. . .In the fall of 2001, even as America was waging a war in Afghanistan, another hidden war was being waged inside the administration. . . Bush's War tells the story of this behind-the-scenes battle over whether Iraq would be the next target in the war on terror.
On one side, Secretary of State Colin Powell and Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet squared off against Vice President Dick Cheney and his longtime ally, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. The battles were over policy -- whether to attack Iraq; the role of Iraqi exile Ahmad Chalabi; how to treat detainees; whether to seek United Nations resolutions; and the value of intelligence suggesting [no credible] connection between Saddam Hussein and the 9/11 attacks -- but the conflict was deeply personal.
. . .As the war within the administration heated up, Armitage and Powell concluded that they were being shut out of key decisions by Cheney and Rumsfeld. "The battle of ideas, you generally come up with the best solution. When somebody hijacks the system, then, just like a hijacked airplane, very often no good comes of it," Armitage adds. . .
. . .What followed is well documented: insurgency, sectarian strife, prisoner abuse and growing casualties. But within the administration, a new battle over strategy was being fought -- this one between a new secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, and Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld. The clash between America's top diplomat and its chief defense official would go on for more than two years and be settled only after the Republican loss in the 2006 congressional elections. It was then that the president forced Rumsfeld out, ended his strategy of slow withdrawal and ordered a surge of troops. FRONTLINE goes behind closed doors to tell the most recent chapter in this ongoing story, and asks what Bush will leave for a new U.S. president both in Iraq and in the larger war on terror. . .
parts of this narrative have appeared
before -- but never before has the whole
warp-and-weft of the cheney master-plan
been so completely exposed. never before
have we seen his handiwork, revealed,
from so many differing vantage-points. . .
so, do go watch it. it is one of the
sadder duties of being a responsible,
informed citizen in this republic.
p e a c e