Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Suskind Stands by Allegation of Administration Forgery

When it comes to adding infamy to the record of the Bush administration's misdeeds, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ron Suskind has made it a cottage industry.

In his 2004 book, The Price of Loyalty, Suskind was the first to find evidence that the administration had the overthrow of Saddam Hussein on the brain starting with the first meeting of its National Security Council. Two years later, The One-Percent Doctrine, reported al-Qaeda's intention to attack New York's subway system and revealed Vice President Dick Cheney's belief that even a one-percent chance of a terror attack justified preparing for it as a certainty.

Suskind's newest book, The Way of the World: A Story of Truth and Hope in an Age of Extremism, published late last year, contains the most explosive allegation of all: the forging of documents by the administration during the run-up to the war in Iraq. Read a short Q&A with Suskind about the book for Men's Journal.

Despite the initial burst of attention the story garnered in the media it had a short shelf life. While the allegation has not been refuted, the notion administration officials could not have been irresponsible enough to put their indiscretions in writing -- certainly not White House stationary -- colored the story with enough doubt to sweep it under the rug.

(Watch Suskind on Hardball with Chris Matthews -- this day without the screaming host -- talk about the handling of the forgery.)

In a posting on The Huffington Post, Suskind fought the requisite blowback the administration would unleash on him by standing by his on-the-record interviews and his book saying:

So, here we go again: the administration is in full attack mode, calling me names, George Tenet is claiming he doesn't remember any such thing -- just like he couldn't remember "slam dunk" -- and reporters are scratching their heads. Everything in my book is on the record, with many sources. And so, we watch and wait....

Nevertheless, the story has not gained much traction in the months since and likely will merely join the endless pantheon of serious acts of malfeasance attributed to the Bush administration.

Ron Suskind will discuss his latest book on the Bush administration and provide an outlook on the road ahead for President-elect Barack Obama tonight at The Commonwealth Club of California at 6 p.m.

--By Steven Tavares

Do you think Suskind's disclosures merit more attention? Why hasn't it gotten it? Or do you think Suskind's disclosures are without merit? Leave a comment and voice your opinion!


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