View Full Version : Bob Woodward writes on Bush's War Room

25-11-2002, 08:26 PM
<img src="http://i.abcnews.com/media/OnAir/images/abc_woodward_001113_h.jpg">

<font size="+1">Again, I am sharing with you about Bob Woodward,
the living journalist that I revel.</font>

* * * *

Cover dated: November 25, 2002

<img src="http://a799.g.akamai.net/3/799/388/04ada238dbbf04/www.msnbc.com/news/1698966.jpg" align="left"><font size="+1">In the War Room</font>
Bob Woodward’s new book goes backstage with Team Bush for the making of the fight against terror.

By Evan Thomas

In the war in Afghanistan last fall, the United States bought
off more enemy fighters than it killed. In one case, the CIA
offered $50,000 to a Taliban warlord to defect. When the
commander asked for time to think about it, a Special Forces A Team laser-guided a JDAM precision bomb to explode next door to his headquarters.

The next day the CIA man called the commander back with a new
offer. How about $40,000? This time the commander said yes.

BOB WOODWARD’S LATEST BOOK is full of such juicy tidbits from the secret war in Afghanistan.

...While the CIA charges ahead in the first weeks after 9-11, the Pentagon stumbles behind. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld comes across in Woodward’s retelling as not only prickly (his public persona) but also a little slippery. Rumsfeld does not appear to have cooperated too closely with the author; Woodward relates how, at a chance meeting outside the Pentagon, the Defense secretary tried to knock Woodward off balance by thrusting three fingers into his chest...

There is a random, rambling quality to many of the war-cabinet meetings. The campaign did not go smoothly or predictably. Bush was contemplating sending in thousands of American ground troops when the Taliban suddenly and surprisingly collapsed in mid-November 2001.

At one point Rumsfeld boils over: “This is the CIA’s strategy ... You guys are in charge ... We’re just following you in.” Woodward writes, “The secretary of defense was distancing himself.”

<img src="http://a799.g.akamai.net/3/799/388/283dd220bdb250/www.msnbc.com/news/1698965.jpg" align="left"> He quotes (Colin Powell's chief deputy Richard) Armitage saying, “I think what I’m hearing is FUBAR.” Why? asks the president, startled. (FUBAR is an old soldier’s expression meaning “f—ked up beyond all recognition.”) “I don’t know who’s in charge,” Armitage answers.

The room grows tense and silent.

“I’m in charge,” says Bush.

“No, no, no,” Armitage quickly explains. “I want to know who’s in charge out there,” meaning on the ground in Afghanistan.

After the meeting, national-security adviser Condoleezza Rice takes Rumsfeld aside and says, “Don, this is now a military operation and you really have to be in charge.”

...Judging from Woodward’s book, Bush’s war cabinet wandered and even seemed to lose its way from time to time. But it kept moving forward, deeper into the dark.