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"Imperial Hubris" by Anonymous
I saw a CNN report today on an upcoming book entitled "Imperial Hubris" written by Anonymous, who is actually a senior CIA analyst who was in charge of the Bin Laden/ Terrorism desk for a long time before getting pushed into side jobs when he started bitching about the current administration. He was interviewed in silhouette on CNN today. His identity is being kept secret for some reason, but his background is legitimate according to the CNN reporter: he is who he claims to be.
Apparently the book is his bitch list about the adminstration. Essentially he claims that the Bush administration doesn't really understand what they are fighting against at all and that all the rhetoric about "they hate us because of our freedoms" is just illusionary. Anonymous claims that Bin Laden and Al Qaeda hate us for things we've done, like support corrupt governments and leaders in Islamic nations and our unconditional support of Israel. Anonymous took care to mention in his interview that he wasn't taking a position on these actions by the US (i.e. he wasn't saying it was good or bad that we support Israel the way we do) but he felt it necessary for people to understand that the things we do have consequences and implications that need to be considered to fully understand the situation. But to continue the fantasy that these people hate America because we have freedom of speech or freedom of the press is ludicrous and counter-productive.
He also suggests that Bush played right into Osama's hands by invading an oil rich Islamic nation. This isn't a terror campaign, it is a war, plain and simple. Osama's strategy is coherent, intelligent, and effective, but the US strategy is misguided, unaware of the actual battle and substance of the conflict. As far as tactics and strategy go, OBL is winning.
The book is due in August, I think. A quick google search turned up a few hits already. It appears that the same guy wrote a book called Thtough Our Enemies' Eyes a few years ago. The google search turned up the publisher's site, a Guardian article on it, and an unfavorable review of Through our Enemies' Eyes
Does anyone think it is significant that we are seeing so many books by so many people that are slamming the adminstration, an adminstration that prided itself on internal security and solidarity? Usually books come out well after the fact but lately we've seen a lot of people who are trying to get information out, apparently in an effort to rectify what they see as a a bad situation.
Is it a general commentary on Bush's policies? When it comes to trusting someone, do we trust the people's who's job is to research and understand the world via intelligence gathering or the people who's job depends on reelection?
I'm a tad too deeply within my cups to respond at this particular time. Perhaps tomorrow I will endeavor to coalesce a synapse ejaculation or two on this singular matter. Until then you will have to squeeze you mental knees together, won't you?
There've been two such books that I'm aware of. This one, and el terrorism czar. Bob Woodward was not exactly an insider. Am I missing any?
Is 2 a lot?
Paul O'neal (Price of Loyalty?)
I think there may have been more that I can't remember offhand.
Considering that zero is the norm, I think it may be (I'm not saying it is) significant. An analysis I had read suggested that people were taking to the book presses because traditional methods of talking to the press wasn't feasible in the current White House climate (and that was established pre-9/11).
There were some guys from State who resigned in objection to Bush's Iraq policy, too (although less than had done over Clinton's perceived inaction in the Balkans, I think).
Man, I finally have a perfect thread to dump something in.
I've been saying for months that something is different about the rash of leaks coming from Washington. It really started catching my eye with the Chalabi stuff, and has since accelerated, to the point where something critical and debate-changing is being leaked nearly ever other week. I posited that Bush has crossed a line with brass in the CIA and Pentagon, and perhaps his own administration. This caught my eye because, though it's a fairly widespread opinion (I think), this is the first time I've seen it in print.
What's important too about this is, if it is indeed the case, it's not something that is likely to disappear or even letup. It hints at a very large breakdown in intra-department relations, and, if important figures in those departments have indeed turned, it's only going to get worse, I suspect. The CIA, for instance, is not known for "letting things go". In my own head, the Clarke and Anonymous stuff is symptomatic, but not the whole story. There's more than meets the eye.
Hell, I can't even say it would surprise me if it turns out Powell had a hand in it.
I agree with you on the Powell bit. I've floated the possibility that he might mutiny and resign before the election, maximizing the opportunity to speak out against Bush. We all agreed that it is unlikely (and still believe so), but that isn't to say he isn't doing what he can. Resignation would violate personal vows of loyalty and integrity perhaps, and likely damage any future political aspirations. But leaks? I'm looking forward to his memoir, I htink, although I wonder what more he could tell us. It might make for a neat history pack: Clarke, Powell, Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Wolfie, Anonymous, Zinni.
I think this paragraph states it the best:
Cynical readers may resist this explanation, but the motivations within the permanent government are most likely grounded in principle and patriotism, not narrow partisanship. Among bureaucrats, there is always a current of low-level grumbling about the elected leadership, but career civil servants and military rarely take such provocative countermeasures. In this Administration, the level of disgust and alarm is more palpable because Bush has been willing to trash the accepted norms of behavior and to cross perilous thresholds, unaware of the dangers despite many warnings from the professionals. To people who will be in government long after Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld have departed, the Bush crowd looks like the worst possible combination of qualities-incompetence and ruthlessness.
