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Cheney 'Cabal' Hijacked Foreign Policy

based on a report by Edward Alden. October 20, 2005

Vice-President Dick Cheney and a handful of others hijacked the government's foreign policy apparatus, deciding in secret to carry out policies that have left the US weaker and more isolated in the world, the top aide to former Secretary of State Colin Powell claimed on Wednesday.

In a scathing attack on the record of President George W. Bush, Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, chief of staff to Mr Powell until last January, said: “What I saw was a cabal between the vice-president of the United States, Richard Cheney, and the secretary of defense, Donald Rumsfeld, on critical issues that made decisions that the bureaucracy did not know were being made.

Among his other charges:

■ The detainee abuse at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere was “a concrete example” of the decision-making problem, with the president and other top officials in effect giving the green light to soldiers to abuse detainees. “You don't have this kind of pervasive attitude out there unless you've condoned it.”

■ Condoleezza Rice, the former national security adviser and now secretary of state, was “part of the problem”. Instead of ensuring that Mr Bush received the best possible advice, “she would side with the president to build her intimacy with the president”.

■ The military, particularly the army and marine corps, is overstretched and demoralised. Officers, Mr Wilkerson claimed, “start voting with their feet, as they did in Vietnam... and all of a sudden your military begins to unravel”.

You have been reading excerpts from "Cheney 'cabal' hijacked foreign policy" by Edward Alden. You can read the entire piece here: tinyurl.com/d6zgc. Thanks to Financial Times at news.ft.com.

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