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What effect of Paul O'Neill's book?(26 posts)

What effect of Paul O'Neill's book?dr hoo
Jan 11, 2004 6:59 AM
Keep in mind, this is a guy who worked in both the Nixon and Ford administrations.

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1101040119-574809,00.html

Select quotes from the time article:

1) Discussing the case for the Iraq war in an interview with TIME, O'Neill, who sat on the National Security Council, says the focus was on Saddam from the early days of the Administration. He offers the most skeptical view of the case for war ever put forward by a top Administration official. "In the 23 months I was there, I never saw anything that I would characterize as evidence of weapons of mass destruction," he told TIME. "There were allegations and assertions by people.

But I've been around a hell of a long time, and I know the difference between evidence and assertions and illusions or allusions and conclusions that one could draw from a set of assumptions. To me there is a difference between real evidence and everything else. And I never saw anything in the intelligence that I would characterize as real evidence." A top Administration official says of the wmd intelligence: "That information was on a need- to-know basis. He wouldn't have been in a position to see it."

2)The President asked for a global-warming plan one minute and then while it was being formulated, announced that he was reversing a campaign pledge to cut carbon dioxide emissions and pulling out unceremoniously from the Kyoto global- warming treaty, short-circuiting his aides' work. The President was "clearly signing on to strong ideological positions that had not been fully thought through," says O'Neill. As for the appetite for new ideas in the White House, he told Suskind, "that store is closed."

3)Though O'Neill is careful to compliment the cia for always citing the caveats in its findings, he describes a White House poised to overinterpret intelligence. "From the start, we were building the case against Hussein and looking at how we could take him out and change Iraq into a new country," he tells Suskind. "And, if we did that, it would solve everything. It was about finding a way to do it. That was the tone of it. The President saying, 'Fine. Go find me a way to do this.'"

This seems to be a situation where an insider is confirming the buzz about the white house process. Any comments? Will it have any effect on voters? On how the press will treat the administration? On what you think about the administration?
Plausible deniabilityStarliner
Jan 11, 2004 10:52 AM
This book alone won't derail the Bush Express. Bush's spin doctors will find workable excuses to keep things from getting out of control. As it is, Iraq seems to be slowly receding into the background news clutter, to Bush's strategic benefit. As long as the economy is perceived as to be improving, and no unforeseen disasters occur, the voting public won't likely reach the required level of discomfort to go against Bush without some further push from other sources, such as a inspirational Demo candidate who can attract the kind of support needed to successfully expose Bush's weakness and bring him down.
Plausible deniabilityJon Billheimer
Jan 11, 2004 11:16 AM
O'Neill's comments simply confirm the public record on the thinking and intention of neocon strategists over the last decade. That Bush is a close-minded tool of such ideologues is also patently obvious.

From a "foreign" perspective it looks like the American public mindset firmly arises from the fear and anger generated by 9/11. One way to assuage one's fears and anxieties is to take comfort in massive military retaliation, regardless of whether that solves the intrinsic problem of public safety for Americans. I don't believe any democratic politican is going to be able to shift that public perception in the near future. Bottom line? The world is probably saddled with this dangerous and simpleminded administration for at least another four years.
re: What effect of Paul O'Neill's book?Spoiler
Jan 11, 2004 2:48 PM
The book won't change the minds of opponents of the administrations policies; it will only confirm them.
I wonder how many Senators and other politicians will read it and change their personal views. \

Americans who aren't close followers of politics won't see the book. Die-hard supporters won't read it. For on-the-fence supporters who read the book, it should change their minds.

It will further isolate the die-hard/blind supporters. Support for the administrations is becoming much like Bush's view of support for America in general. You're either with us or you're the enemy within.

Saddam's capture was the last possible cheering point. Now we have thousands of military families pissed off because they're soldiers aren't coming home when promised, and guard and reserve troops who didn't want to go in the first place are saying goodbye. The good news is that their absense will create lots of temp job openings.
Some in the senate and house have been rethinking things.dr hoo
Jan 11, 2004 4:48 PM
Especially in terms of the intelligence they were presented with prior to the war. It seems that during the declassification process many of the caveats from the intel community (in the classified documents) somehow didn't get passed along. There seems to be a great deal of attention behind the scenes being paid to exactly how that information was massaged before heading off to congress. So said Rockefeller this morning.

Many may not see the book, but a heck of a lot of people saw the 60 mintues story. Whether it has legs or not, I don't know.
I just saw the 60 minutes storyStarliner
Jan 11, 2004 9:09 PM
The story won't convince the Moneymen, the Doug Sloans, the Steams or any of the big cheeses at Sunday Mass that Bush should be replaced. They'll contend that obfuscation is not against the law, so George gets a pass. Bush wasn't under oath - Clinton was. THAT makes the difference to them. So, as incredulous as it may seem, an affair with an intern becomes a much bigger offense than a heavy debt burden foisted upon taxpayers to pay for a war that didn't have to happen. Or to be more accurate, to pay for our country to invade another country and overthrow its government. George Bush doesn't make it easy for me to feel proud to be an American.
I think misleading congress to go to war would be...dr hoo
Jan 12, 2004 6:27 AM
... a "high crime". And changing "might, could be, looks like" to "is" when passing on information to congress is more than obfuscation and spin. IF that is what happened, and I am not claiming it has since I have not see proof, I cannot think of a reason why that is not impeachable. When the goal is to invade Iraq from the start of the administration, and things are worked to attain that goal REGARDLESS OF FACTS, it bothers me to the core. We shall see how things develop.

