CIA Said Instability Seemed 'Irreversible' -- By Bob Woodward
Washington Post Staff Writer
Early on the morning of Nov. 13, 2006, members of the bipartisan Iraq Study Group gathered around a dark wooden conference table in the windowless Roosevelt Room of the White House.
For more than an hour, they listened to President Bush give what one panel member called a "Churchillian" vision of "victory" in Iraq and defend the country's prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki. "A constitutional order is emerging," he said.
Later that morning, around the same conference table, CIA Director Michael V. Hayden painted a starkly different picture . . . . Hayden said "the inability of the government to govern seems irreversible," adding that he could not "point to any milestone or checkpoint where we can turn this thing around . . . "
"The government is unable to govern," Hayden concluded. "We have spent a lot of energy and treasure creating a government that is balanced, and it cannot function."
Hayden's bleak assessment, which came just a week after Republicans had lost control of Congress and Bush had dismissed Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, was a pivotal moment . . . and it helped shape its conclusion . . . that the situation in Iraq was "grave and deteriorating."
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Hayden spoke of the things that matter to this government: 'energy and treasure.'
Well, since he didn't see fit to mention them-- since they seem to be irrelevant to this government --I will. What about the lives that have been spent, Mr. Hayden, Mr. Cheney, Mr. Bush?
What of the American and Iraqi, British, Greek and Spanish lives that have been maimed or snuffed out in the eight months since that November morning when Mr. Hayden gave an assessment that amounted to a complete and dismal failure --which everyone already knew was the case before they sat down?
Here is the crime. Here is the unpardonable, unfathomable, irrefutable crime. The meeting occurred. And everyone in that room and everyone in the new congress that was about to take its place in its chambers and in history did nothing.
And all those people still do nothing except allow this administration to stumble on pushing its agenda, getting away with murder.
And Hayden didn't even mention the lives.