Plan of Attack (2004 book)
Bob Woodward's most recent publication, "Plan of Attack", Woodward's "account of the Bush administration's decision to go to war with Iraq and the administration's conduct of the war," was released April 2004 by CBS News and Simon & Schuster, the publisher of Woodward's book, both owned by Viacom.  
The book was set for release on Saturday, April 17, 2004, but "the Associated Press scooped the Washington Post and published a story about the book early Friday ... [although] a carefully crafted media campaign for 'Plan of Attack' may have been ruined, ... the book got another day's worth of publicity. It went from No. 22 on Amazon.com's Top 100 best sellers Friday afternoon to No. 1 by Sunday." The book did not officially go on sale until Monday, April 19, 2004. 
Following hot on the heels of recent 9-11 Commission hearings and interviews with both current and former members of both the Bush and Clinton administrations, as well as the release in December 2003 of Paul O'Neill's The Price of Loyalty by Ron Suskind and Richard A. Clarke's Against All Enemies earlier in April 2004, Woodward's book has already given rise to a number of illustrative headlines.
Articles by Bob Woodward: Adapted from Plan of Attack
- "Behind Diplomatic Moves, Military Plan Was Launched. 'We're Going to Have to Go to War,' Bush Said to Rice," Washington Post, April 18, 2004.
- "Rove Revels in Democrat Kerry's Lead," Washington Post, April 18, 2004.
- "With CIA Push, Movement to War Accelerated. Agency's Estimate of Saddam Hussein's Arsenal Became the White House's Rationale for Invasion," Washington Post, April 19, 2004.
- "Cheney Was Unwavering in Desire to Go to War. Tension Between Vice President and Powell Grew Deeper as Both Tried to Guide Bush's Decision," Washington Post, April 20, 2004.
- "Blair Steady in Support. 'I'm There to the Very End,' Prime Minister Told Bush,' Washington Post, April 21, 2004.
- "Countdown to War: U.S. Aimed For Hussein As War Began. CIA Informants Told of His Suspected Whereabouts," Washington Post, April 22, 2004.
- "Interview With the President," Washington Post, April 22, 2004: "Bob Woodward interviewed President Bush on Dec. 10 and Dec. 11, 2003, for a total of 31/2 hours." Article contains "excerpts from those interviews."
Interviews with Bob Woodward
- Mike Wallace, Interview: Bob Woodward / "Woodward Shares War Secrets," CBS' 60 Minutes, April 18, 2004.
- Larry King, "Interview With Journalist Bob Woodward," CNN, April 19, 2004. Link is courtesy of Hesiod at Counterspin Central, April 19, 2004: "Bob Woodward just told Larry King that he has tape recordings of all the interviews he conducted with Bush administration official's, including President Bush, and/or notes from meetings that back up the accounts in his new book. ... Apparently, however, the White House (surprise!) won't allow Woodward to release the tapes."
- Interview with Bob Woodward, Today Show/NBC, April 20, 2004.
- Transcript of Online Internet Discussion with Bob Woodward, Washington Post, April 20, 2004.
Articles / Commentary by Others
- Calvin Woodward and Siobhan McDonough, "Book Alleges Secret Iraq War Plan," AP, April 16, 2004.
- Scott Ott, "Bush Secretly Told Woodward of Secret War Plan," Scrapple Face, April 17, 2004: "A new book about Bob Woodward's new book, Plan of Attack, reveals that President George Bush did not tell some top aides what he had told Bob Woodward in an interview in which he revealed that he didn't tell some top aides about the early stages of planning for a war in Iraq. ... The newer of the two books, The Making of Bob Woodward's Plan of Attack, will be released next week, one day after Plan of Attack appears in bookstores. The book reveals that the source of 'shocking' quotes which Woodward's book attributes to President Bush, may actually be President Bush himself, who sat down for an interview with Mr. Woodward."
- Calvin Woodward and Siobhan McDonough, "Vice president fixated on Iraq, book says," AP, April 17, 2004. See Dick Cheney.
- "About Plan of Attack," Washington Post, April 17, 2004.
- Douglas Jehl, "Powell Said to Have Warned Bush Before the War, a New Book Says," New York Times, April 17, 2004. See Colin L. Powell.
- William Hamilton, "Bush Began to Plan War Three Months After 9/11. Book Says President Called Secrecy Vital," Washington Post, April 17, 2004.
- Maureen Dowd, "House of Broken Toys," New York Times Op-Ed, April 18, 2004.
- Michael Tomasky, "Bob Woodward's Bush is no idealist -- just an incompetent," The American Prospect, April 18, 2004.
- Regis T. Sabol, "Are Bush and the Neo-Cons Finished?," Intervention Magazine, April 19, 2004. See neoconservatives.
