Bush Talked Out Of Having Zarqawi Photo Lay In Capital Rotunda
Sources Say West Wing “Run Ragged” With President’s Efforts To Tone Down Terror Rhetoric
New tensions have surfaced in the White House, as sources had told The Garlic that President Bush had to be talked out of having the framed photo of the deceased terrorist, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, lay in state in the Capital Rotunda.
Since last month, when the President admitted his “taunting” of the Iraqi insurgency, with his defiant “bring’em on”, and his earlier call for Osama bin Laden “wanted, dead or alive”, was an error, Bush, according to sources close to the White House, has been “overcompensating” in attempting to soften his rhetoric.
Last month, Reuters reported that President Bush said "I learned some lessons about expressing myself maybe in a little more sophisticated manner, you know. "Wanted, dead or alive"; that kind of talk. I think in certain parts of the world it was misinterpreted," he said.
“He’s been driving the staff crazy,” said Holly Martins, Publisher of Axis of Evil Illustrated, a quarterly publication that is rumored to be a house magazine for the Project for The New American Century. “We got reports that at one point, Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten called former Chief of Staff Andy Card to see it he wanted his old job back.”
According to Paula Malady, an analyst for the think tank All Things Terror, which specializes in
“Bush has taken to chiding staff members when they make, what the he believes, is a derisive, or inappropriate comment aimed at the insurgents or terrorists. It gotten to the point that many in the West Wing are communicating in-code, or sending text messages on cell phones, just so the President won’t overhear them.”
Bush Didn’t Want “Another
The successful bombing that killed al-Zarqawi last week brought those tensions above the surface.
The President first learned of the possible death last Wednesday, but directed National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley to wait until they had official, or reliable confirmation, which came the following day from Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Even before his early morning comments last Thursday, in which the President announced the death of al-Zarqawi in noticeable measured tones, Bush, according to Martins, was “already over-the-top”.
“He was running around the White House, demanding absolute certainty,” said Martins. “He berated Bolten and other staff members saying that he didn’t want “another Mission Accomplished” on his hands.”
Bush Orders Death Payment; Rumsfield To President: “Get A Life ... Get Real”
With an all-out media frenzy erupting with the news of strike that killed al-Zarqawi, Time Magazine breaking on the rare red “X” for its’ cover photo of the proclaimed leader of the Iraqi Insurgency , the President began making plans and preparations, over the objections of his staff.
First up was Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfield.
Rumsfield was summoned to Camp David, where the President spent most of the weekend, preparing for a War Summit with his advisors today, and told to find family or relatives of al-Zarqawi, and process the standard $2500 Death Payment, issued to victims in Iraq, to give to them.
Rumsfield, according to sources who were at
According to the sources, Rumsfield soon stormed out of the room, yelling at the gaggle of White House staff standing outside the office, that “He must have been watching some of those PBS shows again ... Tell him to get a life ... To get real!”
The Defense Department and the Pentagon offered no comment or confirmation of Rumsfield’s trip to
Bush Ordered Military To Use “Nice Frame” and “Black Bunting”
The President’s next confrontation came with the U.S. Military Command in
With a bevy of press briefings on tap, to give the details on the bombing raid that took out the terrorist leader, Bush ordered the military to “do it right” and then bristled when the President added to put a photo of a “cleaned-up” al-Zarqawi in a “nice frame” and drape it with black bunting.
Bush, according to Martins, nearly “jumped out of his shoes, when he watched the military press briefings on American television. They did employ the frame but left off the black bunting.
“I think it was at this point, Bush ordered Bolten to look into using the Capital Rotunda to display the framed photo of al-Zarqawi, with “the appropriate amount of black bunting”.
“When they came out, the staff was told to get busy with preparing for the summit.”
Murtha: Sell Framed Photo On eBay and Buy Troops The “Proper Armor To Stay Alive”
As word leaked out around
“He’s out of touch ... He has no clue what’s going on,” steamed Murtha.
“Maybe,” suggested an angry Murtha, “that we can get that framed al-Zarqawi photo and put in on eBay, and then turn those funds around and get our boys the proper armor and other tools they need to stay alive over there. We can’t wait anymore for the President or Rumsfield to do it.”
Military commanders in