Ex-Powell aide assails Bush's foreign policy: "Lawrence Wilkerson, who worked for Powell at the State Department from 2002 to early 2005 [as chief of staff] .. has offered a remarkably blunt criticism of the administration he served, saying that foreign policy had been usurped by a "Cheney-Rumsfeld cabal" and that President George W. Bush had left the country more vulnerable, not less, to future crises. .. "I would say that we have courted disaster, in Iraq, in North Korea, in Iran, generally with regard to domestic crises like Katrina, Rita .." He suggested that dysfunction within the administration was so grave that "if something comes along that is truly serious, truly serious, something like a nuclear weapon going off in a major American city, or something like a major pandemic, you are going to see the ineptitude of this government in a way that will take you back to the Declaration of Independence." ..
The retired colonel referred to Bush as someone who "is not versed in international relations - and not too much interested in them, either." He was far more admiring of the president's father, whom he called "one of the finest presidents we've ever had.""
Here's the transcript of the speech, worth reading. "Decisions that send men and women to die, .. decisions that confront situations like natural disasters .. should not be made in a secret way. Thatís a very, very provocative statement, I think. All my life Iíve been taught to guard the nationís secrets. All my life I have followed the rules. .. I understand that the nationís secrets need guarding, but fundamental decisions about foreign policy should not be made in secret. ..
Dr. Rice .. made a decision that she would side with the president to build her intimacy with the president. .. What we had was a situation where the national security advisor, seen in the evolution over some half-century since the act as the balancer or the person who would make sure all opinions got to the president, the person who would make sure that every dissent got to the president that made .. actually was a part of the problem, and probably on many issues sided with the president and the vice president and the secretary of Defense." 8:53:25 AM