An Oral History of the Bush White House

Just finished reading a very long piece on the Bush administration in Vanity Fair. Almost 40 pages printed from their website. It reads like a very depressing, but gripping, novel. Painful but hard to put down. I’m posting here because I don’t consider this politics. If you don’t want to wait for The Golden Bush Years chapter in the 2080 history books, read this Vanity Fair account. Sort of a high colonic to start the year off clean. A few nuggets from the final page:

“Lawrence Wilkerson, top aide and later chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell: As my boss [Colin Powell] once said, Bush had a lot of .45-caliber instincts, cowboy instincts. Cheney knew exactly how to polish him and rub him. He knew exactly when to give him a memo or when to do this or when to do that and exactly the word choice to use to get him really excited.

Bob Graham, Democratic senator from Florida and chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee: One of our difficulties now is getting the rest of the world to accept our assessment of the seriousness of an issue, because they say, You screwed it up so badly with Iraq, why would we believe that you’re any better today? And it’s a damn hard question to answer.

Meanwhile, the Taliban and al-Qaeda have relocated, have strengthened, have become a more nimble and a much more international organization. The threat is greater today than it was on September the 11th.

David Kuo, deputy director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives: It’s kind of like the Tower of Babel. At a certain point in time, God smites hubris. You knew that right around the time people started saying there’s going to be a permanent Republican majority—that God kinda goes, No, I really don’t think so.”