Colin Powell Aide Cites Grave Dysfunction In The Bush Administration
The speech by former Colin Powell aide Lewis Wilkerson certainly deserved better space than the NYT gave it Friday morning, Oct. 21, at the bottom of Page A15.
In the talk Wednesday to the New America Foundation in Washington, Wilkerson charged that a Cheney-Rumsfeld cabal has been, in fact, running the Bush Administration and said he believes President Bush has made the country more vulnerable to future crises.
The full text of the speech should be reprinted widely, because it adds to suspicions of serious shortcomings in the Administration, and it comes from a man who long had Powell's confidence, even if Powell has not endorsed these remarks.
Wilkerson said that secrecy, arrogance and internal feuding has marked the Administration.
"I would say that we have courted disaster in Iraq, in North Korea, in Iran, generally with regard to domestic crises like Katrina, Rita -- and I could go on back," Wilkerson declared. "We haven't done very well on anything like that in a long time."
The dysfunction within the Administration is so grave, he added, that "if something comes along that is truly serious, truly serious, something like a nuclear weapon going off in a major American city, or something like a major pandemic, you are going to see the ineptitude of this government in a way that will take you back to the Declaration of Independence."
Wilkerson, a retired Army colonel and former director of the Marine Corps War College, said that in his years in government, he had never seen so much "aberration, bastardizations and perturbation" as he did in the first term of the Bush Administration.
"What I saw was a cabal between the vice president of the United States, Richard Cheney, and the secretary of defense, Donald Rumsfeld, on critical issues," he said.
Bush, said Wilkerson, is "not versed in international relations and not too much interested in them either," certainly not up to the standard set by his own father, the first President Bush.
The suggestion is not the first that an atomic attack against the U.S. is not beyond the realm of possibility, and we have to be particularly concerned here in Los Angeles, because as the headquarters of the movie industry and the site of a large Jewish population, L.A. is one of the most likely targets of any such attempt, along with New York and Washington.
The L.A. Times now has a new managing editor, Doug Frantz, who is well versed in these threats. So, however, may I suggest, was Judy Miller, who so many people have been denigrating lately.