EDIT of 3 Sep 08 to add CIA published denial and attack, and comment from Association of Former Intelligence Officers, as a comment.
I have reviewed all the books linked to below, and my reviews of those books will add depth to this review.
Ron Suskind's first book on the current Administration, The One Percent Doctrine: Deep Inside America's Pursuit of Its Enemies Since 9/11 was extraordinary for its deep look at Dick Cheney and how since his Ford days, he has always favored unfettered Executive power and has never, in every Continuity of Government exercise, NEVER, given any thought to Congress. He ALWAYS went for an Executive dictatorship that used “war powers” to overturn the Constitution and every single civil liberty. However, the better books on Cheney (25 documented high crimes) and Bush (a tragedy within a farce) are these:
The media and the other reviewers are placing excessive emphasis on the forgery. This is old news. Vaclav Havel, former President of Czechoslovakia, personally said that the White House claims that Iraqi intelligence met Al Qaeda in his country were false. The son in law of Sadaam Hussein who defected asserted, very credibly (and without torture) that the regime kept the cookbooks, destroyed the stocks (Army intelligence tells me they poured so much stuff into the river the future of those downstream is very scary), and were bluffing for regional influence's sake). The fact is that in addition to Cheney's 25 high crimes, there were 935 documented lies told by the White House, and their lack of ethics, integrity, and respect for the Constitution is now beyond repudiation. See for example:
State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration
A Pretext for War: 9/11, Iraq, and the Abuse of America's Intelligence Agencies
Weapons of Mass Deception: The Uses of Propaganda in Bush's War on Iraq
I continue to be astonished that citizens of the US are not burning tires in the streets and surrounding the White House demanding the immediate exile of Dick Cheney and the appointment of a care taker Vice President, at a time when open source intelligence (OSINT) is telling all of us, and the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) that Dick Cheney has promised Israel the US will nuke the Iranians between November 2008 and January 2009.
The core value of this book is NOT in the forgery, which is old news, but in the broad picture it paints of a Republic that has become a Third World dictatorship in which Cheney calls the shots, Congress is complaint (both parties be damned, the Republicans for being collaborators, the Democrats for being doormats), the war loots the individual taxpayer for Halliburton's financial benefit, and brave Americans die for an illegal, immoral war justified by a cadre of liars: Cheney, Rice, Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld, and Feith.
I read a a great deal–an almost fruitless attempt to remain sane in a time of mass insanity–and what I admire most about this author and this book is his broad focus on morality, civil liberties, and the values that differentiate true conservatives who read and value philosophy–and liberals who parrot phrases they do not understand. This is SERIOUS stuff!
In support of this author's “brief” to We the People, who should all be absorbing and then acting upon his message of paradise lost, I can only point to four more books within my Amazon limit, but urge all to look at my lists of books on evaluating Dick Cheney, on the case for impeachment, and on strategy, emerging threats, and anti-Americanism for good reason.
Will and Ariel DurantThe Lessons of History, a capstone volume on their 10-volume History of Civilization, tell us that MORALITY is a strategic asset that is priceless. Ron Suskind is right on target when he points out that it is this aspect–the loss of our national morality–that distinguishes the Bush-Cheney regime. Other Presidents have lied, cheated, and stolen, but this is the first in modern history to combine BOTH global imperialism AND domestic subversion on a scale that makes Richard Nixon look like a novice.
Max Manwaring, contributing editor of The Search for Security: A U.S. Grand Strategy for the Twenty-First Century, and his distingusihed authors, make the point that LEGITIMACY is the single most priceless asset for any government, for it empowers citizens and enables commerce, innovation, and civil society.
Ambassador Mark Palmer, author of Breaking the Real Axis of Evil: How to Oust the World's Last Dictators by 2025 points out that the US is not respected nor trusted in part because the Bush-Cheney Administration has chosen to be best pals with all but two of the 44 dictators in the world. Rendition, torture, warrantless wiretaping at home (including Guantanamo); deep secret and financial relations–at our expense–with 42 dictators busy looting and terrorizing their publics. Go figure….
Much of what the author has brought together is not new for those of us that continually monitor and agonize over crimes against the Republic, but I have to give him credit for crafting an elegant presentation that makes his book a moving and hence essential wake up call for the Republic. The people are NOT sovereign today, the people are sheep whose civil liberties, freedom of expression, right to bear arms, even their right to assemble, are all under attack.
With my final link, choosing from over 1,000 candidates, I conclude with a strong recommendation for the book Fixing Failed States: A Framework for Rebuilding a Fractured World. America is a failed state, and it is not just Noam Chomsky and Chalmers Johnson that are saying this, but also true conservatives steeped in thinking and integrity who are aghast at both the crimes of this Administration “in our name,” and the two clowns we have running for President, neither of whom can produce a strategy to restore America in the face of the ten high-level threats to humanity, a coherent policy matrix (twelve policies from Agriculture to Water), or a draft balanced budget and notional Cabinet proving they have a clue. They do not.
The USA has become a Third World nation. We let it happen by abdicating our moral and civic responsibilities as citizens of a Republic. Right now, regardless of who “wins” in November, we all lose. THAT is the point of this great book. The Republic is adrift and sinking fast.
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