of aggression was now regarded as the courage one would expect to find in a party member; to think of the future and wait was merely another way of saying one was a coward; any idea of moderation was just an attempt to disguise one’s unmanly character; ability to understand a question from all sides meant that one was totally unfitted for action. Fanatical enthusiasm was the mark of a real man, and to plot against an enemy behind his back was perfectly legitimate self-defense. Anyone who held violent opinions could always be trusted, and anyone who objected to them became a suspect…. As a result…there was a general deterioration of character throughout the Greek world. The plain way of looking at things, which is so much the mark of a noble nature, was regarded as a ridiculous quality and soon ceased to exist. Society became divided into camps in which no man trusted his fellow.

  • LJ

    My question for Mr. Wilkerson: Considering Wolfowitz’s statement that there were several reasons for the invasion of Iraq, could you comment on the the following geo-strategic rationale: the Iraq invasion was partly, or possibly largely born out of a concern only heigntened by 9/11 that oil supplies would be only more constrained in the coming years and secondly Saddam Hussein had priced his oil in Euros, and not in dollars which could have huge economic effects on the US economy if this practice were allowed to spread. By this rationale, the war could be seen as a defensive war intended to dramatically reverse the sagging prospects of the US in the global economy–the US would be able to control oil flows and continue the present economic status quo of dollar hegemony. Both of these can be considered to be a valid roll of a global hegemon. Of course, these reasons could not be used to market the war. Comments please.

  • Kwicklund

    Dear Col. Wilkerson,

    Thank you for your past and continuing public service, for speaking the truth on how we arrived at this mess.

    My main concern before the March 2003 invasion was, and still is, spreading regional instability. All the national borders within the region bordered by Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Turkey can be described as artificial, imposed, as they were, by outside powers. If Iraq’s borders unwravel, will not other national borders be likewise destabilized? And what are the regional powers named above likely to do in such a scenario?

    In short, what chance do you see for the outbreak of a larger regional war? Is an ongoing American presence needed to stave off such a grave scenario?

    Thank you.

  • topdog08

    Question for Mr. Wilkerson: Are you familiar with George Friedman of STRATFOR and his latest book “America’s Secret War”? In it, he suggests that the real reason to invade Iraq was to “strengthen” our position in the Middle East and in effect force neighboring countries to cooperate with us. In order to achieve that goal, he says “the administration” felt it was important for Pakistan and Saudi Arabia not to understand our true motives. Therefore, the decision was made to use WMD as a justification, misleading the world and by extension the American public, about the strategic reasons for the war. Of course, this strategy turned out to be severely misguided, but what do you think of Friedman’s idea, and do you think “strategic” deception is constitutional in a representative democracy?

  • Nikos

    Allison posed a question that begs another: Mr. Wilkerson’s personal view of the corporate media – are they or are they not complicit in the nation’s staggering ignorance over the vital issues of Middle East oil supplies and the war policy now in question? Set aside the WMD issue for this: had Saddam been a vicious dictator of, say, Madagascar or Guinea-Bissau, would any of us have even NOTICED? How do moderate Republicans see it? Is Mr. Wilkerson ‘republican’ in this sense: that the voters don’t need to know any details – let their elected leaders handle it? Or would he agree that an informed electorate (and not a misled one) is fundamentally necessary to avoid further disgraces like the current administration’s incompetent policy-making apparatus and the shambles we call its outcomes?

  • Redd

    The question that needs to be asked is this. A man by the name of Hans Blix (U.N. weapon inspector) was in Iraq during the run up to the war. If the CIA/DIA/NSA/State Department etc were so sure that Iraq had WMD’s, how come no one was smart enough to call him and tell the inspector’s where to go to find all the stuff? Colin Powell showed the whole world satellite pictures of buildings and aircraft and cell phone intercepts but wasn’t smart enough to pass this on the weapon inspector’s. Come on get real.

