27 October 2005
Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, chief of staff in the U.S. State Department from 2002 to 2005, gave a speech on October 19, 2005, in Washington, DC, at a program sponsored by the New America Foundation. His topic was the Bush administration's national security decision-making process. Excerpts of the speech have been widely quoted in the news media, especially Wilkerson's remarks about having seen a "cabal between the vice president of the United States, Richard Cheney, and the secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, on critical issues that made decisions that the bureaucracy did not know were being made." During his talk, Wilkerson encouraged the audience to read The Assassins' Gate, by George Packer, which Salon's Gary Kamiya called "the best book yet about the Iraq war." You can find Col. Wilkerson's speech in its entirety right here.