She never gets blamed:Dan Froomkin
has a good review of the Senate Intelligence Committee report and the administration's (mis)use of intelligence and outright lies about Iraq, that were made in order to stampede the nation to war.
Setting aside the lies, and focusing on what intelligence there was, the White House offered this defense. Dana Perino:
"The issue about Iraq's WMD ultimately turned out to be false, and we have fully admitted that. We regret it. And we have also taken steps to make sure that we can correct it for -- in the future.
[The] dissent, amongst experts within the intelligence community at some levels, did not reach the President. The process that I just talked about, in terms of how we've improved the process, would hopefully make sure that now that we have this different levels of confidence, so that the President now knows if there is dissent amongst them."
It wasn't a failed process
. It was a failure by a person
. And who was responsible for the president getting a balanced view, including dissents? The National Security Advisor, Condoleezza Rice.
Not only did she excape scutiny by the press but Bush promotes her to Secretary of State, and everybody shrugs.
SIDE NOTE: One of the few people to take her to task is Scott McClellan in his new book. How about that?FUN FACT
: Leading up to the 2004 U.S. Presidential election, Rice became the first National Security Advisor to campaign for an incumbent president.
Dr. Rice has been incompetent in every post she held in this administration. As much as I disliked this administration going in, I had thought that both Dr. Rice and Colin Powell would have performed much better than they did. I have been sadly disappointed.
It would be intersesting to compare the ways the media and culture treated Secretaries of State Condi Rice and Madeleine Albright. (With James Baker and Warren Christopher thrown in as white-males for comparison.)
Was the language and tenor that was used to criticize each one of these people the same? Or did it change, depending race, gender, or political affiliation?
It will be a while before the dust settles on the 2008 democratic primary and we can use the events and emotions of the past few months as an accurate guage of the sexism and racism problems that we have in society. But the fact that we've had a decent mix of genders and sexes and races and ages in one single Executive post over the past 20 years or so might provide some telling details on how we treat these issues.
I'd guess that Rice is shielded from criticism mostly because she's a republican, but slightly because she's black (the eggshell effect), and slightly less because she's a young-ish female.
I seem to remember Albright getting a lot more criticism over pretty much everything. More than Rice has, anyway. But she worked for a democrat, and the other factors may have contributed to elevating her target-level as well.