...to learn what this president and his vice president knew and when they knew it; to determine what the Bush administration has done under the guise of national security; and to find out who did what, whether legal or illegal, unconstitutional or merely under the wire, in ignorance or incompetence or with good reason, while the administration barricaded itself behind the most Draconian secrecy and disingenuous information policies of the modern presidential era. ...
... The first fundamental question that needs to be answered by and about the president, the vice president, and their political and national-security aides, from Donald Rumsfeld to Condoleezza Rice, to Karl Rove, to Michael Chertoff, to Colin Powell, to George Tenet, to Paul Wolfowitz, to Andrew Card (and a dozen others), is whether lying, disinformation, misinformation, and manipulation of information have been a basic matter of policy—used to overwhelm dissent; to hide troublesome truths and inconvenient data from the press, public, and Congress; and to defend the president and his actions when he and they have gone awry or utterly failed. ...
... But most grievous and momentous is the willingness—even enthusiasm, confirmed by the so-called Downing Street Memo and the contemporaneous notes of the chief foreign-policy adviser to British prime minister Tony Blair—to invent almost any justification for going to war in Iraq (including sending up an American U-2 plane painted with U.N. markings to be deliberately shot down by Saddam Hussein's air force, a plan hatched while the president, the vice president, and Blair insisted to the world that war would be initiated "only as a last resort"). Attending the meeting between Bush and Blair where such duplicity was discussed unabashedly ("intelligence and facts" would be jiggered as necessary and "fixed around the policy," wrote the dutiful aide to the prime minister) were Ms. Rice, then national-security adviser to the president, and Andrew Card, the recently departed White House chief of staff.
It's a long article, but well worth the time. It seems unlikely that Bush will be able to survive the next 2 1/2 years without suffering a major collapse in public confidence (more so even than his current high-30s approval rate).
Fitzgerald is coming with more indictments. Iraq is falling apart. War with Iran may bring more doubt than support from the American public. Or what support there is may be fleeting. Gas prices are soaring. Interest rates are on the way up. The Katrina rebuilding effort is stalled, as is the 9/11 memorial in NYC.
Retired generals are stepping up and calling for the secretary of defense to resign. The vice president shot a man in the face. The public is starting to perceive Bush as arrogant more so than honest.
Wages are stagnant. Healthcare costs are inflating, and Medicare Part D seems to be a disaster (too expensive for the nation, and too difficult for seniors to understand). The rich are getting richer. And it looks like the housing bubble may collapse, leaving tens of thousands of Americans burdened by crushing debt, and possibly leading to cracks in the financial system.
Things really don't bode well for the next few years. It would take a real genius to get the nation on a firm footing, and if there is anything Bush is not, it's a genius. In fact, some say he may be the worst president in history.