Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Teflon Condi?

One of the things that has most amazed me about the Bush regime's run has been how much Condi Rice has managed to escape blame for the Iraq debacle, which is generally primarily blamed on (in more or less rank order): (a) Rumsfeld, (b) Bush, (c) Cheney, (d) Wolfowitz. The thing that stands out to me about this story about the army deep-sixing a 2005 RAND study about the Iraq debacle is that even now Condi is only "implicitly" assigned fault.

This is extraordinary, since the central conclusion of the report is that, "Throughout the planning process [for the war], tensions between the Defense Department and the State Department were never mediated by the president or his staff." Of course, such mediation is the primary responsibility of the National Security Advisor--in fact, mediating the perennial (indeed structural) tension between State and Defense is the primary reason the position of National Security Advisor was set up in the first place. And of course it was Condi who held that position during the first Bush term.

Needless to say, what was the response of Bush to Rice's abject failure in her most basic responsibilities? To promote her to Secretary of State, natch! To really get a handle on how outrageous that was, imagine if Bush had responded to Katrina by promoting "Heckuva Job Brownie" to run the whole Department of Homeland Security.

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