David Rose: And I do think there is a very respectable case to be made for both those two positions. If there had been thousands of Iraqi troops with the American-British mobile forces, clearly there would have been interpreters for units, a much better chance of getting local intelligence. And had there been a provisional government quickly, then the war might have been seen as something more akin to a liberation, as they wanted, as opposed to an occupation.
But what they’re really getting at here is that when they advocated that position, as did their colleagues in the Pentagon, Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith, and the CIA and the State Department argued strongly against such positions, the administration just couldn't make up its mind. So, as we were sending many thousands of soldiers into harm's way in Iraq, the administration hadn't decided what it was going to do next. And as they put it, the process of interagency decision-making, the place where these kinds of disputes should be hammered out, that is the National Security Council, at that time, of course, chaired by Condoleezza Rice, it was dysfunctional and disorganized. Indeed, Michael Rubin says it was one of the worst national security councils in American history. This is a staggering indictment.
But, of course, they also go on to say that while the NSC was dysfunctional, ultimately the buck does stop at the President. It is the President's job to make these decisions. And they say something, which is perhaps even more damning. While President Bush had this rhetoric, what he called his “freedom agenda” of imposing democracy, of bringing democracy to Iraq, and appearing in his rhetoric to agree with what these neo-cons were saying, actually he just didn't seem to grasp how you had to put that into effect.
And so, coming from people who took those positions, who didn't just advocate the invasion in 2003, but in many cases, particularly Richard Perle’s, had been arguing in favor of regime change going way back into the Clinton administration, really almost since Desert Storm in 1991, I mean, this is a tremendous indictment of President Bush. And indeed, I put it to Richard Perle in precisely those terms. I said, “This is an extraordinary indictment of the President.” And he just said to me, “Yes, it is.”
on the neocons freaking out about the 'early' release of the snippets, Rose said that he didn't promise them that the article wouldn't be published before the election, only that the article was slated to be published in Deceember:
I must say I have been surprised at the strength of the reaction that some of these individuals have had. They have stood very firmly behind the cause of establishing democracy in Iraq and elsewhere, but from their reaction to the fact that the magazine did put out these excerpts from the article early, before the midterm elections, they seem to be saying that democracy in America is somehow less important, that it’s okay for them to express their views when it's too late to affect the result at the ballot but not okay to let voters actually those views in their minds when they vote today. And I do find that disappointing.
and about Sibel:
AMY GOODMAN: David Rose, you wrote an earlier piece, and we had you on at the time, the question of, did Speaker Hastert accept Turkish bribes to deny Armenian Genocide and approve weapons sales. You wrote a piece for Vanity Fair. Today, Americans are making a decision, basically, about whether Dennis Hastert will run the Congress. They will decide the balance of the House of Representatives, and if Democrats win, he will no longer be Speaker of the House. Any further thoughts on that issue and a summary of the investigation that you did earlier?I'm disappointed too. We're still working on it.
DAVID ROSE: Well, that, of course, was an article published last year about the case of Sibel Edmonds, who was a translator who worked for the FBI after 9/11, who listened to wiretap recordings made of a number of individuals, wiretaps of various targets who were working in the Turkish embassy and elsewhere that the FBI thought might be a threat to national security or involved in criminal activity. Now, what the article reported was that one of the investigations that she was asked to work on involved recordings made of individuals who claimed that they had bribed Speaker Hastert, with both covert campaign donations and using other methods to transfer money, in favor for his withdrawing the Armenian Genocide resolution, which at that stage was about to pass through the House. It had passed through two preliminary stages.
Now, I think the extraordinary thing about that story is that it has not ever been contested that there was an FBI investigation, which did pick up allegations made by these Turkish targets, targets who, you know, were judged to be security risks by the FBI making these allegations about Speaker Hastert. I have never claimed that those allegations had substance, that they were true, because I simply cannot say. It's impossible to prove it one way or the other. But it is clear that there were recordings made by the FBI in which individuals claimed to have given illegal payments to the Speaker in return for political favors. And I was always slightly surprised and, indeed, again disappointed that the rest of the American media didn't pick up on that and didn't perhaps try to take it further, because it does seem to me to be an important issue.