The Fall of Condi (and I don’t mean Autumn)

The New Statesman has a fascinating article which you kids simply must read. It is called The fall of Condi.

The US secretary of state was feted as “brilliant” and “gifted”, but her tenure is now acknowledged as a disastrous failure.
Bush adopted Rice – black, and a woman – as a kind of mascot for his administration. He is genuinely fond of her, but that doesn’t mean he has ever paid any serious attention to what his inexperienced appointee has had to say. He always listened much more closely to hugely experienced Washington infighters such as Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, both of whom considered foreign policy to be part of their portfolios. As national security adviser, Rice flailed around desperately in the middle, letting both men trample all over her, and took command of US foreign policy away from Colin Powell, theoretically Bush’s secretary of state, and his deputy, Richard Armitage. “The calamitous consequences [of this] are likely to be felt for years to come,” says Zbigniew Brzezinski, US national security adviser himself from 1977-81.

Original DVD cover.

Rice’s “brilliance”, too, is vastly overstated. Long before Manning’s guests wildly cheered her, Washington insiders – ranging from Powell himself to Dubbya’s [sic] father, the former President Bush – had given up on her. Dick Clarke, chief counter-terrorism adviser on the National Security Council during both the Clinton and Bush II administrations, until he resigned in despair in 2003, tells the story of how he gave a top-secret security briefing about al-Qaeda to Rice during the 2000-2001 transition even before Bush had moved into the White House. It was clear, he says, that she had never even heard of al-Qaeda – and, as a result, was sceptical of everything he had to say.

George Tenet, director of central intelligence for both Bill Clinton and George W Bush until he resigned in despair four months before the British embassy’s Ricefest, had a similar experience. In some desperation, he took a senior CIA undercover man as part of a deputation to warn Rice at her White House office on 10 July 2001 that al-Qaeda was planning “spectacular” attacks “designed to inflict mass casualties” against the United States, and that “multiple and simultaneous attacks are possible and they will occur with little or no warning”. Rice turned to Clarke and asked: “Dick, is this true?” Clarke leaned forward and buried his face in his hands before managing to croak out, “Yes.”


David Kay, chief weapons inspector for the United Nations and then the CIA, called her “probably the worst national security adviser since the office was created”. Larry Wilkerson, once Powell’s chief of staff at the state department, described her tenure as “a very disastrous four years”. Even George H W Bush, according to Bob Woodward in State of Denial, thought she was “not up to the job”.

But her shoes are fabulous!


Filed under al-Qaeda, Chevron, Chimpy, CIA, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, David Kay, Dick Cheney, Dick Clarke, Donald Rumsfeld, George H. W. Bush, George Tenet, George W. Bush, humor, Larry Wilkerson, parody, politics, Republicans, Richard Armitage, snark, State Department, television, Zbigniew Brzezinski

4 responses to “The Fall of Condi (and I don’t mean Autumn)

  1. nightowl724

    It’s all in the details, which you do so well, nonnie! The Chevron and Halliburton logos, “CF Central Presents,” the presidential seal, the laughing faces… Kudos.

    The article you cite is fascinating, too. I hadn’t read anything even remotely like it before. Here is a don’t-miss chilling piece, published this morning, from another British source, The Telegraph:

    Bush setting America up for war with Iran

    “Pentagon and CIA officers say they believe that the White House has begun a carefully calibrated programme of escalation that could lead to a military showdown with Iran.

    Now it has emerged that Condoleezza Rice, the secretary of state, who has been pushing for a diplomatic solution, is prepared to settle her differences with Vice-President Dick Cheney and sanction military action.”

    I have no snark, only the question, “What’s happening to us?”

  2. nonnie9999

    sorry, nightowl 😦
    i have to give you an A instead of an A+ this time around, as that is the state department seal, not the presidential seal (though i get the feeling that chimpy’s prezdenshal seal claps its flippers and balances a ball on it’s nose)

  3. nightowl724

    Uh-oh! It’s back to civics class for me!

  4. nonnie9999

    i guess i will still give you an A+, because the seals are very similar and the one above is rather small.