Perjury is a serious crime. This is a MUCH more serious issue.
Not as serious as almost diddling an internOldEdScott
Jan 12, 2004 7:27 AM
and (possibly) lying about it when bunch of leering sexed-up federal pervs er prosecutors ask you about it. Not NEARLY that serious, dr hoo.
Thank youmoneyman
Jan 12, 2004 8:48 AM
For calling me a "Big Cheese", even if it is only by insinuation.

As for the former Treasury Secretary, I don't give him much credibility when it comes to foreign affairs. Why would he have access to classified information? He wouldn't, and its hard to make a credible case based on evidence one does not posess. He could make assumptions based on cabinet meetings and conversations, but I have a hard time believing that the President said "Paul, let me show you the case we have outlined against Saddam."

As for planning an invasion of Iraq before 9/11, I would hope so. Saddam was a known enemy who had been causing troubles for a long time. A plan to invade, should the need arise, sounds like the kind of planning the President SHOULD be doing.

Amd why do you guys keep bringing up Clinton? Can't we just let that rest?

$$
Ummmm ... O'Neill was on the National Security Council.OldEdScott
Jan 12, 2004 8:57 AM
The greedy bastard was, I mean. Before he 'wrote' the book that all y'all know so much about. LOL!
Clinton had plans to do the same too! nmLive Steam
Jan 12, 2004 9:22 AM
Must mean it was a bad idea! nmOldEdScott
Jan 12, 2004 11:11 AM
Traitor O'Neill stabs "King George" in the back.MR_GRUMPY
Jan 11, 2004 6:14 PM
What can be wrong with this man ? You would think that he would rather fall on his sword, than say nasty things about this great man.

In a new book chronicling his rocky two-year tenure and in an interview with CBS's "60 Minutes" aired on Sunday, O'Neill said removing Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein (news - web sites) was a top priority at Bush's very first National Security Council meeting -- within days of the inauguration and eight months before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

O'Neill, fired in a shake-up of Bush's economic team in December 2002, told CBS the discussion of Iraq continued at the next National Security Council meeting two days later and that he was given internal memos, including one outlining a "Plan for post-Saddam Iraq."

"In the 23 months I was there, I never saw anything that I would characterize as evidence of weapons of mass destruction," O'Neill told Time magazine in a separate interview. "There were allegations and assertions by people... To me there is a difference between real evidence and everything else."

O'Neill also raised objections to a new round of tax cuts and said the president balked at his more aggressive plan to combat corporate crime after a string of accounting scandals because of opposition from "the corporate crowd," a key constituency.

O'Neill said he tried to warn Vice President Dick Cheney (news - web sites) that growing budget deficits -- expected to top $500 billion this fiscal year alone -- posed a threat to the U.S. economy.

Cheney cut him off. "You know, Paul, Reagan proved deficits don't matter," he said, according to excerpts. Cheney continued: "We won the midterms (congressional elections). This is our due."

A month later, Cheney told the Treasury secretary he was fired.

The vice president's office had no immediate comment, but John Snow, who replaced O'Neill, insisted that deficits "do matter" to the administration. "We're not happy about the size of these deficits. They're larger than they should be," Snow told ABC's "This Week," adding that Bush was committed to cutting them in half over the next five years.

According to former Wall Street Journal reporter Ron Suskind, author of "The Price of Loyalty" on O'Neill's tenure, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld called the former Treasury secretary and urged him not to contribute to the book. Suskind told CBS "I think it was the White House concerned" -- not a warning or a threat.
disgruntled former employeesDougSloan
Jan 12, 2004 7:40 AM
Not unusual for fired employees to bad-mouth their former bosses. Heck, I'm *counting* on it in a pending fraud suit against an employer that just fired thousands of employees!

Or, could be that Dean and/or Clark got to him and offered him a better job. He's certainly screwed the pooch with Republican administrations. However, I'd sure as heck never trust him to work for me if I were a Republican or Democrat.

As far as an employee or party man, that's about as "traitor" as it gets. Greedy bastard just wants to sell some books, seems to me.