  • me to me

    Mr. Wilkerson

    while it was a relief to hear you speak about the events leading us to unprovoked initiation, I am sad to say I think Mr. Powell needs to re examine his priorities.

    Is his loyalty to his president more dear to him then his loyalty to his country?

    It is his OBLIGATION to present testimony on what you have had to say, whether he agrees or disagrees with your evaluation

    whether he gives formal or informal testimony, never the less, it is his duty to to make clear what has happened to this country

    If he feels all is well and good in our policies, then he needs to refute your his former chief of staff’s criticism of the president

    If on the other hand, what you’ve said is true, it’s his responsibility to hold the people responsible to account, and he must do this to the best of his ability.

    He has become a vital component of the checks and ballances that are were placed in our government for just such occasion as we are witness in these times of unprovoked war

    Will he answer the call of his country?

    Or will he bow to the will of men who put our government at peril.

  • Nikos

    Allison asked:

    “Are we stuck for another 3 years because the Republican controlled Congress isn’t going to stand up for us? Maybe we another kind of accountability system. What if we had a special referendum, where the public got to vote directly about an impeachment possibility? Or at least an independent investigation? (One where the investigator isn’t hired by the team being investigated!) I don’t know, but it seems like there needs to be some way for we, the people, when we’re concerned that we’ve made an egregious error, one that has resulted in heinous acts that we cannot abide, to stand up for ourselves.�

    Good questions deserving an answer, so how’s this? – At some point we as a country have to grow up enough to seriously discuss the possiblity that it’s high time for our federation to become a parliamentary democracy. With more than two money-grubbing political parties vying for power. Whose executives answer DIRECTLY to its legislators – i.e., the people’s representatives. And please spare me the ‘faultless Founding Fathers’ claptrap – they, a self-selected bunch of white male elites, founded a PARTIALLY democratic republic replete with constitutionally-protected slavery, NOT “The World’s Greatest Democracyâ€?. It’s time we grew up and admitted it. The rest of the free world knows it – why don’t WE???

    I suppose this strays from tonight’s topic (but not by much.) How about a show on it? (Daniel Lazare could be the featured guest.)

  • cheesechowmain

    What is Mr. Wilkerson’s opinions of the inspections done by the U.N.? If memory serves me right (and I may certainly have memory distortion here), Hans Blix said WMDs were not found, but hedged by positing that the inspection work was not yet complete, as of early 2003. Does Mr. Wilkerson believe the inspections were “intrusive” or robust enough in scope to supply an answer to the WMD question that could have satisfied an objective, non-neo-con audience. What, if anything, could be done in the future to make the inspection process done by an internationally recoginized body more robust, timely, and convincing? If we cannot put together a robust inspections process, are there other tools available to reduce proliferation of WMDs?

  • me to me

    What is Mr. wilkerson’s opinion on Powell’s silence concerning this of our countries national security.?

  • Jim from Andover

    1. C. Powell: “Mr. Pesident, If you break it – you own it”. The US led-consortium broke it. What does he see as the best path during the ownership phase & how long/cost before returning it to the Iraqis.

    2. Was a civil war in Iraq contemplated?

    3. Is the ‘Petro$ vs Petro-Euro’ strategy (to keep the US$ as the primary global monetary unit) a real debate & underlying driver in the US geo-economic plan?

  • Potter

    There would not have been a cabal if we had a strong president.

    Republicans, for 8 years under Clinton, were so hungry, so desperate for the whole enchilada, that they put a weak but appealing man up in 2000 who is not presidential material, not strong enough to lead. But they felt he could win for them. Thus we were promised Cheney and Rumsfeld and Powell for weight and experience. They were suppose to guide Bush. They were to assure us. We could trust them.

    So the country really voted for an oligarchy, not a presidency. In addition, before 9/11, Bush seemed to need purpose, something to hang his presidency on, to give him, his presidency

    meaning. And so we have the consequences.

