(Wilkerson) said: said: “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 that made decisions that the bureaucracy did not know were being made.
“Now it is paying the consequences of making those decisions in secret, but far more telling to me is America is paying the consequences…”
Mr Wilkerson said such secret decision-making was responsible for mistakes such as the long refusal to engage with North Korea or to back European efforts on Iran…
Among his other charges:
-- The detainee abuse at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere was “a concrete example” of the decision-making problem, with the president and other top officials in effect giving the green light to soldiers to abuse detainees. “You don't have this kind of pervasive attitude out there unless you've condoned it.”
-- Condoleezza Rice, the former national security adviser and now secretary of state, was “part of the problem”. Instead of ensuring that Mr. Bush received the best possible advice, “she would side with the president to build her intimacy with the president”.
-- The military, particularly the army and marine corps, is overstretched and demoralised. Officers, Mr. Wilkerson claimed, “start voting with their feet, as they did in Vietnam. . . and all of a sudden your military begins to unravel."
These sorts of revelations from former administration insiders is both encouraging and lamentable. Wilkerson's statements confirm what so many of us knew--or at least suspected--all along. And while it's nice to say, "Ah! I was right," it's tragic that Cheney and Rumsfeld were able to get away with their abuses of power for so long.
I'd say the cabal was larger than just Cheney and Rumsfeld, though. Neocon luminaries Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, and John Bolton were certainly players.
Like so many, I'm hoping the Fitzgerald investigation brings this gang of thugs down--at least enough of them to put the organization out of business. But as citizens, we need to stay vigilant. The neocons are not the only power hungry cabal out there. And the power hungry thugs aren't all Republicans!