The revered-in-tons-of-corners former National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft definitively breaks ranks with the Bush administration in an article by nearly the same name, “Breaking Ranks,” appearing in the upcoming Monday issue of The New Yorker.
The article will outline what decisions and events have built up to turn Brent Scowcroft against this Bush administration. Yes, that’s right. . .”turned Brent Scowcroft against this Bush administration.”
Jeffrey Goldberg, the author of the piece, has pulled off a stunning coup by not only getting Brent Scowcroft to talk — but also getting some incredibly juicy commentary from President George H.W. Bush on the performance of his son’s national security team.
I don’t have the full piece yet — but I know it will be a blockbuster.
I also know that for all of those who had difficulty (read Rush Limbaugh; alternative site here) adjusting to former State Department Chief of Staff Lawrence Wilkerson’s candid commentary on the White House’s broken national security decision-making process, you are going to have an even more difficult time with revelations from Scowcroft.
They will be saying largely similar things about a “cabal” that undid our nation’s security.
For those of you interested, here is a link to the transcript of the presentations by General Brent Scowcroft and former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski that I helped host on January 6th of this year. Scowcroft’s comments about “incipient civil war” in Iraq made global news and started a jousting match between my blog and David Frum’s.
You can look back at the January archive here for more on that important Scowcroft battle.
— Steve Clemons
Here is a short UPI piece on Scowcroft’s coming profile and interview in The New Yorker that has just run without a byline — but I suspect that Martin Sieff or Shaun Waterman wrote it. It’s quite good. I don’t have a link for the UPI piece, so will post in entirety:
UPI — 21 October 2005
Old Bush vs. New
The Bush administration is bracing for a powerful new attack by Brent Scowcroft, the respected national security adviser to the first President George Bush.
A Republican and a former Air Force general, Scowcroft is a leading member of the bipartisan foreign policy establishment, and his critique of both of the style and the substance of the Bush White House, is slated to appear in Monday’s editions of the New Yorker magazine.
The article also contains some critical comments on the handling of U.S. foreign policy by the current President Bush from his father, whose 1989-1993 presidency is hailed for deft management of the end of the Cold War, German unification, the first Gulf war and the collapse of the Soviet Union.
The new attack comes hard on the heels of the denunciation of “the cabal around Cheney’s office” by Col. Larry Wilkerson, the chief of staff to former Secretary of State Colin Powell in a widely reported speech to the New American Foundation in Washington this week. Wilkerson said the national security decision-making process was effectively “broken.”
Scowcroft’s criticisms will be taken seriously at the highest levels of the Bush administration because he is seen as a mentor by some of its senior figures, notably Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, whose political career began when she worked under Scowcroft as an adviser on Soviet affairs.
The attack also comes as President Bush’s opinion poll approval ratings have sunk to around 37 percent, partly reflecting the ill-handled federal government response to Hurricane Katrina’s devastation of the Gulf coast. But majorities of Americans are also telling pollsters the country “is on the wrong track” and saying the Iraq war was a mistake.
The beleaguered Bush administration is also nervously waiting to see whether indictments in the CIA leak case are to be handed down next week against two key White House aides, Karl Rove and “Scooter” Libby. The White House is facing heavy flak from its conservative base over the controversial nomination of the president’s counsel, Harriet Miers, to the vacant seat on the Supreme Court. And traditional balanced-budget conservatives have been dismayed by the double deficit, a combined deficit on the federal budget and on the current account that adds up to over $1 trillion this year.
A cartoon in the Washington Post Friday depicted the Bush White House being inundated by “The Perfect Storm” of Miers, Hurricane Katrina, Iraq, Rove, the budget deficit and the indictment this week of the Republican leader in the House of Representatives, Tom DeLay, on charges of money laundering campaign funds.
— Steve Clemons