The condensed Bob Woodward.

The condensed Bob Woodward.

The condensed Bob Woodward.

How to read juicy books.
April 21 2004 5:51 PM

The Condensed Bob Woodward

Slate reads Plan of Attack so you don't have to.

(Continued from Page 1)

Page 182-83: Powell reveals that he detests Rumsfeld's circuitous manner of speaking—"One would think …"; "Some would say …"—which he dubs "third-person passive once removed."

Page 164-66: Cheney tells a Veterans of Foreign Wars convention on Aug. 26, 2002, that there's "no doubt" Saddam has weapons of mass destruction. Powell goes ballistic at the suggestion.

Page 175: Powell fears that Cheney is losing his mild manner. As the veep presses for quick action against Iraq, "Powell detected a kind of fever in Cheney. He was not the steady, unemotional rock that he had witnessed a dozen years earlier during the run-up to the Gulf War. The vice president was beyond hell-bent for action against Saddam."

Page 269-70: Bush informs Powell of his decision to go to war after he informs Prince Bandar. After conferring with the president, Powell is "semidespondent." (Read Timothy Noah's "Chatterbox" column for more on the timing of Bush's decision.)


Donald Rumsfeld vs. the Generals

Page 14: On Feb. 16, 2001, American and British planes bomb Iraqi targets to enforce the no-fly zones. No one from the Joint Chiefs of Staff bothers to inform the secretary of defense.

Page 6: Pressing for more power, Rumsfeld micromanages Iraq war plans. Gen. Tommy Franks tells him (according to insider accounts), "This ain't going to work. You can fire me. I'm either the commander or I'm not, and you've got to trust me or you don't."

Page 91-92: Bonus Rumsfeld snub: He admits he can't remember vetting Bush's "Axis of Evil" speech, the address that has come to define his foreign policy. "That speech was not particularly in my area," he explains.

Tommy Franks' Inspirational Profanities

Page 115: Franks to lethargic commanders before the Iraq war: "This is fucking serious. You know, if you guys think this is not going to happen, you're wrong. You need to get off your ass."

Page 118: To the Joint Chiefs: "You Title X motherfuckers!"