Perhaps it's not so surprising that the international press seems to be getting into Woodward's new book far more than the American press. The stories coming out do not paint a pretty picture of this administration.
Woodward wrote that White House chief of staff Andrew Card urged Bush to replace Rumsfeld with former secretary of state James Baker following the 2004 election, the Post reported on its website.
Bush decided not to do so after Vice President Dick Cheney and political adviser Karl Rove pursuaded him the move would be seen as an expression of doubt about the direction of the war and expose him to criticism, the Post said.
Card, with the backing of first lady Laura Bush, tried a second time to convince Bush to fire Rumsfeld around Thanksgiving 2005, the book says. But the president again refused to act. Read on...
Forget the troops, forget the sacrifices their families are making...removing Rumsfeld might expose Bush to criticism...
The TimesUKOnline has more:
(T)he White House ignored urgent warnings about inadequate troop numbers in Iraq and [..] an almost dysfunctional relationship has existed between senior figures within the Administration. It says that Mr Bush's top advisers were often barely on speaking terms with one another - but shared a tendency to dismiss assessments from American commanders and others about the situation in Iraq as being too pessimistic.
At one stage Donald Rumsfeld, the Defence Secretary, was said to be so hostile towards Condoleezza Rice, then the National Security Adviser, that Mr Bush had to tell him to return her phone calls.
Brilliant. They don't talk to each other and they dismiss the "boots on the ground" as being too pessimistic. Meanwhile, The India Times tells us that it is far worse in Iraq then we are being told:
Insurgent attacks against US-led forces in Iraq occurred, on average, every 15 minutes, Woodward said [..].
"It's getting to the point now where there are eight, 900 attacks a week. That's more than a hundred a day. That is four an hour attacking our forces." [..]
"The assessment by intelligence experts is that next year, 2007, is going to get worse and, in public, you have the president and you have the Pentagon (saying) 'Oh, no, things are going to get better.'"
Woodward will be interviewed on 60 Minutes this Sunday. Hopefully, the American media will pick up the trail and we'll start seeing some honest coverage now before the election.