November 3, 2006


I have just completed reading two fascinating books written by Pulitzer Prize winning authors, Bob Woodward and Ron Suskind.  Bob Woodward’s book, State of Denial, and Ron Suskind’s book, the One Percent Doctrine, are spellbinding accounts of our nation’s political situation following the ascent to power of the Right Wing Neo-Cons who now control our government.  The precisely documented information they present, when combined with their previous books, Plan of Attack and The Price of Loyalty, provide the reader with a vantage point from which to judge the actions and activities of our current political leadership.


Add to this mixture Richard Clark’s book, Against All Enemies, and you wind up with first hand accounts of some of the most dramatic and frightening information imaginable.  Points of interest include the following:  The Bush administration was determined to attack Iraq even before George Bush took office. [1],[2],[3],[4],[5] On July 10, 2001, two months before the 911 attack, Condoleezza Rice was informed by the CIA that an attack on the United States by Osama bin Laden and the terrorist group al Qaeda was imminent.[6]  The President had been similarly briefed and had also chosen to ignore these warnings.[7]  In these books, Donald Rumsfeld is consistently described as an arrogant, egotistical and obsessive individual who is largely responsible for mismanaging the fiasco in Iraq.  Vice President Cheney is forever the behind the scenes manipulator who subtlety controls President Bush and much of American policy.  General Colin Powell gains a modicum of forgiveness for being misled into supporting policies he did not approve.  Lastly, Condoleezza Rice is portrayed as a bright and ambitious opportunist who is the consummate team player, willing to betray others and perform any activity that would protect the president and promote her own career.


The dishonesty that permeates this administration is almost beyond belief and these books should convince anyone that we have major problems with the leadership of our nation.


As spellbinding as the books might be, they cover but a fraction of the damage that is being done to our country.  Our economy is in shambles, not on paper, but because we are running a nation with borrowed money and our national debt will someday be our downfall.  The U.S. Congress has recently approved policies that will permit the torture of individuals and allow their arrest without access to the courts, clearly upsetting hundreds of years of jurisprudence and making a mockery of our constitution.  Our environment is being destroyed and the pharmaceutical companies are raping the elderly and falsifying data on the safety of drugs.  The list goes on and on.  All of this is being done at the behest of, or with the assistance of Congress and the President.


We are not approaching another election.  Fag and Flag issues swayed a large segment of our population in the last election.  This election, Fear and Smear appear to be the issues used to divert attention from the truly important problems our country now faces.


I received a political flyer this week with a mushroom cloud on the cover.  Ironically, the sender represented the party most responsible for our decreased ability to protect our country from such an attack.  We know from Mr. Suskind’s book that prior to invading Iraq, the United States knew that Libya, Iran and North Korea all had established atomic weapon programs.  Yet this administration chose to attack a country that posed not threat to us and had no such program.  Amazingly, the arrogance of this administration, combined with unbridled greed and a tincture of stupidity allowed them to take the most powerful military force in the history of the world and bring our nation into a war it cannot win against an enemy it cannot identify while at the same time bankrupting, both financially and morally, the wealthiest country on earth.


These are not issues of party or philosophy.  A gigantic propaganda machine has so confused and befuddled us that the core constituency of the “Evil Empire” consists of individuals who consider themselves to be “religious.”  The Christian community has stood by and supported some of the most un-Christian activities imaginable.


Our government has truly become fascist, with the interest of big business trumping the needs of the people.  If I have learned anything in my 60 plus years on this planet, it is that the motivating force in these activities is greed.  The words of St. Timothy sums up this matter beautifully.  “For the love of money is a root of all evil; and some whose hearts were fixed on it have been turned away from the faith, and been wounded with unnumbered sorrows.”


Michael R. Robichaux, MD



[1] Plan of Attack, Bob Woodward, Simon & Schuster, 2004, p. 9. “In early January, 2001, before George W. Bush was inaugurated, Vice President-elect Dick Cheney passed a message to the outgoing secretary of defense, William S. Cohen…. ‘We really need to get the president-elect briefed up on some things’, Cheney said…..’Topic A should be Iraq.’”

[2] Ibid. at 1, p. 10, “On Wednesday morning, January 10, ten days before the inauguration, Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice and the designated Secretary of State, Colin L. Powell went to the Pentagon to meet with Cohen.  Afterwards, Bush and his team went downstairs to the Tank, the secure domain and meeting room for the Joint Chiefs of Staff.”  The briefing described on the following pages, pp. 10-13 was on Iraq and Saddam Hussein.  Secretary Cohen “who was leaving the Defense Department in 10 days, believed that the new administration would soon see the reality about Iraq.  They would not find much, if any, support among the other countries in the region…..”

[3] Ibid. at 1, p. 12, “Bush received a second critical national security briefing a few days later.  CIA Director George Tenet….gave Bush, Cheney and Rice the so-called Secrets briefing…. There were there major threats to American national security. One was Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda terrorist network…Bin Laden was a ‘tremendous threat’ which had to be considered immediately, they said.  There was no doubt that bin Laden was going to strike at United States interests in some form….President Clinton had authorized the CIA in five separate intelligence orders to try to disrupt and destroy al Qaeda.”  “A second major threat was the increasing proliferation of weapons of mass destruction….Third was the rise of China, especially its military…Iraq was barely mentioned.”

[4] The Price of Loyalty, George W. Bush, the White House, and the Education of Paul O’Neill.  Ron Suskind, Simon & Schuster 2004, pp. 70-75.  “On the afternoon of January 30, ten days after his inauguration…George W. Bush met with the principals of his National Security Council for the first times.” (p. 70) “He (Bush) turned to Rice. ‘So, Condi, what are we going to talk about today?  What’s on the agenda?’  ‘How Iraq is destabilizing the region, Mr. President,’ Rice said, in what several observers understood was a scripted exchange.  Rice said that CIA Director Tenet offer a briefing on the latest intelligence on Iraq.  (Comments of Mike Robichaux:  Tenet begins a long, detailed presentation on Iraq with photographs.  The remainder of the meeting was devoted to Iraq.  Paul O’Neil, Secretary of the Treasury, left the meeting thinking, “Getting Hussein was now the administration’s focus, that much was already clear…”

[5] Ibid at 4, p. 83.

[6] State of Denial, Bob Woodward, Simon & Schuster, 2006, p., 52. “The July 10,2001 meeting with Tenet, Black and Rice went unmentioned in the various reports of the investigations into the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States, but it stood out in the minds of both Tenet and Black as the starkest warning they had given to the White House on bin Laden and al Qaeda.”

[7]Plan of Attack, Bob Woodward, Simon & Schuster, 2004, p. 24.  In Bob Woodward’s interview with President Bush he describes how the President admitted that he had disregarded the threats of terrorism.  Woodward writes, “Worse for Bush, CIA Director Tenet had explicitly warned him about the immediacy and seriousness of the bin Laden threat.  Focusing on domestic issues with a giant tax cut, Bush had largely ignored the terrorism problem. ‘I didn’t feel that sense of urgency,’ the president acknowledged later in the interview.  ‘My blood was not nearly as boiling.’”

© Michael Robichaux 2013