Europeans love (to read (about)) these books. We like to get our suspicions of Bush confirmed, and internal conflict in US government is reassuring in a strange way.
But it seems all these books do not make much of a difference or have any consequences. Or?
It seems to me that there is a drip-drip effect. But you are right, I reckon, they mostly appeal to people who already believe it.
I'll go ahead and disagree with that. The impact isn't that the 10% of undecided voters all go out and buy the books and read them and become convinced; rather, it's the way these things control news cycles; shift the debate; refocus things.
For instance, if you wouldn't have had Richard Clarke's book, there was a good month there when the coverage for Bush would have been pretty okay, leading up to the 9-11 commission stuff (which wouldn't have been nearly as charged had the Clarke thing not hit). But the Clarke discussion dominated every level of the news media for weeks, the conversation in America became "Has Bush really been an effective leader in the war on terror?" among other things. That needed a setting off point; it wasn't just going to be immaculatly concieved. To a degree there, of course, had been snippets of it here and there, Clarke's book took all of that and made it National Question Bush's Leadership On Terrorism Month in America.
You can argue back and forth about what impact, in the end, that had, but I don't think that the impact is all right away; it IS cumulative; even now you'll notice a very different slant in media coverage than you would have in, say, early March. In a way, when things like Clarke's book happen, and then followed by lesser aftershocks like Woodwards, the 9-11 commission, etc, they shift the landscape. Now, not only is it deemed alright to question the leadership on their handling of these things (something that, amazingly, hasn't been the case for the entirity of Bush's presidency), its considered a big story, its considered one valid point of view.
The leaks have been, arguably, even more important. The Abu Gharib stuff may never have gotten out at all without them, or if they had in some Red Cross report form (and we can guess how that would have been recieved by some here). And, just when the administration was trying to scuttle that, more leaks brought out memos saying this wasn't an isolated incidenct but a systemic change in policy. And, everytime since that the administration has tried to dance around it, another leak springs up pinning it closer and closer. It must be, I imagine, maddening for them to deal with, because they can't rightly tell the truth, I don't think, but they can't outright lie either, because who knows what might pop out next week.
All these things together have marked a huge change in this presidential election. Has any single book changed any single person's mind? I have no idea. But, I can tell you for sure that the total effect of these leaks and these officials coming out has had a very bad net effect for Bush, and will very much impact this years presidential election. It's at least as much responsible for this election being as close as it is as any other single factor I can think of.
Bush got a two year free pass with the news media, something I can't think of a parallel for in my lifetime, when the media was SCARED to question the administration. Now, since December or so, the tide's turned, and it's been wave after wave of bad news for the Bush team. That might have been a flash in the pan had it not been for a number of first hand accounts coming from all over the place corraborating a lot of people's suspicions (and adding new ones). What's more, Bush doesn't look like he's going to start catching a break again anytime soon.
The ICRC don't really release or report that stuff publically. The leak was what got it out there.
Originally posted by Paint CHiPs
[B]Has any single book changed any single person's mind? I have no idea. But, I can tell you for sure that the total effect of these leaks and these officials coming out has had a very bad net effect for Bush, and will very much impact this years presidential election.
Actually, I think that paint makes a good point about the stealing of headlines from the campaign, actually.
As for Coincidence's question, the fact is that the US government is fucking huge and employs a lot of people, so it'd take a lot more people coming out and saying this stuff to really give the impression that the government is a shambles. Republicans and leaning republicns can dismiss this stuff as unrepresentative. That is what I think, at least.
There should be an emergency break somewhere in the white house.
But some of the authors were republican, no?
And why would republicans want to dismiss it if it's true? Does the label 'Republican' on Bush shield him from countermeasures (in lack of a better word)?
People will be more forgiving of their own guy (as Democrats were of Clinton and Republicans were of Reagan) and will just want to limit the political damage that revelations or accusations do, as a rule. Because even if the president is a shit, he's their shit.
But at some point, will they not have to abandon Bush?
If he is betraying Republican ideals, the only way to limit political damage would be to portray him as beyond Republican, not their shit anymore. Those insanity stories could be useful after all.
He has been betraying republican ideals with his airline bailouts, the steel tarriffs, extending unemployment benefits, huge government spending, etc, but Republicans have largely let that go, for various reasons. He is still pretty popular with the republicans and, even with those that don't like him, still their preferred choice over Kerry.
Originally posted by Smug Git
He is still pretty popular with the republicans
So-called 'tax relief' is a big part of it, I think.
Not as big as blind faith, I think.
And hatred of the enemy.
a good point in the book
Page 185-8: The Department of Justice and the FBI have paralyzed American war efforts with their bizarre reliance on law enforcement: "Are we waging war, or hot on the trail of Thelma and Louise?" Scheuer asks. Bin Laden and Mullah Omar, who obey only God's law, are unlikely to quiver when indicted in New York courtrooms
It took 185 pages for you to find a point that you agree with? Anything else going on there or did you just block out everything that doesn't fit your schema? My copy was shipped today but I won't get it until September when I return to school.
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