What the White House Knew and When It Knew It:
Time Lines of the Selling of the War
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In the months after 9/11, the Bush administration resisted calls for an official investigation into the missteps, intelligence failures, and general haplessness that had led to the attacks. Thanks to the persistence of the victims’ families, we now have the 9/11 Commission’s definitive history -- down to the minute -- of how we arrived at that Tuesday in September 2001. We do not yet have an official accounting of what happened after.
The pair of time lines in the book is an attempt to map the rollout of the administration’s false intelligence claims about Iraq, as typified by that mythical uranium from Africa at the center of the Valerie Plame Wilson case, and to contrast that often-fictional narrative with the contradictory intelligence that the White House failed to divulge to the public as it told and sold its story. As Patrick Fitzgerald’s investigation began to prompt revelations about a desperate administration’s efforts to salvage its flawed case for war, the gap between these two narrative tracks became more and more visible -- and continues to widen with each new revelation of accurate intelligence that the administration either suppressed or ignored.
NOTE ON THE TYPE
Entries in italics in the right-hand
column chronicle the story that was sold by the Bush administration and other
relevant events, news reports, or official statements that were known publicly
at the time.
Entries in roman type in the shaded left-hand
column chronicle what the administration was learning behind the scenes about
intelligence and other war-related matters—and not telling the public.
The events in this hidden time line were revealed publicly only later; citations
note the dates and sources of each revelation.
Footnotes beginning "*See entry..." allow the
reader to locate the dates in the time lines when the administration received
information that contradicted its public statements. In footnotes, roman dates
refer to the behind-the-scenes (roman) column; italic dates refer to the
public (italic) column.
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