Since this month marks the ten-year anniversary of the War to Soothe George W. Bush’s Daddy Issues, and because our blood pressure has not skyrocketed to the point where it blew out the cuff the nurse strapped around our arm at our last physical, your Wonkette thought it would be fun to take a look back at the architects of that colossal fuck-up. Who were these paragons of American exceptionalism, and what are they doing today? Living quiet lives of reflection and repentance? Working every day with the wounded veterans who are such a large result of their policies? Standing in the dock at the Hague? Committing seppuku, the ritual suicide by disembowelment practiced by Japanese samurai when they brought shame and dishonor upon themselves and their nation?
To the Google!
George W. Bush
Then: President of the United States and Commander-in-Chief of the military.
Richard “Dick” Cheney
Then: Vice-President of the United States, leading proponent of the Iraq invasion
Now: Retired but trash-talking the current administration every time someone points a camera at his sneering visage. Subject of an upcoming documentary in which he manages to sound like even more of a dick than ever. Had a heart transplant soon after leaving office and is now kept alive by drinking the blood of freshly sacrificed kittens and an endless supply of his own bile.
Then: Secretary of State who famously made the case for the invasion at the UN by brandishing a model vial of the biological WMD that was allegedly the cassus belli for taking out Saddam Hussein. His reputation as an honorable man, which really should have died after the My Lai massacre, was permanently damaged two months later when American troops conquered Iraq and started turning up a whole lot of nothing on the chemical weapons front.
Now: Quietly retired, though he still pops up on TV to endorse President Obama or tell the GOP to quit with all the idiocy, which is almost a literal manifestation of the old phrase “shoveling shit against the tide.” Tells anyone who cares (nobody) that he conveniently developed a conscience after leaving the Bush Administration.
Then: Secretary of Defense who insisted on invading Iraq with a lighter, more mobile military, resulting in America not having enough troops to secure the country. How did that work out, anyway? Also instrumental in implementing the United States’ use of torture. Bragged about being tougher than prisoners forced to stand in stress positions because he worked ten hours a day standing up at his desk. Truly a fine example of the best this country has to offer.
Now: Retired halfway through Bush’s second term before he could become the first Secretary of Defense to be fragged by our own troops. Wrote a self-serving memoir defending himself. Hounded by Code Pink protestors at public appearances and on his book tour. In early 2011 he endorsed the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, an action that in no way makes up for the callous disregard with which he sent off young men and women, both straight and gay, to be maimed and killed in war.
Then: National Security Advisor, later succeeded Colin Powell as Secretary of State for Bush’s second term. In the run-up to the war, she dropped acid, saw a mushroom cloud, and, like, freaked the fuck out, man! Would have been better for the country if she could have not done so on camera, on CNN, during an interview with Wolf Blitzer.
Now: Struggling sitcom actress who makes ends meet by teaching at Stanford.
Then: Bush Press Secretary who resigned a few months after the invasion, officially to spend more time with his wife, but unofficially because it disturbed Americans to receive daily war updates from someone who so closely resembled a six-foot-tall walking penis.
Now: Media consultant for famous athletes. Occasionally bravely trash-talks President Obama on Twitter. Still looks like a six-foot-tall walking penis.
Then: Deputy Secretary of Defense and leading neocon hawk who is often credited as the architect of Bush’s Iraq policy. Set up the Pentagon’s Office of Special Plans, which provided senior government officials with raw intelligence data unvetted by actual intelligence agencies. Famously told the House Appropriations Committee in March 2003 that oil revenues from Iraq would pay for the reconstruction of the entire country. Dismissed as “quite outlandish” and “wildly off the mark” Army Chief of Staff Eric Shinseki’s estimates about the number of troops needed to secure Iraq, no doubt basing his observations on his own vast military experience sitting in a library carrel at Yale for most of the Vietnam War while Shinseki was serving two tours and getting half his foot blown off in Southeast Asia. Traveled to Iraq not long after the invasion and was staying in a hotel when it came under rocket attack from insurgents. As his custom, he escaped injury.
Now: After a short tenure leading the World Bank, which he fucked up nearly as badly as he fucked up Iraq, Wolfowitz went on “wingnut welfare” by taking a position at the American Enterprise Institute. Less welcome than whooping cough in most of the world.
Then: Undersecretary of Defense for Policy. Created the Office of Strategic Influence, which planted stories supportive of the War on Terror in the foreign media. His office also oversaw military prisons, including Abu Ghraib. Also helped Wolfowitz set up and supervise the Office of Special Plans. General Tommy Franks, who oversaw the invasions of both Afghanistan and Iraq, once called Feith “the dumbest fucking guy on the planet.”
Now: Another wingnut welfare baby, Feith works for the Hudson Institute, from which he occasionally lobs op-eds taunting President Obama for being a pussy for not invading Syria. Presumably not taking any psychotropic medications, but it would be irresponsible not to speculate.
Then: Director of the Central Intelligence Agency who famously assured President Bush the case for WMD in Iraq was a “slam dunk.” Later claimed this quote was reported out of context and that he was talking about solidifying support for the invasion by punching up the presentation of evidence to the public, which is oh so much better.
Now: After resigning in 2004, Tenet was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom because George Bush wanted to troll America. He later wrote a self-serving memoir (besides trillions in debt and a financial crisis, self-serving memoirs by former Bush Administration officials seem to be the largest byproduct of Dubya’s two terms in office), became head of an investment bank, and inspired some Kanye West lyrics, which puts him on the same level, culturally speaking, as Kim Kardashian. Remarkably, this is still a more respectable plane of existence than being a former Bush Administration official.
Then: Oversaw the Coalition Provisional Authority, the transitional government charged with overseeing Iraq after Sadaam Hussein’s ouster. His first two orders upon taking over the CPA were banning the Ba’ath Party and disbanding the Iraqi Army, actions that left thousands of skilled Iraqis out of work, restless, and discontented while surrounded by an atmosphere of uncertainty, chaos, and foreign occupation. Weirdly, these Iraqis did not graciously accept this state of affairs like docile bunny rabbits. Under Bremer’s “leadership,” the CPA was a hotbed of graft and corruption that failed to repair Iraq’s infrastructure despite handing pallets of cash to contractors to do so. Tried to control the drafting of Iraq’s constitution and keep out of elected government anyone who was unfriendly to the U.S., thereby undermining that whole “introducing democracy to the Middle East” thing that was allegedly one of the reasons we invaded Iraq in the first place.
Now: Like his former boss George W. Bush, Bremer has had an active retirement writing his memoirs, creating lousy paintings (in his case, Vermont landscapes), and having shoes chucked at his head by angry Iraqis.
Then: Leader of Iraq.