Bush and Blair: living in their own little worlds

This entry was posted on
Friday, December 10th, 2004
10:25 am and is filed
under It’s War! It’s Legal! It’s Lovely!.

BBC – Butler launches attack on Blair: Former civil service chief Lord Butler has criticised the way Tony Blair’s government operates, accusing it of being obsessed with headlines. He also attacked the way the Iraq war was “sold” to the public, with important warnings on the strength of the intelligence left out.

Here’s an official response via DowningStSays. We’ve also had government speaky-peeps coming out with the mantra: “You can’t have it both ways.”

What this means is that you can’t take these comments at face value and call the Butler Report a whitewash (for once, the government is insisting that we cannot hold two conflicting ideas simultaneously).

What a pity this handy sound-bite ignores the narrow remit allowed Butler in his enquiry and that Butler (and Hutton) made very similar criticisms of the Blair government within these constraints.

Guardian – Blair driven by headlines and control, says Butler: In his inquiry into Iraq, Lord Butler said he had not found evidence of a lack of minutes leading up to the war, but criticised the lack of cabinet or committee level decision-making. He renews this charge with vigour in the interview, saying: “I think that what happens now is that the government reaches conclusions in rather small groups of people who are not necessarily representative of all the groups of interests in government, and there is insufficient opportunity for people to debate dissent and modify.”

Speaking of dissent (or lack thereof), a very are thing happened this week. A member of the Bush administration was actually asked to account for himself:
DailyKos – Rummy feels their pain
DailyKos – Rumsfeld starts backtracking
DailyKos – One of Rumsfeld’s “girly men”

Today, the always-right seek to defend his inability to defend himself with this handy snippet from the ever-reliable Matt Drudge. A reporter (*gasp*) actually dared to (*gasp*) plant the question and deliberately put Rumsfeld on the spot!

Upstarts and dissent! Somebody call the thought-police! This is obviously a last, desperate act by a man who cannot accept that the Bush administration operates best (and is therefore better able to fight the ever-present terror threat) only when reporters are not allowed to ask difficult questions.

Atrios: Remember folks, it isn’t the sex, it’s the lying…
Washington Monthly on Rumsfeld and what this reveals about his character

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