Sunday, October 19, 2003

You're probably aware of this story by now:

A yearlong State Department study predicted many of the problems that have plagued the American-led occupation of Iraq, according to internal State Department documents and interviews with administration and Congressional officials.

....Their findings included a much more dire assessment of Iraq's dilapidated electrical and water systems than many Pentagon officials assumed. They warned of a society so brutalized by Saddam Hussein's rule that many Iraqis might react coolly to Americans' notion of quickly rebuilding civil society.

...The working group studying transitional justice was eerily prescient in forecasting the widespread looting in the aftermath of the fall of Mr. Hussein's government, caused in part by thousands of criminals set free from prison, and it recommended force to prevent the chaos.

The article goes on to note that

The man overseeing the planning, Tom Warrick, a State Department official, so impressed aides to Jay Garner, a retired Army lieutenant general heading the military's reconstruction office, that they recruited Mr. Warrick to join their team.

...But top Pentagon officials blocked Mr. Warrick's appointment, and much of the project's work was shelved, State Department officials said.

But this isn’t really news. Let's fill in the missing pieces with this story, from the October 6 issue of Newsweek:

Rumsfeld ordered General Garner to drop a State Department official named Thomas Warrick from his reconstruction team. Garner protested, his aides recall; he needed Warrick, who had been the author of a $5 million, yearlong study called “The Future of Iraq.” Rumsfeld’s reply, as relayed by Garner to his aides, was: “I’m sorry, but I just got off a phone call from a level that is sufficiently high that I can’t argue with him.” Sources tell NEWSWEEK that Rumsfeld was taking his orders from Vice President Cheney.

We have not just the worst president ever but the worst vice president ever.

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