By virtue of being an organized series of past short columns, most two pages to three pages in length, this book may be off-putting to the average reader, but for either insiders or those who care deeply about moral legitimate governance, this is a real page turner.
The author renders a valuable service in providing an original 23 page “tour of the horizon” that captures many but not all of the impeachable offenses of the Bush-Cheney team. In Florida, for example, his emphasis is on Bushophiles stopping the recount, not on the fact that Greg Pabst broke the story BEFORE the election that 35,000 people of color had been disenfranchised by Jeb Bush in a calculated plan to cheat the American public out of an honest election.
As someone who has read most but not all of the books covering this era (it merits comment that in its radical being, the Bush-Cheney Administration has inspired more books of the moment than any other previous President, as best I can tell), I found the collection of essays logical, reasoned, relevant, and depressing. This is a litany of high crimes and misdemeanors that demands the question: why hasn’t this pair been impeached? The obvious answer is because they own Congress, which has abdicated its roles at the first (Article 1) branch of government, the less obvious answer is because the public has become both ignorant and inert, the worst nightmare of Thomas Jefferson and Justice Branstein combined.
A few highlights along the trail:
Intelligence wars, with Cheney first trying to intimidate the CIA, then ignoring it.
Cheney killing the policy process, ruling by dogma.
Rice negligent & incompetent, as well as disloyal to Scowcroft, subversive of Powell, and ultimately the “butterfly of the State Department.”
Senate Select Committee on Intelligence betraying the people’s trust and its responsibility, the majority concealing and delaying accountability.
Bush leveraging religions, creating the first major violation of the Founding Fathers’ insistence on a secular state with tolerance of all religions.
Government in crisis, Bush-Cheney at war with the professionals.
Iran, not US, winning in Iraq.
Bolton as a “neo-primitive” (for the cognoscenti, the author renders gifted turns of phrase at every turn).
Catholic Church as a neo-fascist extreme right element more in harmony with the Bush regime than any protestant might imagine.
The invisible shrinking president seeking to uphold a doctrine of presidential infallibility.
The summary at the beginning of the book is alone worth the price of the book, and takes this collection of insightful and well-sequenced essays from four to five stars.
My one thought in putting the book down was that the author may have been unduly kind to Cheney. If one reads the The One Percent Doctrine: Deep Inside America’s Pursuit of Its Enemies Since 9/11 it is clear Cheney has mounted an internal coup d’etat and is NOT briefing Bush, is actively WITHHOLDING from Bush critical information, and appears to be deliberately REVERSING decisions by Bush made in Cabinet sessions and the over-turned in the dark. The full story on Cheney’s machinations remains to be told.
EDIT of 10 Dec 07: We now know that Dick Cheney is a nakely amoral person and has committed 25 documents acts of commission or omission that in my judgement demand that he be impeached. See, in addition to One Percent Doctrine, Vice: Dick Cheney and the Hijacking of the American Presidency. My review there items 23 act, the other two are in One Percent Doctrine.
The book has an index, mostly of names.