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June 2006

Bad advice shapes policy and poor image of U.S. | IndyStar.com
June 30, 2006
Ken Bode
Bode, a former senior political analyst for CNN, is the Pulliam professor of journalism at DePauw University.
Book review of Steven Kinzer's Overthrow: America's Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq and Ron Suskind's The 1 percent Doctrine: Deep Inside America's Pursuit of Its Enemies Since 9/11. This opinion column (including the word "incurious") was cited in the June 30, 2006, De Pauw University News as History Provides Lessons on Failed Foreign Policy, Asserts Prof. Ken Bode

Bush is depicted as incurious or uninformed, failing to read the basic paperwork, making up his mind based on "instinct" or his "gut."

As I read this, I was reminded of an interview I did in 2000 in preparation for a television documentary looking ahead at what a George W. Bush presidency might be like. University of Texas professor Bruce Buchanan, who followed the Bush governorship very carefully, put it this way: The problem is not that Bush can't find good advisers. He can and has. The problem is that he shows no real interest in policy, not even in reading the briefing books on complex issues. The problem, then, is that he won't be able to recognize bad advice when he gets it.

Political Affairs Magazine - The One Percent Doctrine and Guantanamo (Book Round-Up #18)
By Thomas Riggins, PA Book Review Editor
6-27-06, 9:37am
Here is another . . . review of reviews of books of interest to the progressive community.
THE ONE PERCENT DOCTRINE: DEEP INSIDE AMERICA'S PURSUIT OF ITS ENEMIES SINCE 9/11 by RON SUSKIND, Simon & Schuster, 367 pages, reviewed by Michiko Kakutani in The New York Times, 6-20-2006.

Bush appears to be both "incurious" and "uninformed" and the CIA people seem to have considered him to be a dummy as they nicknamed Cheney "Edgar (as in Edgar Bergan." thus implying that Bush was Charlie McCarthy, Kakutani reports. Not only did Bush not even read his briefings, some times they went directly to Cheney and the President never even saw them. This is great leadership indeed. There is a lot more in this book, including how "intelligence" was manipulated to provide "evidence" for what Bush and his handlers wanted the American people to think in complete disregard of the truth.

Uncurious George visits Vienna
Online Journal
By Charles M. Ashley
Online Journal Contributing Writer
Jun 26, 2006, 00:52
No excerpt here, just the title.

June 26, 2006 at 13:40:25
by Thomas L. Walsh

Prior to the vote, Bush told his hand-picked evangelical audience, "Americans have reached a ‘consensus’ against gay marriage." 60% of Americans supported that viewpoint just two years ago. The latest polls show that number has fallen to 42%, and is dropping. Incurious George may well have whiffed on this one while riding his bike.

'The One Percent Doctrine,' by Ron Suskind - The New York Times - Book Review - New York Times
Books of The Times | 'The One Percent Doctrine'
Personality, Ideology and Bush's Terror Wars
Published: June 20, 2006
Also appeared June 30, 2006, in Rocky Mountain News as 'Percent' claims Cheney pulled White House strings

Within the government, he goes on, there was frequent frustration with the White House's hermetic decision-making style. "Voicing desire for a more traditional, transparent policy process," he writes, "prompted accusations of disloyalty," and "issues argued, often vociferously, at the level of deputies and principals rarely seemed to go upstream in their fullest form to the president's desk, and if they did, it was often after Bush seemed to have already made up his mind based on what was so often cited as his 'instinct' or 'gut.' "

This book augments the portrait of Mr. Bush as an incurious and curiously uninformed executive that Mr. Suskind earlier set out in "The Price of Loyalty" and in a series of magazine articles on the president and key aides. In "The One Percent Doctrine," he writes that Mr. Cheney's nickname inside the C.I.A. was Edgar (as in Edgar Bergen), casting Mr. Bush in the puppet role of Charlie McCarthy, and cites one instance after another in which the president was not fully briefed (or had failed to read the basic paperwork) about a crucial situation.