Doug
'Greedy bastard.' LOL!OldEdScott
Jan 12, 2004 7:44 AM
This post is a classic!
'Greedy bastard.' LOL!Spoiler
Jan 12, 2004 7:52 AM
I guess the guy should have chosen more formal proceedings to air the dirty laundry. I certainly hope he and others get the chance.
Or maybe his assertations would have been more legitimate if he simply published them for free in the internet.
This, much like past administrations, Republican and Democrat, choose to do their business in strict secrecy. So anytimes someone talks, it looks like their squealing.
Aren't we thankful companies like Enron have such squealers?
thought you'd like it nmDougSloan
Jan 12, 2004 8:30 AM
Already has more millions than all of us combined . . .ms
Jan 12, 2004 8:56 AM
Unless there is a member of the Forbes 400 among us, O'Neill already has more money than all of us on RBR combined. At the time he became Secretary of the Treasury he held approximately $100 million in Alcoa stock (and had other major stockholding as well). I don't think that money was the motivation for his book or revelations. Like many disgruntled former employees, I think that he just has a need to vent and salve his wounds from being fired.

As someone who does not agree with the current administration in many respects, I have to say that it has been very disciplined with respect to controlling its message and leaks. By this time in other administrations, many more insiders than one fired cabinet secretary had told their story of disenchantment with the administration. O'Neill's critique is what one would expect from him based on his comments when he was Secretary of the Treasury. Maybe the fact that I, a Democrat who voted for Gore, liked O'Neill when he was in the Administration and intuitively believes what he says now is proof of what someone said above -- O'Neill isn't going change anyone's views of the Bush administration.
He's greedily trying to sell Ron Suskind's book! nmOldEdScott
Jan 12, 2004 9:19 AM
For which he gets not a single penny. (nm)dr hoo
Jan 12, 2004 10:35 AM
Oh, don't let facts get in the way of a goodOldEdScott
Jan 12, 2004 10:45 AM
eruption of right-wing outrage, doctor!
re: And everything is documentedjrm
Jan 12, 2004 1:52 PM
The repubs can spin and make character assaniations tell their hearts content. BUt in the end you cant spin or assasinate the facts held in the 1900 documents o'neil has supporting his claims.

It proves the ends was predetermined before the means. I really hope this puts someone else in the WH in the fall. I sure as hell will try to help.
I think this thing has legs.dr hoo
Jan 12, 2004 7:11 PM
What I have been reading so far on this is pointing out that while the white house is bashing O'Neill and Suskind, they have not contradicted the factual claims. Hints of blood in the water, and the press is smelling it from a distance like the sharks they are.

Number of days between Novak's (tool of the white house) column outing Valerie Plame and announcement of investigation: 74 days.

Number of days between O'Neill 60 Minutes interview and announcement of investigation: 1 day.

Hmmmmmmmm.

Here is another interesting link, from dec 2002, regarding Suskind and sources.

http://www.findarticles.com/cf_dls/m0ICQ/2002_Dec_9/95643900/p1/article.jhtml

Gotta love the phrase "Mayberry Machiavellis".

IMO, the Bush administration has had a very EASY time with the press thus far. First the honeymoon after the election, then the "hands off in time of war". Every president gets attacked after the honeymoon is over. And it is going to come like the flood after a broken dam now.

Steam, get your "liberal media agenda" rhetoric cranked up. You're going to find good use for it in the coming weeks.
I would be surprised if it did.czardonic
Jan 12, 2004 7:33 PM
The "liberal media" will be busy in their role as the Fourth Estate during this election year -- you know, dissecting the Democratic candidates wardrobe, fretting over the "troubling" flip-flops between their positions now versus stuff they said in the 70's, wondering if the Democrats will be able to win when all they have is Bush hatred to run on.

The media's honeymoon with Bush started long before the "after the election" peroid. I suspect it started sometime around the when they saw the size of the dowry the Bush campaign was going to be forking over.
Queer eye for the straight candidateSpoiler
Jan 12, 2004 9:34 PM
Maureen Dowd's brilliantly insightful piece
WASHINGTON--Can we trust a man who muffs his mufti?

Trying to soften his military image and lure more female voters in New Hampshire, Gen. Wesley Clark switched from navy suits to argyle sweaters. It's an odd strategy. The best way to beat a doctor is not to look like a pharmacist.

General Clark's new pal Madonna, who knows something about pointy fashion statements, should have told him that those are not the kind of diamonds that make girls swoon.

Is there anything more annoying than argyle? Maybe Lamar Alexander's red plaid shirt. Maybe celebrities sporting red Kabbalah strings.

After General Clark's ill-fitting suits in his first few debates — his collars seemed to be standing away from his body in a different part of the room — a sudden infusion of dandified sweaters and duck boots just intensifies the impression that he's having a hard time adjusting to civilian life.

It's also a little alarming that he thinks the way to ensorcell women is to swaddle himself in woolly geometric shapes that conjure up images of Bing Crosby on the links or Fred MacMurray at the kitchen table...."

What's her point? It's a little alarming to think the NYTimes' female voice uses her column to further the stereotype of women as shallow, dimwits who ignore the substance of speech and actions, instead using valuable space to critique fashion. If that's how she wants the democratic nomination to be decided, it's Calvin Klein in '04.
It begins. . .(nm)czardonic
Jan 13, 2004 10:31 AM