  • okm

    Could Col. Wilkerson comment on why the planning for post-war Iraq was done so poorly. Specifically, what was the reaction inside the State Department when the Pentagon disregarded the Future of Iraq Project’s preparations?

    Also, does he have any theories, looking back, to explain why Hussein behaved the way he did before the war?

  • Potter

    Colin Powell should have resigned and not gone along. What a disappointment! I don’t think he will recover.

  • Dorian

    Did anyone read the 80-something page article in last year’s “Vaniry Fair”, which covers, point by point America’s Path to War? It was very well written, mind-numbingly detailed and carefully researched, and basically says, it was a done deal all along. The Bush administration said anything, and did anything (and everything) to bring the country to war despite the lack of just cause. Colin Powell objected strongly to the intelligence presented, and was ignored. He was stepped over, which is perhaps why he stepped down. And there went the one voice of reason in Bush’s “yessir, whatever you say sir” administration. Enter Condoleeza Rice.

  • buddhapest

    To my understanding, implicit in Lawrence Wilkerson’s use of the word “kabal” is that the aim of the so named group ie, Cheney, Rumsfeld et al (and I would add Wolfewitz) has a history that goes back much farther than the reaction to misinformation about WMD. Would he agree that prior to the intelligence, their goal for a long time had been to gain a foothold in the middle east ? and that the concentration of power in that kabal in this administration, particularly Cheney’s unprecedented strength as a VP, gave them the necessary clout to realize that goal when the “fortuitous” WMD intelligence presented itself?

    And projecting that hypothesis beyond just Iraq – that the kabal will continue to resist pullout because the agenda is to have military strategically placed right where it is in the middle east, to pursue incursions into Syria and Iran?

    Col. Wilkerson uses strong words to describe the activities of these men, but stops short of really questioning their motives.

  • amshea

    After hearing tonight’s show (Nov. 15) I am dismayed that the discussion was reduced to the Colin-Powell-as-tragic-hero theme. Powell’s fall from grace is nothing that the public can redeem–maybe if we had a Shakespeare it would make a fine drama. What must concern us is OUR tragedy–when did we become so gullible and irresponsible, taking as proof fuzzy aerial photographs that no one could read, etc. What, Mr. Wilkerson, can we as private citizens do now to stop this immoral and wasteful war? Not even impeachment is an option, as I see it, for removing GWB from office would only leave us with President Cheney!! Not a happy thought. Enough with the breast-beating–we need an action plan.

  • the wail

    (Sorry- I can’t figure out how to bold the caps below.)

    This line of talk is incredible, and maddening. Wilkerson reinforces Bush’s latest line, that the Democrats came to the same wrong conclusion, so it’s somehow okay. THE POLLS SHOW THAT THE PEOPLE REALIZE THE DEMOCRATS ARE COWARDLY WEASELS TOO! This is not a valid excuse.

    “All intelligence sources agreed”. No, all intelligence sources that the authorities chose to cite agreed. THAT’S WHY THEY CHOSE TO CITE (ONLY) THEM.

    This huge error is not one of degree, like we thought Sadaam had enough WMD to kill 100,000 people, but he only had enough to kill 15,000 people. NO! The difference between one WMD and no WMD is infinite!

    At least Wilkerson admits that the intelligence was wrong; Bush cannot even admit that, incredibly, although it is beyond doubt that it was wrong and manipulated.

    Powell is as complicit in war crimes as Cheney and Rumsfeld. He took an oath to the American people that he violated KNOWINGLY and REPEATEDLY. Show them all no mercy.

  • irishamerican

    I was also very disappointed in Col. Wilerson’s remarks. I have been looking forward to this program for over a week. I was incredibly impressed with his first speech, and the OpEd piece as well. He mentioned in his speech a book called “The Assasins Gate”, saying that it was right on and that Mr Packer “Got It Right”. So I went out and bought that book to educate myself on this virtual “Government within the Government” that he has consistantly refered to as a “Kabal”.

