Thursday, January 6, 2005

The Madness of King George

Somehow, I suspect that I'm not the first one to re-use that title, but whatever.

Circuitously, via Brilliant at Breakfast, I found myself at the Al Franken Show blog, without a clue why I had never been there before.

Anyway, there's a piece on Bush not wanting to hear news that doesn't agree with him:

The Nelson Report is a daily political tip sheet and analysis written for the past 20 years for the (US and Asian) corporate and government clients of Chris Nelson, a former Capitol Hill staffer and UPI reporter. (He was actually the first to break the looted explosives story before the election; Josh Marshall then posted it to his blog.) This Monday, he wrote:

There is rising concern amongst senior officials that President Bush does not grasp the increasingly grim reality of the security situation in Iraq because he refuses to listen to that type of information. Our sources say that attempts to brief Bush on various grim realities have been personally rebuffed by the President, who actually says that he does not want to hear “bad news.”

Rather, Bush makes clear that all he wants are progress reports, where they exist, and those facts which seem to support his declared mission in Iraq...building democracy. “That's all he wants to hear about,” we have been told. So “in” are the latest totals on school openings, and “out” are reports from senior US military commanders (and those intelligence experts still on the job) that they see an insurgency becoming increasingly effective, and their projection that “it will just get worse.”

Our sources are firm in that they conclude this “good news only” directive comes from Bush himself; that is, it is not a trap or cocoon thrown around the President by National Security Advisor Rice, Vice President Cheney, and DOD Secretary Rumsfeld. In any event, whether self-imposed, or due to manipulation by irresponsible subordinates, the information/intelligence vacuum at the highest levels of the White House increasingly frightens those officials interested in objective assessment, and not just selling a political message.

Jill (B.a.B.) makes the point that "They used to make Masterpiece Theatre series about insane rulers like this. Now we call them the President of the United States."

Sure, that worries me, but I've had a brilliant idea - the advisors tell him as soon as the election is over that everyone living in Iraq is happy now, and that all the soldiers can come home. Mission Accomplished. And fighting that breaks out after we're gone we can pretend to be surprised about.

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