So much to write about on this chapter!
Two typos: John Stewart is actually Jon Stewart, and one reader pointed out that horses chomp on apples but champ at the bit. I didn't know that! Thanks.
Much of what occurred in the NSC meeting is factually accurate. Leaked minutes of the NSC meetings reveal that an Iraq invasion was being contemplated as early as February of 2001, long before 9-11 happened. Additionally, Paul O'Neill was horrified by what was happening with the budget, and after making some public remarks about the effects of the tax cuts, was forced to resign in 2002.
In the beginning of 137 I mention that the intel was being gamed in order to justify an invasion of Iraq. Again, this has been proven to be true, in multiple instances. The CIA was providing intelligence that matched what Bush and his handlers wanted, not what was true. The Valerie Plame Affair was simply the most egregious example.
Am I being too rough on the Secret Service? I don't think so. By every report from neutral observers and reporters, there is a level of institutional arrogance and conceit that is astonishing to behold. George Will once reported on the ABC Sunday morning show that Bush once came to his home for a dinner party. Before he arrived, however, an advance team of agents scoured his neighborhood and ordered, on pain of arrest, everybody to leave their yards and go inside their homes and close the drapes! I can't make this shit up! In another case, a writer said she had left a book as a personal gift in a protectee's mailbox, and then was gang-tackled afterwards as a terrorist.
A number of people have written that Carl is being much too hard on Bush. George was actually really smart, but managed to surround himself with a bunch of evil geniuses who led him to the dark side. He had a lousy ability to figure out who he should listen to, etc. If that helps you sleep at night, fine by me. I am going to lose a bunch of readers with this chapter anyway. On a personal note, no, I am not a Democrat! I think Obama has been a lousy President. I also think more than a few of the Republican challengers would have been even worse. Why anybody would actually want the job is beyond me in any case!
I have had a number of people wonder how Carl was going to become President, or otherwise take the reins of power. I told you it would be a dark place, but some of you just didn't listen. On the plus side, you won't have to read any more rants about Bush! There's a positive side to everything.