    I remember him in these earlier instances as to speaking about Colin Powell “Throwing the Speech they wanted him to give at the UN against the wall” and Sec. Powell saying “I cant say this BS!!”, as to imply that Sec. Powell and Col Wilkerson KNEW that the argument for WMD was at best unconfirmed, and at worst out and out lies from Curveball, Chalabi, and other “Shady” intelligence sources. And the fact that what pushed Col Wilkerson into coming out was the Whole feeling in the state department, as well as his friends in Intel, was that people were being pressured in a very dramatic way to give evidence to support a predetermined mid east policy as outlined by the PNAC….The fact that Cheny was and is the uncontested driving force in running the Policy Machine in this way, is what makes the case for high crimes AGAINST the VP and ultimately the President.

    Instead what I heared tonight was Col Wilkerson “walking back” these statements, backing down from the very points that he made initially wherby he was so moved to “come put” and blow the whistle in the first place!

    I was taken aback to here him fall in line with the Administration’s current line of defense against allegations of purposely manipulating intelligence whereby they were all just “wrong”…….I sat here with my Jaw on the floor as he just ended up parroting the BS that the Administration is now using as a defense……

    I swear to god, After hearing the Col’s Backpeddaling tonight regarding the handling of Intel, I am starting to feel like the whole reason Col Wilkerson came out in the first place was to send up a “weather balloon” and take the temperature of Public Opinion for a future ressurection for Colin Powell. I am not buying the fact that Larry and Colin “Don’t Talk Anymore” and that they are now “estranged” because Sec. Powell did not approve of Col Wilkerson breaking ranks with his “Inside Baseball” look into the policy machine. I feel that we are still being mislead.

  • T.H.F.

    Colonel Wilkerson, we have lost the high ground. We have not lost the campaign, but we have lost the battle.

    Looking back five or six years ago, I imagine Cheney and Rumsfeld coaching Bush. Cheney says, ‘They’re nothing but deck of cards. Nothing but a house of cards.”

    Cheney is referring to the Congress and to the Fourth Estate (media) and to FDA and the FCC and the State Department and to the entire bureaucracy of the federal government.

    They continue their coaching. “We will be remembered in history. Never mind the details or the detractors. Details are only important to bean counters and foot soldiers. And our deteractors, they’re laughable. Ignore them. They’re just a deck of cards.”

    Then Cheney and Rumsfeld conclude, “We shall lead, and our country and the world will follow.”

  • DebbieR

    I was underwhelmed by last night’s show as well. Chris was very aggressive in pursuing a line of questioning related to WMDs, but really this just gives more credence to the fallacy that that was the reason we invaded Iraq to begin with. The WMDs were just used as an excuse, and this was clear from the beginning.

    The U.S. never wanted to contain Saddam, they wanted to get rid of him. Whether or not he had weapons was irrelevant. From his past behavior, there were plenty of people who understood that Saddam was not suicidal, that he was not interested in getting into another conflict with the U.S., and that he was not the major threat he was made out to be. He had chemical weapons during the first gulf war, and didn’t use them. Not against America, and not against Israel.

    The Saddam who came out of his hiding place, looking like a homeless person, mumbling something about “making a deal” with the U.S. confirmed beyond a shadow of a doubt that we had utterly failed in assessing the threat presented by this man. Now our intellegence understands that Saddam’s big concern was Iran, and that his refusal to admit that there were no WMDs was posturing on his part.

    We need to hold accountable the consevative paranoid mind set that is incapable of rational threat assessment. This mindset is obssessed with the idea of being infallable and showing that we’re tough. I like the way their attitude was charactarized by Molly Ivins as

    “the familiar tinniness of the fake machismo I know so well from George W. Bush and all the other frat boys who never went to Vietnam and never got over the guilt.”

    Why didn’t Chris ask Col. Wilkerson why he voted for Bush the second time? For most Americans, the only way we have to hold politicians accountable is by voting or not voting for them. So what good is his complaining now, when he helped put Bush and Cheney in office for another 4 years.

