Read time: 2 minutes

Survivor: The White House Edition

Vanity Fair: With the publication of State of Denial, Woodward's peeling away of the flesh of the Bush national-security team, the third act is

Vanity Fair:


With the publication of State of Denial, Woodward's peeling away of the flesh of the Bush national-security team, the third act is under way.

Woodward is hardly the only turn of the screw. There's Bill Clinton (there's always Bill Clinton). The once and future leader, who's been building himself a global career as, in part, the other president, has taken a more or less righteous position on virtually every global issue-health, environment, economics-except the war elephant in the room. Now, as the third act begins, he seizes the opportunity and is suddenly in high dudgeon about who is or is not to be blamed for the terror mess, not just defending his pursuit of Osama bin Laden but accusing the Bush administration of idleness and negligence. Fair enough, perhaps. But 9/11 was an age ago. How come we had to wait for this most fundamental discussion?

And there's The New York Times, which, after nearly five years of highly politic treatment of virtually anything that the White House coupled with the war on terror, is now, as the press critic Michael Massing recently characterized it, "the voice of the opposition." Here in the third act, there's Colin Powell-who prides himself on his soldier's loyalty except when he's whispering to reporters-playing the martyr. There's the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Virginia Republican John Warner, saying that the U.S. might have to consider "a change of course"-translation: run, run, run for the hills. (The chairwoman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Maine Republican Susan Collins, added, for good measure: "When Chairman Warner, who has been a steadfast ally of this administration, calls for a new strategy, that is clearly significant.") Via Woodward, there's Andrew Card, the president's former chief of staff, adjusting his position; Jay Garner, the Bush administration's haplessly selected first proconsul in Iraq, telling his revisionist tale of gross mismanagement in the war zone; George Tenet, the former C.I.A. director, taking the dramatic opportunity of the third act to, finally, drop responsibility for 9/11 onto the White House; Powell's number two, Richard Armitage, dumping all over just about everything; and, indeed, even Laura Bush, wringing her hands.

Such re-inventions and rationalizations and self-justifications and personal P.R. game plans will continue until the responsibility for Iraq has been reduced to Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld-the troika.

Everybody's positioning himself for the end. Read on...

Can you help us out?

For 16 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit. We work 7 days a week, 16 hours a day for our labor of love, but with rising hosting and associated costs, we need your help! Could you donate $21 for 2021? Please consider a one-time or recurring donation of whatever amount you can spare, or consider subscribing for an ad-free experience. It will be greatly appreciated and help us continue our mission of exposing the real FAKE NEWS!

More C&L Coverage


New Commenting System

Our comments are now powered by Insticator. In order to comment you will need to create an Insticator account. The process is quick and simple. Please note that the ability to comment with a C&L site account is no longer available.

We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service (revised 3/17/2016) for information on our posting policy.

Please Do Not Use the Login Link at the Top of the Site.

In order to comment you must use an Insticator account. To register an account, enter your comment and click the post button. A dialog will then appear allowing you create your account.

We will be retiring our Crooks and Liars user account system in January, 2021.

Thank you.
C&L Team