January 4, 2006
of War: The Secret History of the C.I.A. and the Bush Administration
Well, this is a book that is causing an enormous stir, even though the public and reviewers haven't even seen it yet. The right wing is already trashing it from here to eternity on the Internet -- and these bimbos haven't seen a copy, not a one! So you know it's hot.
That's because it's been kept under the tightest of wraps by its publisher, Simon & Schuster, because it's not often that a book is the likely reason that the New York Times is finally forced to publish a story revealing illegal spying by the White House, a year after it had the story in hand. Indeed, most likely, the New York Times spiked the story before the 2004 election, thus keeping more voters from defecting from Bush.
Even the Public Editor of the New York Times, Byron Calame, is taken aback at the lack of explanation as to why the New York Times held up the initial and subsequent stories relating to the illegal NSA wiretapping authorized by Bush in a piece that he wrote on January 1st, entitled "Behind the Eavesdropping Story, a Loud Silence."
And the co-author of the illegal wiretapping articles in the New York Times and the author of "State of War: The Secret History of the C.I.A. and the Bush Administration" is NYT reporter James Risen. As the NYT Public Editor skeptically notes:
Risen followed up the first blockbuster revelation of White House law breaking in terms of spying on American citizens with a story that received less attention, posted on January 1. Written with Eric Lichtblau in the NYT, it revealed that the current Attorney General (and current Bush family consigliere), Alberto Gonzales, and Andrew Card were rebuffed by the acting Attorney General, James Comey, when Ashcroft was having gallbladder surgery. Comey wanted the law breaking eavesdropping program shut down, so Gonzales and Card went to Ashcroft's hospital bed to try and persuade him to overrule Comey and allow the illegal activity to continue, which it eventually did -- and still has not stopped.
In short, "State of War: The Secret History of the C.I.A. and the Bush Administration" is a book that blows the cover on the failed war on terror and is full of whistle-blowers revealing how the Bush Administration has engaged in torture, bungled intelligence operations, and lied about WMDs in Iraq. Needless to say, it's not on the fake Bush reading list that Rove disseminates to the public to make it look like "Baby Doc" George actually picks up a book now and then.
It's a testament to how far the NYT has sunk that it was forced to pop a story about criminal behavior in the White House because a book by one of its own reporters was going to beat it to the punch. That's pathetic.
In any case, we'd love to tell you how insightful and corroborating Risen's book is, but we're as much caught up in the hype as everyone else is.
We figure if the right wing echo chamber is already mercilessly slandering Risen and "State of War: The Secret History of the C.I.A. and the Bush Administration," it's got to be well worth reading.
As a Time Magazine article entitled, "The Book Behind the Bombshell" notes: "...the book also argues that the NSA's eavesdropping policy shows the extent to which the war on terrorism has spurred the intelligence community to flout legal conventions at home and abroad. Risen's chief target is the CIA, where, he argues, institutional dysfunction and feckless leadership after 9/11 led to intelligence breakdowns that continue to haunt the U.S. Though much of State of War covers ground that is broadly familiar, the book is punctuated with a wealth of previously unreported tidbits about covert meetings, aborted CIA operations and Oval Office outbursts. The result is a brisk, if dispiriting, chronicle of how, since 9/11, the 'most covert tools of national-security policy have been misused.'"
Okay, we're going to read it as fast as you do. Get ready, get set, go!