Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Here's one more installment of Fosco's favorite selections from Vanity Fair's "An Oral History of the Bush White House" and this one's pretty horrible. If you thought the 9/11 attacks only got hijacked for political purposes later (Hi Rudy!), you may be surprised to find out that it wasn't even 9/12 before some of the more cynical members of Bush's inner circle hatched their schemes. This is testimony from Richard Clarke about the Administration's immediate reaction to 9/11:

Richard Clarke: That night, on 9/11, Rumsfeld came over and the others, and the president finally got back, and we had a meeting. And Rumsfeld said, You know, we’ve got to do Iraq, and everyone looked at him—at least I looked at him and Powell looked at him—like, What the hell are you talking about? And he said—I’ll never forget this—There just aren’t enough targets in Afghanistan. We need to bomb something else to prove that we’re, you know, big and strong and not going to be pushed around by these kind of attacks.

And I made the point certainly that night, and I think Powell acknowledged it, that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. That didn’t seem to faze Rumsfeld in the least.

It shouldn’t have come as a surprise. It really didn’t, because from the first weeks of the administration they were talking about Iraq. I just found it a little disgusting that they were talking about it while the bodies were still burning in the Pentagon and at the World Trade Center.
And, of course, you just knew that Karl Rove would have dirty hands on this one:
Scott McClellan, deputy White House press secretary and later press secretary: I remember Karl Rove was out there talking at some events about how we’d use 9/11, run on 9/11 in the midterms, and that it was important to do so.
I don't know why Fosco is surprised by such obscene cynicism anymore, but he still is.

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