The Dog of War

Who knew that presidential First Pet Barney was in favor of the Iraq war? Huh…

Anyway, Washington fixture Bob Woodward — or perhaps more accurately the New York Times — set off a political (and publicity) storm in advance of his new book State of Denial.

It’s been the subject of Huffington Post’s Eat the Press since Friday.

Howard Kurtz also reports on the responses by political players such as Dan Bartlett, Bob Kuttner, Bill Kristol and others.

White House Press Secretary Tony Snow put out a press release in an effort to debunk what the White House sees as five “key myths” in Woodward’s book, including: That Paul Bremer was ignored when he asked for more troops and that Andy Card and Laura Bush were pressing for the firing of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

Wolf Blitzer used the book prominently in his interview with Henry Kissinger and former National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski on Late Edition (apparently, much to Dr. Kissinger’s chagrin):

    Blitzer: Dr. Kissinger, let me quote one other passage from Bob Woodward’s book, “State of Denial”: “Kissinger liked Bush personally, though he told colleagues that it was not clear to him that the president knew how to run the government. One of the big problems, he felt, was that Bush did not have the people or the system of national security policy decision making that ensured careful examination of the downsides of major decisions. Kissinger sensed wobbliness everywhere in Iraq.” Is that true?

    KISSINGER: Look, it is amazing that I’m asked to comment on a book that I haven’t read, that Brzezinski’s asked to comment on views that I don’t hold. I have written nine articles on Iraq in the last two years. Anybody can get them on the Internet and can see that I have tried to analyze the various aspects of the war. In some of them I have made recommendations for changes.

Newsweek puts Woodward on the front page.

The Post also began running excerpts of the book Sunday.

David Corn uses Woodward to hawk his own book.

In a 60 Minutes interview with Mike Wallace, Woodward spoke about many of the charges he makes in the book, including that the Bush administration plays down the level of violence in Iraq, that General John Abizaid is a “quarter inch” away from agreeing with Democrat Congressman John Murtha on withdrawing from Iraq, and that George H.W. Bush is enormously upset that his son invaded Iraq.

John Dickerson comments on the political clout of Woodward’s book:

    What makes the Woodward book different from the many other books critical of the Bush war effort is not only the piquancy of his anecdotes but the tonnage of the publicity behind it.

Discussion of the book also dominated Sunday talkshows. Fox News Sunday, Meet the Press and This Week all dedicated a substantial amount of programming to the book.

When can we expect Woodward to make his Daily Show appearance?