Archive for the ‘True Stories!’ Category

Let’s pull their pants down, shall we?

Monday, June 27th, 2016

“Weeks passed.  Rumsfeld finally said yes to a meeting on January 29, two days before Bush’s deadline for tribunal proceedings.  ‘I remember being astonished,’ said a regular in the detainee gatherings.  ‘The president of the United States has directed that something is going to happen by a date certain.  Surely it’s going to happen?’ ¶ At the appointed hour on the twenty-ninth, Rice took the head of the long mahogany table in the Situation Room.  It was Bush’s seat when he attended, hers when he did not, the chair a little taller than the rest and the presidential seal on the wall behind.

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“Steve Hadley, Rice’s deputy, sat opposite, across the room.

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“Cheney usually took the seat to her right, but Rice did not see him today.

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“Along that side of the table, in black leather swivel chairs, sat Andy Card, John Ashcroft, and George Tenet.

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“To Rice’s left were Colin Powell and Air Force General Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

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“Between them, looking sheepish in Rumsfeld’s seat, was his deputy Paul Wolfowitz.

World Bank President Wolfowitz reacts during a closing news conference in Washington

“‘Where is the secretary?’ Rice asked.

“‘He’s unavailable,’ Wolfowitz said.

World Bank President Wolfowitz reacts during a closing news conference in Washington

“Rice picked up her papers.

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“‘We’re not going to have this meeting.  We’re going to reschedule this for a date in the next week, and the principals will be present,’ she said.

“It took two weeks.  Same room, same cast.

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“Same question.  Same answer.

World Bank President Wolfowitz reacts during a closing news conference in Washington

“Rumsfeld was unavailable.

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“Rice marched out and sent a memo, not so much an invitation as a demand.  The principals would gather on Wednesday, February 25, 2004.  They were running a full month now behind Bush’s deadline.  The day arrived.

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“The group filed in: Hadley, Card, Ashcroft, Powell, Tenet, Meyers.

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“Wolfowitz.

World Bank President Wolfowitz reacts during a closing news conference in Washington

“‘Where’s the secretary?’ Rice demanded.

“Wolfowitz looked as though he would rather be in that other place.  Or anywhere.

World Bank President Wolfowitz reacts during a closing news conference in Washington

“‘Unavailable,’ Wolfowitz said.

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“Tenet stood up, pushing his chair back a little harder than strictly required.  There are several doors to the Situation Room, and one was just behind him.

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“‘This is bullshit,’ he said.  ‘I’m out of here.’

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“‘George, do not leave this room,’ Rice commanded.

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“‘This is bull-shit,’ Tenet pronounced, more emphatic.  He took a few more steps and was gone.

“Something happened to Rice’s face, control melting away . . . ”

—from Barton Gellman’s Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency (2009)

 

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