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Things you shouldn't tell Bob Woodward

For anyone knowledgeable in politics, the name Bob Woodward may trigger memories of Watergate and the Nixon era. Which is surprising when you consider that—little over thirty years laters—George W. Bush would even talk to him. But more than that, he would send his own administration into the domain of impeachable offenses, ranging from sharing classified information, breaking constitutional law in using Afghanistan funds on a build-up in Kuwait, to planning with foriegn nationals on how to manipulate the 2004 presidential election.

The interview with CBS' 60 Minutes was supposed to be another show and tell for Woodward's new book "Plan of Attack", but what came out were some pretty interesting quotes, some from George Bush himself.

Breaking constitutional law:

”Rumsfeld and Franks work out a deal essentially where Franks can spend any money he needs. And so he starts building runways and pipelines and doing all the preparations in Kuwait, specifically to make war possible,” says Woodward.

“Gets to a point where in July, the end of July 2002, they need $700 million, a large amount of money for all these tasks. And the president approves it. But Congress doesn't know and it is done. They get the money from a supplemental appropriation for the Afghan War, which Congress has approved. …Some people are gonna look at a document called the Constitution which says that no money will be drawn from the Treasury unless appropriated by Congress. Congress was totally in the dark on this."

Allowing foriegn nationals to see state secrets:

But, it turns out, two days before the president told Powell, Cheney and Rumsfeld had already briefed Prince Bandar, the Saudi ambassador.

”Saturday, Jan. 11, with the president's permission, Cheney and Rumsfeld call Bandar to Cheney's West Wing office, and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Gen. Myers, is there with a top-secret map of the war plan. And it says, ‘Top secret. No foreign.’ No foreign means no foreigners are supposed to see this,” says Woodward.

Collusion with foriegn nationals to manipulate elections:

Woodward says that Bandar understood that economic conditions were key before a presidential election: “They’re [oil prices] high. And they could go down very quickly. That's the Saudi pledge. Certainly over the summer, or as we get closer to the election, they could increase production several million barrels a day and the price would drop significantly.”

Posted by SoL at April 20, 2004 11:40 AM