Farewell to All That: An Oral History of the Bush White House, aus der Vanity Fair. Leute, die dabei waren, kommen zu Wort. Einiges hätte ich lieber gar nicht gewusst.

Richard Clarke: That night, on 9/11, Rumsfeld came over and the others, and the president finally got back, and we had a meeting. And Rumsfeld said, You know, we’ve got to do Iraq, and everyone looked at him – at least I looked at him and Powell looked at him – like, What the hell are you talking about? And he said – I’ll never forget this – There just aren’t enough targets in Afghanistan. We need to bomb something else to prove that we’re, you know, big and strong and not going to be pushed around by these kind of attacks.

And I made the point certainly that night, and I think Powell acknowledged it, that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. That didn’t seem to faze Rumsfeld in the least.

It shouldn’t have come as a surprise. It really didn’t, because from the first weeks of the administration they were talking about Iraq. I just found it a little disgusting that they were talking about it while the bodies were still burning in the Pentagon and at the World Trade Center.“ (…)

February 14, 2002 The Bush administration proposes a Clear Skies Initiative, which relaxes air-quality and emissions standards. This is followed by a Healthy Forests Initiative, which opens up national forests to increased logging. Climate change becomes a forbidden subject.

Rick Piltz, senior associate, U.S. Climate Change Science Program: At the beginning of the Bush administration, Ari Patrinos, a very senior science official who had run the Department of Energy’s climate-change research program for many years, and a half-dozen high-ranking federal science officials were brought together and told to explain the science and help develop policy options for a proactive climate-change policy for the administration. They moved into an office downtown, and they worked very hard and were briefing at the Cabinet level, in the White House. Cheney was there, Colin Powell was there, Commerce Secretary [Don] Evans was there. They were making the case on climate change.

And one day they were told: Take it down, pack it up, go back to your offices—we don’t need you anymore. (…)

May 6, 2002 The effort to create an International Criminal Court, to which the United States and more than a hundred other nations have signed on, encounters a setback when Bush withdraws American participation by “unsigning” the I.C.C. treaty.

Luis Moreno-Ocampo, prosecutor of the International Criminal Court: When I started at the I.C.C., in 2003, the Bush administration appeared hostile towards the court, as though we were radioactive. But what started with hostility over time became less so. All of a sudden the court was seen to be useful. On Darfur, for example, the administration could have vetoed the Security Council vote referring Darfur to my office. They didn’t. That was a big change. But I’ve kept a respectful distance. They don’t give me intelligence. They cannot control me. When I received the U.N. Commission report on Darfur, inside the boxes there was a sealed envelope which appeared to contain classified U.S. information. We returned it to the U.S. Embassy, without opening it.

Ironically, the hostility has helped in my dealings with countries that might otherwise perceive me to be in the pocket of the Americans. It has been one positive factor in the Arab and African worlds. The U.S. distance from the court seems to have had the very opposite effect of that intended – of strengthening it. (…)

Matthew Dowd, Bush’s pollster and chief strategist for the 2004 presidential campaign: Katrina to me was the tipping point. The president broke his bond with the public. Once that bond was broken, he no longer had the capacity to talk to the American public. State of the Union addresses? It didn’t matter. Legislative initiatives? It didn’t matter. P.R.? It didn’t matter. Travel? It didn’t matter. I knew when Katrina – I was like, man, you know, this is it, man. We’re done.“