First Clarke's Book, Now Woodward's?
I have many beefs with Bob Woodward, ranging from the deathbed conversation he claims to have had with William Casey for "Veil", the puffpiece "Maestro" book on Greenspan that managed to overlook most of Sir Alan's role in the late 90's bubble-bursting, to his wet-kiss "Bush At War", a treatment that has been rightly subject to ridicule as events have unfolded.
As Noam Scheiber of the New Republic stated last week, word is out now that Woodward may be trying to show remorse for the hero-worshipping "Bush At War" with the release of his next book later this month. According to USA Today and Lloyd Grove of the New York Daily News, Woodward's "Plan of Attack", due out on April 20 will be critical of Bush's war on terrorism. It should be remembered that Grove might have some inside information here, since he worked with Woodward at the Post.
USA Today says that "(t)wo White House officials said they are concerned about the book, which they expect will reveal internal disagreements about the decision to go to war."
Now, given Woodward's abandonment long ago of investigative journalism so that he could be a bootlicker for the Washington and Pentagon crowd, I'll believe it when I see it. But if in fact Woodward does come out critically against the Bush Administration's alleged war on terror, it will be another, possibly lethal blow for the White House. After letting Woodward have unprecedented access to documents and the players for "Bush at War", the White House will have an implausible time discrediting what Woodward says now.
The White House has been somewhat ineffective in smearing Clarke to date, but has managed to spin the media just enough to not suffer terrible damage from his book so far, although the falling poll numbers may indicate a latent effect from "Against All Enemies". But would those same media people who were spun by 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue against Clarke buy a similar smear job against Woodward so soon after this sorry episode?