First there was Paul O’Neill:
“From the very beginning, there was a conviction, that Saddam Hussein was a bad person and that he needed to go,” says O’Neill, who adds that going after Saddam was topic "A" 10 days after the inauguration - eight months before Sept. 11.
“From the very first instance, it was about Iraq. It was about what we can do to change this regime,” says [Ron] Suskind. “Day one, these things were laid and sealed.”Ron Suskind is the author of the Paul O’Neill-sourced book, “The Price of Loyalty” that created such a dustup back in January of this year. O’Neill, of course, used to be the Bush Administration Treasury Secretary until he and the administration kissed and said goodbye.
And then there is Richard Clarke:
"The president dragged me into a room with a couple of other people, shut the door, and said, 'I want you to find whether Iraq did this.' Now he never said, 'Make it up.' But the entire conversation left me in absolutely no doubt that George Bush wanted me to come back with a report that said Iraq did this.”[SNIP]
"Frankly," he said, "I find it outrageous that the president is running for re-election on the grounds that he's done such great things about terrorism. He ignored it. He ignored terrorism for months, when maybe we could have done something to stop 9/11. Maybe. We'll never know."Hmmm. Al Qaeda and Iraq: two different subjects, right? Sure. So I can't possibly say that the two books contradict each other, can I? No.
However, that dispute isn’t my point. After reading the two articles again, I found myself wondering whether either of these fine, upstanding, non-disgruntled, no-whining gentlemen have disclosed any classified information in their respective books (both publicized on CBS’ “60 Minutes,” both published by Simon & Schuster; both companies owned by Viacom). The way they both so casually drop information that was disseminated in private, likely classified meetings raises these carefully plucked eyebrows.
But I won’t buy either book to find out.
(Thanks to John Cole)