- "Woodward: Tenet told Bush WMD case a 'slam dunk'. Says Bush didn't solicit Rumsfeld, Powell on going to war," CNN, April 19, 2004: "About two weeks before deciding to invade Iraq, President Bush was told by CIA Director George J. Tenet there was a 'slam dunk case' that dictator Saddam Hussein had unconventional weapons, according to a new book by Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward."
- Dan Froomkin, "Woodward Book Rattles the Capital," Washington Post, April 19, 2004.
- Center for American Progress, "Secrets Exposed, Lies Revealed," April 19, 2004.
- "Scary Plan of Attack," American Family Voices, April 19, 2004.
- David Corn, "George Bush, Self-deluded Messiah," The Nation, April 19, 2004:
- "It's hard to know what is more disturbing. That George W. Bush misled the public by stating in the months before the Iraq war that he was seriously pursuing a diplomatic resolution when he was not. That he didn't bother to ask aides to present the case against going to war. That he may have violated the U.S. Constitution by spending hundreds of millions of dollars secretly to prepare for the invasion of Iraq without notifying Congress. That he was misinformed by the CIA director about one of the most critical issues of the day and demanded no accountability. Or that he doesn't care if he got it wrong on the weapons of mass destruction."
- Michiko Kakutani, "A Heady Mix of Pride and Prejudice Led to War," New York Times, April 19, 2004.
- Steven R. Weisman, "Airing of Powell's Misgivings Tests Ties in the Cabinet," New York Times, April 19, 2004.
- Bob Herbert, "The Wrong War," New York Times, April 19, 2004.
- Judy Keen, "White House disputes parts of Iraq 'secret history'," USA Today, Updated April 19, 2004.
- Esther Schrader, "Rice disputes book on Iraq war. Says writer misread key conversations," Los Angeles Times, April 19, 2004. See Condoleezza Rice.
- Dan Morgan, "Powell Says He Was 'Committed' to Iraq War. Responding to Book, Secretary Cites His Close Involvement in Planning of Attack," Washington Post, April 20, 2004.
- Robert Scheer, "'With God on his side," Los Angeles Times, April 20, 2004: "By invoking a higher power, Bush sidesteps pesky constitutional issues."
- "Powell: We were instructed to talk to Woodward. President's campaign site calls book 'suggested reading'," CNN, April 20, 2004. However, the April 20, 2004, New York Times Op-Ed asks "Which Powell Is Which?"
- Rupert Cornwell, "White House reels from Woodward book," Independent/UK, April 20, 2004.
- Richard W. Stevenson and Carl Hulse, "Bush Officials Deny Money Was Diverted for Iraq War," New York Times, April 20, 2004.
- "Bush's Legal Obligation to Tell Congress About $700M for Iraq," Center for American Progress, April 21, 2004.
- Dan Morgan, "Wolfowitz Denies Woodward Report," Washington Post, April 21, 2004: In response to questions by the Senate Armed Services Committee, Wolfowitz "yesterday denied a report ... that the Pentagon in 2002 secretly diverted $700 million to a covert military construction program in Kuwait linked to a future war with Iraq without adequately informing Congress."
- "Pentagon Admits to Using Secret Funding for Iraq War, WSJ Says," Bloomberg.com, April 22, 2004.
- Maureen Dowd, "The Body Politic," New York Times, April 22, 2004.
- Sidney Blumenthal, "What Colin Powell saw but didn't say. The rush to war in Iraq echoes Reagan's Iran-contra scandal," Guardian/UK, April 22, 2004.
- Eric Alterman, "Woodward Returns," The Nation, April 22, 2004: "Because Colin Powell and his aides evidently decided to tiptoe off the reservation in preparation for their long-overdue departure, the new book, Plan of Attack, has texture. There are conflicts. Not everybody can be right about everything. And while the book does gloss over many of the Administration's most nefarious characteristics--its serial dishonesty with Congress and the media, for instance--the trust Woodward earned with his hagiographic first account put him in good stead to expand our understanding of how these people go about making their catastrophic decisions and then denying them."
- Philip Smucker, "Media's Early Warning System Was Switched Off," Media Channel, April 22, 2004.
- Evan Thomas, "'I Haven't Suffered Doubt'. Bush wanted to invade Iraq. What's striking, Bob Woodward's new book reports, is how little he discussed it with anyone," Newsweek, April 26, 2004 (Issue).
- Woodward is labelled the "ultimate insider; a major player among Washington power brokers" and "as much a part of the established order as anyone in the Administration or anyone leading a major American corporation" by Mike Whitney in his April 19, 2004, CounterPunch article History is for the Dead. Woodward's Imperial Trifles. 
- After first describing Woodward's Bush at War as a "pandering portrait" of George W. Bush, Whitney says that Plan of Attack is "a blistering assault on White House credibility." He adds that the "book will add significantly to the widely held belief that the war in Iraq was cooked up with little regard for the facts" and "solidifies the testimony of both Richard Clarke and Paul O'Neill that the Administration was 'fixated' on Iraq from the get-go and did whatever they could to fabricate a rationale to justify the invasion." 
