TITLE

What Happened to Bush's Dream Team?

AUTHOR(S)
Dickerson, John F.; Cooper, Matthew; Calabresi, Massimo; Carney, James; Novak, Viveca; Waller, Douglas
PUB. DATE
May 2004
SOURCE
Time;5/17/2004, Vol. 163 Issue 20, p37
SOURCE TYPE
Periodical
DOC. TYPE
Editorial
ABSTRACT
During Donald Rumsfeld's testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee in May 2004, a few members of the audience shouted down the Secretary of Defense. The President George W. Bush Administration engaged all week in thinly veiled finger pointing over the abuse of Iraqi prisoners, and, in a rare move, the White House let it be known that the President had privately rebuked his Defense Secretary for not advising him of the extent of the problem. For more than a year, the all-stars in the Bush war council and their staffs have been engaged in nearly open warfare over Iraq and its aftermath, but officials have always maintained that the occasional hard words and bruises were the natural by-products of serious debate fostered by a President who savors a contest of ideas so he can choose the best. The Bush team wanted to leak a piece of theater to make sure voters knew he was paying attention. Others in the White House said the maneuver had an additional purpose: it was a presidential shot sent across the Potomac to the Pentagon, where officials were insisting the White House had been kept in the loop about the abuse investigation. Democrats may have, for the moment, saved the White House, which had begun to imagine the specter of a bipartisan consensus among nodding wise men that Rumsfeld, whom Bush never intended to remove, was finished. Strategists in the Bush campaign do not believe the abuse scandal per se will hurt the President's political standing, but they admit that the nearly daily disclosures of depravity contribute to the feeling that Iraq is becoming a bigger mess.
ACCESSION #
13051185

 

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