Friday, September 05, 2008

Profiles in Leadership

Today's Washington Post discusses Bob Woodward's new book in which it is revealed that the Bush administration has been spying on Iraiq PM Nouri al-Maliki and other Iraqi leaders. To which I say, good idea. But the article also discusses other tidbits from the book, including this exchange with President Bush:

According to Woodward, the president maintained an odd detachment from the reviews of war policy during this period, turning much of the process over to Hadley. "Let's cut to the chase," Bush told Woodward, "Hadley drove a lot of this."

Nor, Woodward reports, did Bush express much urgency for change during the months when sectarian killings and violent attacks against U.S. forces in Iraq began rising, reaching more than 1,400 incidents a week by October 2006 -- an average of more than eight an hour. "This is nothing that you hurry," he told Woodward in one of the interviews, when asked whether he had given his advisers a firm deadline for recommending a revised war strategy.

In response to a question about how the White House settled on a troop surge of five brigades after the military leadership in Washington had reluctantly said it could provide two, Bush said: "Okay, I don't know this. I'm not in these meetings, you'll be happy to hear, because I got other things to do."

I don't want to oversell this...but seriously. Okay, so maybe he's not in those strategy meetings, but he didn't think at some point to ask his advisors at some later point why five and not more, or less? Doesn't someone wonder about that sort of thing? Or care enough to at least make something up when asked about it?

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