  • Redd

    Well I must say that was a waste of a good hour. The CIA has never been right on any strategic intelligence. Has everyone completely forgot August 1990? Another massive intelligence failure couldn’t determine that a quarter million Iraqi’s were going to invade Kuwait. Lets see, who was in charge of that disaster. Dick Cheney(Sec. of Defense), Colin Powell(Chairman of the JCS), Rice(NSA analyst). After the war the Pentagon did an after action report that determined that air power was ineffective against the moblie SCUD missles and WMD sites. Who found and destroyed the SCUD missles? The weapon inspectors. Who found and destroyed the chemical and biological weapons? The weapon inspectors. Who found and destroyed/monitored the factories that produced the weapons? The weapon inspectors. After eight years of terrorist attacks against this country, starting in 1993 with the first World Trade Center bombings to the USS Cole bombing, we had another massive intelligence failure on Sept 11 2001. Anyone remember that? Lets see, who was responsible. Dick Cheney(VP), Colin Powell (Sec of State), Rice(NSA). How could Cheney/Powell/Rice or anyone else believe our intelligence system one year after 9/11? It does no good to say all our intelligence organizations agreed if they used the same source. Col Wilkerson should review the oath that he and everyone else in the military takes, … to protect and defend THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES from ALL enemies, foreign and DOMESTIC, Not to protect their boss! If this is the best that the politicians and bureaucrats can give us, we surely are doomed.

  • mdhatter

    whitewater or white phosphorus?

    he chose poorly last year.

  • jimbob3450

    Colonel Wilkerson’s perplexity at how we were buffaloed into war is either feigned or a result of an inability to see the forest for the trees. We need to state the obvious in plain language:

    We are in Iraq today because the Republican party needed to do something to insure that they remained in control after the 2002 mid-term elections.

    At that time the American people were beginning to focus on domestic issues where the administration did not have any advantage over the Democrats. As they have repeatedly demonstrated, the Republican party is expert at setting the forum for debate. By diverting public attention to “terrorism” and the serious issues of war, they shut-down all other debate. The nation and Colonel Wilkerson were busy debating the content of the administrations arguments about whether or not WMDs were there rather than questioning why the issue had suddenly become pressing.

    I do not believe that the Democrats were fooled for a minute, they simply lacked the courage to run the risk of having the American people reject them as “unpatriotic” or weak. I blame the American public for the lack of critical thinking that justified those fears and the news media fo failing to adequately pursue the question “Why now?”. There was not any “new intelligence” presented during the entire debate to justify the presence of an immediate crisis. Of course that was because the crisis was not related to Iraq but to internal US politics.

    I do not argue that the US mid-term elections were the only reason for the invasion. I firmly believe that there were many in the administration who wanted to invade Iraq for a number of other reasons, one of which might actually been a fear of WMD (and of course there is always oil). The precipitous “rush to war” however was driven by the desire to keep everyone off-balance and predictably get the people to rally around their president. The move was expertly executed, even the debate of whether their were WMDs or not actually helped obscure the fact that there was no immediate need to do this.

    By timing the push and war when they did they were able to guarantee that the issue would persist through the presidential elections and while the negative consequences of the war might have become an issue in 2004, the big issues were all longer-term and unlikely to be a problem for the election. I am sure that the idea looked better and better and “group-think” took over in the White House. Not only would they sway the election, but they would make changes that they believed were in the best long-term interests of the country, make some money for their supporters, and install a free-market economy in Iraq (democracy is not the goal, it is grudgingly accepted as a companion to free-market economics).

