Friday, October 21, 2005

Powell's Chief of Staff Speaks Out

Larry Wilkerson, Colin Powell's chief of staff at the State Department from 2002 to 2005, recently gave a critique of the Bush administration's administration that was as blunt as it could be. One brief excerpt:

When you cut the bureaucracy out of your decisions and then foist your decisions, more or less out of the blue, on that bureaucracy, you can’t expect that bureaucracy to carry your decision out very well. And furthermore, if you’re not prepared to stop the feuding elements in that bureaucracy as they carry out your decision, you’re courting disaster. And I would say that we have courted disaster in Iraq, in North Korea, in Iran. Generally with regard to domestic crises like Katrina, Rita – and I could go on back – we haven’t done very well on anything like that in a long time. And 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. … Read in there what they say about the necessity of the people to throw off tyranny or to throw off ineptitude or to throw off that which is not doing what the people want it to do. And you’re talking about the potential for, I think, real dangerous times if we don’t get our act together.
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