- While saying that "Woodward adds little of interest to the preponderance of evidence that the war was both unwise and unnecessary," Whitney admits that "His appearance does, however, add one more voice to the chorus of professionals who are challenging the Administration's motivation. Woodward shows that the motivation for war in Iraq clearly overshadowed any real threat to national security." Whitney also marvels that "Woodward was able to interview 75 of the highest ranking government officials without any of them suspecting that he might blind sight the President with privileged information." 
- In the April 20, 2004, Salon article "Clarke's vindication," David Sirota writes that "Just weeks ago, Bush officials were solemnly accusing former counter-terrorism chief Richard Clarke of being a liar and a self-promoter. But Bob Woodward's book proves that Clarke was right -- and that it was his opponents who were the liars."
- Joe Conason adds in "Bush's worst week," also published in the April 20, 2004, issue of Salon, that "the 'wartime presidency' of George W. Bush is facing grave and unexpected jeopardy. Although the traditional advantages of incumbency and money may ultimately protect him from electoral defeat in November, his administration suddenly looks exposed, divided, hapless and flailing."
- "Powell Denies Woodward Claims," CBS News/AP, April 19, 2004: "Disputing an account by Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward in a new book, Plan of Attack, Powell said Bush and all his national security advisers had agreed in August 2002 to ask the UN Security Council to seek a peaceful resolution and to go to war if the effort failed." See National Security Council.
- Mike Glover, "Kerry Assails Bush on Saudi Relationship," AP, April 19, 2004: "Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry on Monday vowed to end a "sweetheart relationship" that allows money to flow through Arab countries to terrorist groups and criticized President Bush over a report that he had struck a deal with Saudi officials to lower gasoline prices before the election."
- Henry A. Waxman and Edward J. Markey, Letter, April 19, 2004: Re Bob Woodward's revelation on 60 Minutes that George W. Bush has an agreement with Saudi ambassador Prince Bandar bin Sultan to lower oil prices prior to U.S. presidential election, 2004. See Michael Isikoff, "New Questions About Saudi Money--and Bandar," Newsweek, April 12, 2004, and Saudi Arabia.
- Adam Entous and Tom Doggett, "Saudis Say Won't Use Oil to Influence U.S. Election," Reuters, April 19, 2004: "Bandar said on CNN that he made no such pledge and suggested any conversations he had about oil prices with Bush were similar to discussions he had had with past U.S. presidents."
- Tom Tomorrow at This Modern World comments on April 19, 2004: 
- "President Strong-on-Terror passed state secrets to the ambassador of a nation known to support terrorism. Said ambassador of foreign power has agreed to manipulate oil prices in an attempt to influence the November election. ... Why is Bush not facing impeachment proceedings? It's a hypothetical question, I'm not actually asking for responses, but it's not meant as hyperbole--in any sane universe, these would be impeachable offenses."
- Marie Cocco, "Open 28 secret pages on Saudis," Newsday, April 22, 2004.
- "Woodward: Saudi envoy trying to 'fuzz up' meeting. He says Bandar told him he thought Iraq war was imminent," CNN, April 23, 2004: "Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan's assertions that he did not learn of President Bush's decision to launch war on Iraq before Secretary of State Colin Powell are false, journalist Bob Woodward told CNN on Friday".
- Mike Allen, "Pentagon Deleted Rumsfeld Comment," Washington Post, April 21, 2004: "The Pentagon deleted from a public transcript a statement Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld made to author Bob Woodward suggesting that the administration gave Saudi Arabia a two-month heads-up that President Bush had decided to invade Iraq. ... At issue was a passage in Woodward's 'Plan of Attack', an account published this week of Bush's decision making about the war, quoting Rumsfeld as telling Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the Saudi ambassador to Washington, in January 2003 that he could 'take that to the bank' that the invasion would happen."
- "Secretary of Defense Interview with Bob Woodward - 20 Sept, 2003," Department of Defense, as edited and released on April 20, 2004: "Interview with Bob Woodward of The Washington Post. Also participating was Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs Lawrence Di Rita."
- "Secretary of Defense Interview with Bob Woodward - 23 Oct, 2003," Department of Defense, as edited and released on April 20, 2004. "This transcript was originally released by the Pentagon on April 19, 2004. It did not include the deleted portion."
Related SourceWatch Resources
- Bush lies and deceptions
- Bush regime
- Bush regime change
- coalition of the willing: beginning of the end
- George W. Bush: The War President is Missing in Action
- Operation Iraqi Freedom
- preemptive war
- Robert Dreyfuss and Jason Vest, "The Lie Factory," Mother Jones, January/February 2004.