03 October 2006

Props for Woodward restored

After all but drying up after his first two books of a three-part series on Bush, the props for Bob Woodward have been restored after his latest, State of Denial, has basically blown the lid off the White House and put his first two volumes into damning context.  And he had the admirable audacity to release the book right before the election, discussing it with Matt Lauer on Today:

Woodward replied that he had not waited "to make a splash, but to assemble the whole story," and then go to the White House and Pentagon and CIA and ask, "What did you do?"  He added: "Simon & Schuster and my bosses at the Washington Post said the only real obligation here is to tell it before the election.

"That's what we're doing.  People can judge for themselves."

The Administration wasn’t happy, predictably, and went on a little disinformation campaign of its own, shoving Condi Rice out there to say Woodward fudged the facts about an alleged meeting between then-CIA Director George Tenet and herself:

He also stuck by his guns on another key scoop in the book -- in which he reveals that CIA Director George Tenet and his top intelligence man met with Condoleezza Rice, then national security chief, two months before 9/11, to deliver a very strong warning about a coming terrorist attack on the U.S.

They claimed she brushed them off. Rice today denied that the meeting took place -- or if it did, she did not receive any strong warning about such an attack.

The White House’s own records show that this meeting did indeed take place.  The administration tools’ half-assed discrediting job is only doing themselves in further.  They can only hope that voters have short memories, which, if American history tells us anything, is not a far-fetched notion.

At any rate, I have to admire Woodward for patiently sticking to his guns through his literary ordeal, when former admirers heaped scorn on him for what seemed like blatant brown-nosing of the Great Decider in books I & II.  People should have listened to Ben Bradlee and Carl Bernsteinwho never gave up on their old cohort.

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