I have not been sent, like the New York Times, an advance copy of Bob Woodward’s new insider tome on the Obama administration — Obama’s Wars — but I have read the Times’ coverage and, if accurate, I have a better title to suggest to Mr. Woodward and his publisher Simon & Schuster — All the President’s Creeps.
Sexy, no? Redford and Hoffman might even still (barely) be available for the movie version. But this time they shouldn’t play Woodward and Bernstein. They could be Emanuel and Axelrod. (Okay, with a little makeup.)
From the once-upon-a-midnight-dreary newspaper of record:
Gen. David H. Petraeus, who was overall commander for the Middle East until becoming the Afghanistan commander this summer, told a senior aide that he disliked talking with David M. Axelrod, the president’s senior adviser, because he was “a complete spin doctor.” General Petraeus was effectively banned by the administration from the Sunday talk shows but worked private channels with Congress and the news media.
And the book recounts incidents in which Adm. Dennis C. Blair, then the national intelligence director, fought with Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff, and John O. Brennan, the counterterrorism adviser.
During a daily intelligence briefing in May 2009, Mr. Blair warned the president that radicals with American and European passports were being trained in Pakistan to attack their homelands. Mr. Emanuel afterward chastised him, saying, “You’re just trying to put this on us so it’s not your fault.” Mr. Blair also skirmished with Mr. Brennan about a report on the failed airliner terrorist attack on Dec. 25. Mr. Obama later forced Mr. Blair out.
Say good-bye to Blair but keep Rahm and David — that’s our Barack.
But does all this ring true? More or less in the way most of Mr. Woodward’s “insta-histories” do. We know the drill by now. All the Beltway riff-raff — panicked their side of the story won’t come out — rush to leak to him before their competitors do, filling up reams of notebook paper for Bob. And what he doesn’t get, he can always make up. Who’s to debate it really? At least he’s more reliable than Oliver Stone.