    I have no doubt that may of the individuals firmly believe these things are desirable, just as they believe that they will be forgiven for lying “in the best interests of the country”. This demonstrates their utter contempt for democracy. In my view an informed electorate is the basis of democracy and voters should make decisions based on the issues. Most of the Republican party appears to believe in “paternalism”. where “good” people do what is best for the nation and don’t bother the public with the details of their deliberations. It is OK (in their minds) to bend the truth in order to do what they feel is necessary. The ends justify the means. This is reminiscent of the Soviet Union under Stalin, the rationalization of all sorts of horrible behavior for the future good.

    The problem is that it is our goal not to have an “end” so how can you justify it with “the means”?


  • bft

    Spiro Agnew!

  • the cubist

    I apologize for the length, but a little more than three weeks ago I posted this on the web, at corrente, and I need to know: Colonel Wilkerson, did I entirely misread you?

    The Sound of Patriots

    Submitted by the cubist on Fri, 2005-10-21 22:36.

    The Army and Marines have been shabbily treated, and they know it. The Colonel hints that he speaks for the common wisdom among the best and brightest of those at least in the generation he taught. If things have reached such a pass that a career field-grade officer and Naval War College professor—the deputy to the past Secretary of State—thinks the situation is so bad that professional soldiers may be seriously considering armed revolution to rid the nation of these stupid Republican traitors, then Iraq must be even worse than we can know, even as the Gulf devastation is.

    What a story. And nobody whispers a word about it but a few on the net, and some foreign newspapers. Nice work, Lambert and Corrente.

    In defense of my take on these elements, I say that Wilkerson himself is one of the professional soldiers who seems here to be considering the prospect of armed revolution. He is a professional diplomat, of high order. So he speaks in metaphors, the lingua franca of the diploma. He even points to this very skill when he speaks of using the Declaration of Independence in study classes with his tutored students. And after he speaks about metaphors, he refers to the Declaration as calling the people “to throw off tyranny, to throw off ineptitude.� The inept and tyrannical Bush administration? (“Cabal� is a word historically associated with treason). He clearly implies that the time is getting close for a return to the principles of the Declaration, and that the circumstances Americans faced then may parallel what we face now. And the Declaration is nothing less than a call to join an armed revolution to overthrow tyranny. There is thus at least one soldier who seems to be considering it, and I think his reference at the opening to his former students hints at his saying what they may not say. In my view, he hints at the possible overthrow of King George.

    Posted by: the cubist at October 25, 2005 02:51 AM

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  • Maybe you can get Lawrence Wilkerson back, he has really cut loose on Dick Cheney in an interview with the BBC airing this morning. Sounds as if, where he was previously willing to cut the administration some slack, this has changed.

  • The interview is not on the radio program’s site yet, but should show up later:

  • Elc0chin0

    It’s too late for the dead professional soldiers. Five years ago I could see this coming. You can cover so many lies before they begin to turn around and bite right back at you. I read part of what Wilkerson said so I haven’t heard the inflection.

    I think Wilkerson is upset and frustrated at how Colin Powell was set up. I don’t think Condelisa Rice’s PhD is going to help her get out of the mess once Dick and Bush start to point the finger at her. These guys would shoot their own grandmothers if it meant they could stay in office longer.

    One thing is certain; these people have committed treason against the American People by using Patriotism as their tool.

    An old wife’s tale says that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Both Cheney and Rumsfield were raised by parents who supported Hitler. Their parents were Nazi’s. Both of their character is showing through, but for all those who have passed so late.

    The only thing we can do is hope for people like Cindy Sheehan to make a difference. She has been this administration’s stumbling block.

    When Scott Ritter went public and stated that Iraq had no WMD, Cheney and Karl Rove when on a character assassination spree to discredit this man. Where is his apology? It’s a good thing now that less people believe them.

    Maybe there will be justice. And it’s not for the people who don’t like this “War on Terror”. Because the apparent “Terror” is within.

    Here’s something even more interesting. Late yesterday CST the link was removed from CNN’s web site. Last night this didn’t even make the news. Hummmmm.

  • Emily Corwith

    Very interesting listening to this interview once again after the mess which is Iraq is once again preoccupying the media …