Vengeance is Mine, Sayeth the Bush
Condi "Mushroom Cloud" Rice will be taking over the State Department. Her chief deputy is likely to be John Bolton, who promised Ariel Sharon that after Iraq had been taken care of (by the way, how's that going?) Syria, North Korea, and Iran are next on the hit parade (scroll to bottom for article).
Meanwhile, Rice is likely to be replaced at the NSC by Stephen Hadley. Hadley is best know for mysteriously forgetting to inform the president that the CIA had doubts about those "sixteen words" that showed up in the State of the Union address accusing Iraq of seeking nuclear materials from Nigeria.
Over at the CIA, a political and ideological Jihad is being directed at those elements that questioned administration policy. Knight Ridder reports that:
Three senior administration officials charged that Goss and his aides are carrying out a "White House-directed purge." One said it appears to be directed at "everybody who said there was no connection between Iraq and al-Qaida and everybody who they think leaked information that undercut what the administration was claiming."
Many intelligence and other officials questioned the administration's claims about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and links to al-Qaida, claims that subsequent investigations have found to be erroneous. They also challenged White House assessments about political and economic progress in Iraq.
Cheney, they said, was particularly angered by reports, first carried by Knight Ridder, that the CIA had been unable to find any conclusive evidence tying Saddam's regime to Jordanian-born terrorist Abu Musab al Zarqawi. Cheney had ordered the CIA to take another look at possible links among Saddam, Zarqawi and Osama bin Laden, the official said, and was angered when a CIA briefer told him the results of the inquiry.
In short, the architects of Mesopatamian Madness have seized control of the policy apparatus, and are firmly in charge. Those who had hoped for a return to reality are going to be sorely disappointed.