I actually read this earlier in the evening, and didn't think too much of it because I read it quick and I've been kind of preoccupied by personal matters.
It must have been a dream or something, because it made my head explode sometime around four a.m., eastern.
But, it turns out, two days before the president told Powell, Cheney and Rumsfeld had already briefed Prince Bandar, the Saudi ambassador.
"Saturday, Jan. 11, with the president's permission, Cheney and Rumsfeld call Bandar to Cheney's West Wing office, and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Gen. Myers, is there with a top-secret map of the war plan. And it says, 'Top secret. No foreign.' No foreign means no foreigners are supposed to see this," says Woodward.
"They describe in detail the war plan for Bandar. And so Bandar, who's skeptical because he knows in the first Gulf War we didn't get Saddam out, so he says to Cheney and Rumsfeld, 'So Saddam this time is gonna be out, period?'" And Cheney who has said nothing says the following: "Prince Bandar, once we start, Saddam is toast."
After Bandar left, according to Woodward, Cheney said, "I wanted him to know that this is for real. We're really doing it."
But this wasn't enough for Prince Bandar, who Woodward says wanted confirmation from the president. "Then, two days later, Bandar is called to meet with the president and the president says, 'Their message is my message'" says Woodward.
Prince Bandar enjoys easy access to the Oval Office. His family and the Bush family are close. And Woodward told 60 Minutes that Bandar has promised the president that Saudi Arabia will lower oil prices in the months before the election -- to ensure the U.S. economy is strong on election day.
The emphasis is obviously mine. Ain't that a big ass money quote?
This is one of those things that makes you want to stab yourself in the ear. It's just that unbelievable.
We're, of course, supposed to trust Prince Bandar. I don't. Neither does Newsweek.
A federal investigation into the bank accounts of the Saudi Embassy in Washington has identified more than $27 million in "suspicious" transactions—including hundreds of thousands of dollars paid to Muslim charities, and to clerics and Saudi students who are being scrutinized for possible links to terrorist activity, according to government documents obtained by NEWSWEEK. The probe also has uncovered large wire transfers overseas by the Saudi ambassador to the United States, Prince Bandar bin Sultan. The transactions recently prompted the Saudi Embassy's longtime bank, the Riggs Bank of Washington, D.C., to drop the Saudis as a client after embassy officials were "unable to provide an explanation that was satisfying," says a source familiar with the discussions.
Let's also not forget the context is pretty damn obvious as well.
President Bush refused on Tuesday to release a congressional report alleging possible links between Saudi Arabian officials and the Sept. 11 hijackers
Let's not forget that 15 of the 19 hijackers came from Saudi Arabia. Let's not forget that the Saudis are actively exporting Wahhabist Islam (because the House of Saud and the House of Wahabbi are pretty much one due to intermarriage) abroad to Africa and Central Asia. Let's not forget how puritanical and fundamentalist that branch of Islam is. Let's also not forget that the fundamentalists hate anything and everything Western. It does not take a leap of imagination to go where I am headed with this.
The Pandagon twins comment. They are pissed.
Click on Jesse's link below. The only difference between Bush and Reagan is that the latter's people only might hvae made deals with terrorist supporting countries to ensrue their electoral prospects. Bush's people, conversely, have now been outed by Bob Woodward for it. This is the most important story of the election.
It's actually true. This Administration is worse than Nixon's. Much worse.
Update: The more I think about this, the angrier I get. Jesus, this is a disgusting way to treat democracy.
Yeah, fury. And the President, his Administration, his army of hack-job asshole talking heads, and the loads and loads of loud mouth supporters had the temerity to call ME, and others who thought the same as I did, a traitor. The more I think about it, the more infuriated I become. And you know what? NOONE will care. No one. Meanwhile the White House has sold the soul of this country out so Billy-Ray Sixpack can get cheap gas to fill his fucking Hummer (and let's note that Billy-Ray lives in the posh cookie-cutter suburbs. He's not actually USING that Hummer for what it's really supposed to be used for. It just looks cool in his driveway...and he's also compensating for something else too but we won't go there).
The talking heads will cry "Oh Bush haters, Bush haters, why do you continue to lie about our fearless leaders?!"
The news networks will take polls, manipulated of course by their own statisticians. Trust me, I've done poll work before. It's so bloody easy to do.
The White House will then deny all allegations.
The media will then distract. I'm sure there's some rich white girl somewhere that needs kidnapping. Or some celebrity that needs to molest little kids. Or Kobe! Yeah, that's right, we gotta find out all about the Kobe trial! Or maybe J-Lo will have a wardrobe malfunction this time.
And that will be that. Not another word will be said. I'm still waiting for the Plame Affair to play out. I want to know what intelligence made us push for war when we have not found one iota of WMD YET. I want to know why the President was on VACATION when the chatter increased so loud that the intelligence services of no less than SEVEN nations said the eqivalent of "hey dudes, these guys are coming to kick yer ass. You might want to do something about that."
I want answers. I want them now. I'm waiting for answers. And I'm mad as hell that we're not getting them. I'm even angrier that no one seems to care.