Most will focus on how neatly the book ties into the NIE leaked last weekend, and the testimony of the generals in front of the Senate committee earlier this week, as well they should. It all smells pretty coordinated, and it's nice to see the Dems play hardball as hard and perhaps even better (more subtly, to be sure) than the Republicans.
Let's get to it, shall we?
Woodward: Bush concealing level of Iraq violenceNot surprisingly, the Bushies have been lying to us about Iraq. Dog bites man stuff. It's a non-story, except of course for the fact that Bob Woodward has been in the administration pocket for a few years now, and appears to have wiggled out a little.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Bush administration is concealing the level of violence against U.S. troops in Iraq and the situation there is growing worse despite White House and Pentagon claims of progress, journalist Bob Woodward said in advance of a new book.
Insurgent attacks against U.S.-led forces in Iraq occurred, on average, every 15 minutes, Woodward said in a CBS "60 Minutes" interview taped for broadcast on Sunday.
"It's getting to the point now where there are eight, 900 attacks a week. That's more than a hundred a day. That is four an hour attacking our forces," Woodward said in excerpts of the interview released on Thursday before the release of his book on the administration, called "State of Denial."
"The assessment by intelligence experts is that next year, 2007, is going to get worse and, in public, you have the president and you have the Pentagon (saying) 'Oh, no, things are going to get better,'" Woodward added.
But drop down a few grafs:
A senior administration official saw little new in Woodward's charges "except that Bob believes he has a lot of making up to do since the Washington establishment criticized him for being too soft in his first two books (on the Bush administration)."Uh huh.
"We've seen this movie before, and we shouldn't be surprised of another critical book about the Bush administration 40 days before an election," said the official.
Ask yourself this question: just WHO is this "Washington establishment" that the senior administration official (SAO) (clearly, either Dick Cheney or Donald Rumsfeld, but more likely Cheney, given the wording of the metaphor)? Is it the same "Washington establishment" that was so hypercritical of President Clinton? The same "Washington establishment" that has hammered the Democrats from pillar to post and has made up pipe-dream stuff to keep the masses undereducated? The same "Washington establishment" that supported the war in Iraq in the first place?
Let's face facts: the only "Washington establishment" (other than Morton's which serves a delicious filet mignon) that exists is the large cadre of lobbyists, almost all Republican, who do business on a daily basis with Congress and the White House.
Like Jack Abramoff, to name names.
And somehow, I doubt Abramoff gives a rat's ass about this book or Bob Woodward right now...
Which leaves the White House and its supporters as, well, the "Washington establishment." But note the way the "SAO" paints the White House as outside the Beltway? The same trope that Bush ran in 2000?
That's an interesting position for a Presidency to take in the midterm election of their second term, don't you think? It shows a lot of desperation and fear draping over the White House like syrup on a stack of pancakes.