During a November 2001 session with the president, Mr. Suskind recounts, a C.I.A. briefer realized that the Pentagon had not told Mr. Bush of the C.I.A.'s urgent concern that Osama bin Laden might escape from the Tora Bora area of Afghanistan (as he indeed later did) if United States reinforcements were not promptly sent in. And several months later, he says, attendees at a meeting between Mr. Bush and the Saudis discovered after the fact that an important packet laying out the Saudis' views about the Israeli-Palestinian situation had been diverted to the vice president's office and never reached the president.

Keeping information away from the president, Mr. Suskind argues, was a calculated White House strategy that gave Mr. Bush "plausible deniability" from Mr. Cheney's point of view, and that perfectly meshed with the commander in chief's own impatience with policy details. Suggesting that Mr. Bush deliberately did not read the full National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq, which was delivered to the White House in the fall of 2002, Mr. Suskind writes: "Keeping certain knowledge from Bush — much of it shrouded, as well, by classification — meant that the president, whose each word circles the globe, could advance various strategies by saying whatever was needed. He could essentially be 'deniable' about his own statements."

"Whether Cheney's innovations were tailored to match Bush's inclinations, or vice versa, is almost immaterial," Mr. Suskind continues. "It was a firm fit. Under this strategic model, reading the entire N.I.E. would be problematic for Bush: it could hem in the president's rhetoric, a key weapon in the march to war. He would know too much."

. . . [T]he White House grew more and more impatient with the C.I.A.'s reluctance to supply readily the sort of intelligence it wanted. (A Pentagon unit headed by Douglas Feith was set up as an alternative to the C.I.A., to provide, in Mr. Suskind's words, "intelligence on demand" to Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and the office of the vice president.)

A visit from Uncurious George
eugene craigslist > rants & raves > A visit from Uncurious George
Heather Wokusch: 'Pariah President: How Bush is damaging US standing abroad and threatening national security'
Posted on Tuesday, June 20 @ 10:01:51 EDT
No excerpt here, just the title.

The One Percent Doctrine
The One Percent Doctrine
Deep Inside America's Pursuit of Its Enemies Since 9/11
by Ron Suskind
Publisher: Simon & Schuster (June 20, 2006)

[The Saudis] went down the items. Sometimes the President nodded, as though something sounded reasonable, but he offerred little response.

And, after almost an hour of this, the Saudis, looking a bit perplexed, got up to go. It was as though Bush had never read the packet they sent over to the White House in preparation for this meeting: a terse, lean document, just a few pages, listing the Saudis' demands and an array of options that the President might consider. After the meeting, a few attendees on the American team wondered why the President seemed to have no idea what the Saudis were after, and why he didn't bother to answer their concerns or get any concessions from them, either, on the 'war on terror.' There was not a more important conversation in the 'war on terror' than a sit-down with Saudia Arabia. Several of the attendees checked into what had happened.

The Saudi packet, they found, had been diverted to Dick Cheney's office. The President never got it, never read it. In what may have been the most important, and contentious, foreign policy meeting of his presidency, George W. Bush was unaware of what the Saudis hoped to achieve in traveling to Crawford.

Mexican election to steer ties with U.S. | www.azstarnet.com ®
Arizona Daily Star (Tucson) World
Presidential vote is July 2
Mexican election to steer ties with U.S.
Two front-runners have contrasting views of relationship
By Jeremy Schwartz
Cox News Service
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 06.18.2006
Incurious candidate for president of Mexico is compared to George W. Bush. Also appeared in the Austin American-Statesman the same day as Mexican election could throw wild card into U.S. relationship.

Lopez Obrador is often criticized, much as Bush was when he took office, for being naive and incurious when it comes to world affairs.

If elected, [former Mexico City Mayor] Lopez Obrador [candidate of the Revolutionary Democratic Party for the presidential election of July 2, 2006] would break a long tradition of U.S.-educated Mexican presidents, and he has made only a handful of trips outside Mexico. He raised eyebrows earlier this month on Mexican MTV when he almost proudly declared that he does not speak English.

"What he's telling us is that he really doesn't care that much about foreign policy," said Jorge Schiavon, professor of international relations at Mexico City's Economic Research and Teaching Center.

