Friday, April 11, 2014

A coup in the GWB White House?

You won't find many liberals/Democrats who want to talk about this. We tend to be much more interested in vilifying the Bush administration than understanding what went on. But for a while now we've been seeing evidence that the George HW Bush realists implemented a coup inside the George W Bush White House sometime in 2006. I'm not going to try to guess at their motives or tactics, but it came right on the heels of the midterm election. The most public event that signaled the coup was the "resignation" of Donald Rumsfeld as Secretary of Defense.

And now, from the leaked report of the Senate Intelligence Committee's investigation into the detention and interrogation practices (ie, torture) of the Bush administration, comes this:
The CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program ended by 2006 due to legal and oversight concerns, unauthorized press disclosures and reduced cooperation from other nations.
Its also true that by January 2007, the Bush administration stopped the NSA's warrantless surveillance program and started going to the FISA Court for approval.

Cheney/Rumsfeld/et al had their field day from 2001-2006. Then something changed. I'd love to hear more about the back story on that. But regardless, at some point even the Republican realists recognized that those folks had gone off the deep end.

When people suggest that President Obama is continuing some policies of the Bush administration, a correction is in order. That might apply to the policies of the post-coup Bush White House of 2007-2008. But definitely not its prior incarnation.

6 comments:

  1. I recall reading somewhere back in 2005-2006 (a place I cannot remember of course) there were whisperings of an attempted coup which may have involved some military brass who were livid about how the war in Iraq had been conducted. Of course in a different context JFK mused about a possible "Seven Days In May" scenario during his presidency. I would also like to read more about what happened in 2006.

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  2. I have been reading and recommending "Family of Secrets" by Russ Baker, with one of those interminable subtitles: "The Bush Dynasty, the Powerful Forces That Put It in the White House, and What Their Influence Means for America." Poppy Bush as possible long-time CIA asset, nefarious forces at work over the decades, far too much clout from the Texas awl bidness folks -- if even half of what he says is true, it's totally scary. So I can believe this scenario -- Dick and Rummy got out of hand, had to be reined in.
    http://www.amazon.com/Family-Secrets-Dynasty-Powerful-Influence/dp/B002T45028

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    1. I started the book a couple of years ago but need to pick it back up and finish it. Thanks for the reminder.

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  3. "Coup" me be a bit to extreme a word for what I suspect happened. It is apparent from external clues that something drastically changed during this time period. Rumsfeld's departure was the most visible external sign, but if you read the clues you can also see that Cheney was effectively neutralized within the opinion factory of the West Wing. This was perhaps most evident in the failure of Cheney to acquire a pardon for his Chief of Staff Scooter Libby. I've heard reports that Cheney was absolutely livid that Bush didn't pardon Libby.

    If you get a chance go back and watch Obama's inaugural. Look at the body language of Bush and Cheney when they are near each other. Their presidency did not end amicably.

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    1. Coup would be extreme if you think of it only in terms of a military action. But if you think in terms of the power of the presidency, it had clearly been in Cheney's hands until 2006. Someone(s) took that away. I don't think it was merely the power of persuasion that did it.

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    2. I recall a very public clash of the titans. There were news articles with titles and storylines similar to "George Bush Sr. sends advisors to D.C.".

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