* murdoch's respectable australian broadsheet:
"Bob Woodward's latest book could cripple the Bush presidency
There's also worrying new detail, apparently not revealed to the bipartisan 9/11 Commission that investigated the terrorist attacks on the US, that then national security adviser (and now Secretary of State) Condoleezza Rice brushed off warnings from the CIA two months before September 11, 2001, that al-Qa'ida was planning a possible domestic attack.
Woodward writes that CIA chief George Tenet and his counter-terrorism chief Cofer Black met Rice on July 10, 2001 at the White House hoping to "shake Rice" with a "strategic warning, meaning the problem was so serious that it required an overall plan and strategy". But they both felt "the brush-off", Woodward writes. "Tenet left the meeting feeling frustrated. Though Rice had given them a fair hearing, no immediate action meant great risk."
For Bush and the Republican Party, the timing of these revelations could not be worse. The US is just five weeks out from congressional mid-term elections in which Democrats could take back control of Congress for the first time in 12 years, thanks largely to the souring public mood on the Iraq war, which Woodward's book underscores, as well as a number of scandals this year centring on Republican Party congressmen.
If the Democrats win, all hell will break loose in Washington. Amid one of the most polarised periods in politics in the US, Democrats are expected to try to prosecute the reasons for the Iraq war all over again. Some are even talking about impeaching President Bush for misleading the American people.
Or as Stephen Hadley, Bush's National Security Adviser, is quoted in State of Denial as telling a colleague in October 2005: "I've got to help this President get through what is going to be a really rugged three years. And if the Democrats take over the House and the Senate it's going to be unbelievable after 2006."