George Grayson, government professor at the College of William and Mary who recently published a biography of Lopez Obrador, says Lopez Obrador "paints the world in black and white."

May 2006

America's Hitler: Part V
OpEdNews.com May 25, 2006 by Lonna Gooden VanHorn

But then most of the world was stunned that we would elect such an incurious man in the first place, and they were absolutely dumbfounded when he was elected?

Bush: 'Alpha Male on the Cruise Ship'
By Robert Parry
May 18, 2006

Bush is “impatient and quick to anger; sometimes glib, even dogmatic; often uncurious and as a result ill informed,” Frum wrote.

Center for Inquiry :: View topic - A Buzz Flash Editorial
PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2006 3:46 pm    Post subject: Re: A Buzz Flash Editorial

JWB [sic] has that wonderful mélange of characteristics: incompetence, incuriousness, arrogance, mendacity and theocratic totalitarian tendencies.

He ain’t no monster, he‘s just an overachiever
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Sunday, May 14, 2006
by Philip Martin

While I still do not accept the premise that our president is stupid, it is clear he is an incurious and inflexible man who believes—like the TV talking head—that being decisive is more important than being right.

The Icky-poo Factor | TPMCafe
DuBaun's Grounds
The Icky-poo Factor
By DuBaun
May 6, 2006 -- 01:09:42 AM EST

But after taking a second look at their data, the pollsters came to a consensus that more people who voted to re-elect Incurious George did so because they didn’t trust the Democrats to protect them effectively.

April 2006

Bush as Greek Drama: "Hubris" and "Tragic Flaws"
Edited on Tue Apr-25-06 09:56 AM by CrisisPapers
| Bernard Weiner |

Incompetent by nature and practice, Bush surrounds himself with yes-men and those who likewise are boastful bumblers. Basically ignorant, dogmatic and intellectually incurious, Bush easily is manipulated and swayed by those few insiders he trusts; namely, Karl Rove, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, the architects of his political ideology and modus operandi.

White House disasters still won't clinch win by Dems - The Clarion-Ledger
The Clarion-Ledger (Jackson, Mississippi) April 23, 2006
White House disasters still won't clinch win by Dems
By David Bowen
David Bowen of Jackson is a former member of Congress, who now is a writer and consultant. He is a regular contributing columnist.

We have had inexperienced, intellectually incurious, inflexible presidents before, but they were usually lucky enough to have the right mix of countervailing advisers who enabled them to avoid the most perilous elephant traps of foreign and domestic policy. That has not been Mr. Bush's good fortune.

Daily Kos: Teacher Grades Bush
Teacher Grades Bush
by Daddeeo
Fri Apr 21, 2006 at 03:00:18 PM PDT

George Bush fits the `C' student profile. He is not a curious person, not particularly quick or insightful.  He's not a thoughtful person.  He expresses himself poorly and makes a public show of his distain for manners and politeness and even for intellectual excellence.

BELLACIAO - UNCURIOUS GEORGE & 9/11 - SON OF A BUSH - Collective Bellaciao
April  Thursday 20th  2006 (14h35) :
No excerpt here, just the title.

Political Cortex: The Cheney-Bush No Fault Dictatorship
By Bill Hare 04/09/2006 04:12:06 PM EST

The result at a town meeting at Central Piedmont Community College was something that Rove should have anticipated.  Harry Taylor, a real estate broker, was someone who did not get the Fox message. He stepped before a microphone and told the emperor to his face that he was devoid of clothes.

Taylor revealed his shame over Washington leadership in the wake of preventive detention, the right to arrest and hold a citizen without even preferring charges indefinitely, along with the emperor's right to tap telephones without so much as a hint of a warrant issued by a magistrate. . . .

The fact that Harry Taylor was on target and his facts irrefutable while Bush is the hallmark of cinarticulateness while being notably unread and incurious made the confrontation all the more difficult. . . .

"I'm not going to apologize for what I did on the terrorist-surveillance program ... Would I apologize for that?  The answer is, absolutely not."

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