…through a new biography by Wash Post reporter Karen DeYoung. Here's a snippet from the LA Times review by Tim Rutten:
Powell's version of events confirms what others have reported, that Cheney, Rumsfeld and their neoconservative aides arrived in Washington determined to find a reason to attack Saddam Hussein. According to DeYoung, "Powell's first official briefing on terrorism had taken place on December 20, 2000, even before he was sworn in as secretary of state. He had asked [counter-terrorism chief Richard A.] Clarke and his team—all still working under President Clinton at the time—to give him a full rundown on bin Laden. Intelligence had indicated that al-Qaeda was planning direct attacks against the United States and likely had sleeper cells already in place inside the country. After the inauguration, Cheney and [then national security advisor Condoleezza] Rice had received the same briefing."
Despite that, when the Cabinet's deputy secretaries first met, Paul D. Wolfowitz—Rumsfeld's assistant—"disputed Clarke's assessment of the al-Qaeda threat, suggesting that the more immediate terrorist danger to the United States came from Iraq."
Whole article here.
Via Arts & Letters Daily.