Washington's top suck-up access journalist, Bob Woodward, is releasing his first book about the Obama presidency, Obama's Wars, next week. What terrible Beltway gossip will it contain? For starters: Watch out when David Petraeus starts drinking wine, yowza!
The book details the Obama administration's lengthy military review process that resulted in his 30,000-troop surge in Afghanistan. Why was the process so lengthy? Because, as we saw in Michael Hastings' infamous Rolling Stone profile of Gen. Stanley McChrystal a few months ago, our national security team is loaded with catty little bitches.
Although the internal divisions described have become public, the book suggests that they were even more intense and disparate than previously known and offers new details. Mr. Biden called Mr. Holbrooke "the most egotistical bastard I've ever met." A variety of administration officials expressed scorn for James L. Jones, the retired Marine general who is national security adviser, while he referred to some of the president's other aides as "the water bugs" or "the Politburo."
Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, thought his vice chairman, Gen. James E. Cartwright, went behind his back, while General Cartwright dismissed Admiral Mullen because he wasn't a war fighter. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates worried that General Jones would be succeeded by his deputy, Thomas E. Donilon, who would be a "disaster."
And then Cartwright started dating the cute boy that he knew Mullen had a thing for, etc. etc.
In the end, Obama essentially designed his own strategy for the 30,000 troops, which some aides considered a compromise between the military command's request for 40,000 and Biden's relentless efforts to limit the escalation to 20,000 as part of a "hybrid option" that he had developed with Gen. James E. Cartwright, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
In a dramatic scene at the White House on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2009, Obama summoned the national security team to outline his decision and distribute his six-page terms sheet. He went around the room, one by one, asking each participant whether he or she had any objections - to "say so now," Woodward reports.
Oh and this hilarious thing happened:
During a flight in May, after a glass of wine, Petraeus told his own staffers that the administration was "[expletive] with the wrong guy."
Anyway, Republicans are already pouncing on the administration over the book's "disclosures" about how Obama refused to launch endless infinite warfare on Afghanistan and every other country. This should carry us through Friday.
[Bob Woodward image via AP]