White House Lists Book's 'Five Key Myths'

By Caren Bohan
Reuters
Sunday, October 1, 2006

The White House went on the offensive yesterday against a new book that reports President Bush resisted demands to boost U.S. troop numbers in Iraq and misled Americans about the level of violence there.

The book, "State of Denial," by Washington Post Assistant Managing Editor Bob Woodward, went on sale yesterday, two days ahead of schedule, after a storm of publicity.

The White House responded with a document titled "Five Key Myths in Bob Woodward's Book." It cited speeches over the past year in which Bush acknowledged problems, and it quoted officials including Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and Marine Corps Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, defending troop levels.

"State of Denial" reports that former White House chief of staff Andrew H. Card Jr. twice urged Bush to fire Rumsfeld, whom critics accuse of botching the Iraq war. One of the times, Card did so with the concurrence of first lady Laura Bush, according to Woodward.

Card has denied leading a "campaign or orchestrated effort" to oust Rumsfeld, and he said Friday that any discussions of Cabinet changes were in a "broader context."

The White House said Laura Bush's office has denied she wanted Rumsfeld removed.

President Bush used his weekly radio address yesterday to challenge "misimpressions" about the war. He said early leaks from a newly declassified National Intelligence Estimate created "a lot of misimpressions about the document's conclusions."

Rebutting a key judgment of the intelligence estimate -- that war in Iraq has fueled the spread of Islamic radicalism around the world -- the president said, "We do not create terrorism by fighting terrorism."

But Illinois Democratic congressional candidate Tammy Duckworth, an Iraq veteran who lost her legs in the war, said the report showed a failed strategy in Iraq.

"The National Intelligence Estimate revealed the unhappy truth: The war in Iraq has led to more terrorism, not less," said Duckworth, in the Democratic radio address.


© 2006 The Washington Post Company