Thursday, February 05, 2004


Ron Suskind starts rolling out Paul O'Neill's evidence:

These documents are drawn from a collection of 19,000 files of Paul H. O'Neill, the U.S. Treasury Secretary for the first two years of the Presidency of George W. Bush. Like all Treasury Secretaries, O'Neill was the top domestic appointment of the President and also a principal of the National Security Council. The files, which range from memoranda to the President to handwritten notes to "sensitive" internal reports, cover a sweeping array of foreign and domestic issues. They also display the attending political and personal matters that often determine policy. They were collected as part of a Treasury Department archiving process in which every item that crossed O'Neill's desk, from every department in government, was copied into a TIF, or image, file. Documents cited in the "The Price of Loyalty" are presented with explanations of context and little comment. They speak, as does all irrefutable evidence, for themselves. More files of compelling public interest will be released in the coming days and weeks.

My favorite bit (so far), is a memo sent by then-National Economic Council chairman Larry Lindsay, who gets testy with O'Neill for not having all of the numbers crunched for Bush's tax cut, despite the fact Bush had been in office less than a week. O'Neill's response is scribbled on the memo: "This is bureaucratic chicken----."

Republicans should be ashamed of the group of dolts they've allowed to rise to the top of their party when they have no use for no-nonsense, honest conservatives like Paul O'Neill.

Americans are starting to feel that shame, too:

please tell me whether you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of...

Democrats: Favorable 59% - Unfavorable 38%

Republicans: Favorable 48% - Unfavorable 45%

Postscript: You must read this memo as well, which O'Neill is reminded that, at an upcoming event, he must remain "monotonously on-message." I think that every time Scott McClellan or Condi Rice starts to repeat the same message over and over again, someone from the press corps should congratulate them for their ability to stay "monotonously on message" or M.O.M.


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