The Fall of the House of Bush: The Untold Story of How a Band of True Believers Seized the Executive Branch, Started the Iraq War, and Still Imperils America's Future

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The presidency of George W. Bush has led to the worst foreign policy decision in the history of the United States -- the bloody, unwinnable war in Iraq. How did this happen? Bush's fateful decision was rooted in events that began decades ago, and until now this story has never been fully told.

From Craig Unger, the author of the bestseller House of Bush, House of Saud, comes a comprehensive, deeply sourced, and chilling account of the secret relationship between neoconservative policy makers and the Christian Right, and how they assaulted the most vital safeguards of America's constitutional democracy while pushing the country into the catastrophic quagmire in the Middle East that is getting worse day by day.

Among the powerful revelations in this book:
  • Why George W. Bush ignored the sage advice of his father, George H.W. Bush, and took America into war.
  • How Bush was convinced he was doing God's will.
  • How Vice President Dick Cheney manipulated George W. Bush, disabled his enemies within the administration, and relentlessly pressed for an attack on Iraq.
  • Which veteran government official, with the assent of the president's father, protested passionately that the Bush administration was making a catastrophic mistake -- and was ignored.
  • How information from forged documents that had already been discredited fourteen times by various intelligence agencies found its way into President Bush's State of the Union address in which he made the case for war with Iraq.
  • How Cheney and the neocons assembled a shadow national security apparatus and created a disinformation pipeline to mislead America and start the war.

A seasoned, award-winning investigative reporter connected to many back-channel political and intelligence sources, Craig Unger knows how to get the big story -- and this one is his most explosive yet. Through scores of interviews with figures in the Christian Right, the neoconservative movement, the Bush administration, and sources close to the Bush family, as well as intelligence agents in the CIA, the Pentagon, and Israel, Unger shows how the Bush administration's certainty that it could bend history to its will has carried America into the disastrous war in Iraq, dooming Bush's presidency to failure and costing America thousands of lives and trillions of dollars. Far from ensuring our security, the Iraq War will be seen as a great strategic pivot point in history that could ignite wider war in the Middle East, particularly in Iran.

Provocative, timely, and disturbing, The Fall of the House of Bush stands as the most comprehensive and dramatic account of how and why George W. Bush took America to war in Iraq.
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About the author

Craig Unger is the author of the New York Times bestselling House of Bush, House of Saud. He appears frequently as an analyst on CNN, the ABC Radio Network, and other broadcast outlets. The former deputy editor of The New York Observer and editor-in-chief of Boston Magazine, he has written about George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush for The New Yorker, Esquire, and Vanity Fair. He lives in New York City.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Simon and Schuster
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Published on
Nov 13, 2007
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Pages
368
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ISBN
9781416553595
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Language
English
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Genres
History / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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On the night of August 4, 1964, President Lyndon Johnson went on national television and stated that American destroyers in the gulf of Tonkin had been attacked by North Vietnamese forces. The Washington Post, The New York Times and The Los Angles Times all reported the government's statements as fact.

The Gulf of Tonkin incident never took place. In the absence of independent journalism, the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution sailed through Congress on August 7, 1964.

50,000 Americans died in that war, with millions of Vietnamese casualties.

People were outraged and in the 1960s began to organize and take to the streets. They took to the streets in millions and spoke out against the Government's policies. Perhaps, the earlier Civil Rights movement and its grass roots organizational skills gave strength to the Peace Movement.

On March 20, 2003, the United States began bombing Iraq, claiming that Iraq's alleged possession of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) posed an imminent threat to the security of the United States. After the invasion of Iraq the U.S. led Iraq Survey Group concluded that Iraq had ended its WMD programs in 1991. Again, the press and the media relied on the U.S. government for its facts, and did not question these assertions.

In 2003, it was to be again. People took to the streets. Demonstrations aimed at getting the truth out occurred all over the country, and the world. The Government's lies were exposed, yet the war continued.

To date, 4,232 American combat troops have been killed in Iraq and countless Iraqi's have died.

The following are some of the photographs of the Peace Movement for the two wars, not so distant in time or style. Now and Then.

In Peace:

Herb Bardavid


When should the United States go to war?

It is arguably the most important foreign policy question facing any president, and Richard Haass -- a member of the National Security Council staff for the first President Bush and the director of policy planning in the State Department for Bush II -- is in a unique position to address it. Haass is one of just a handful of individuals -- along with Colin Powell, Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, and Bob Gates -- involved at a senior level of U.S. government decision making during both Iraq conflicts. He is the first to take us behind closed doors and the first to provide a personal account. The result is a book that is authoritative, revealing, and surprising. Haass explains not only what happened but why.

At first blush, the two Iraq wars appear similar. Both involved a President George Bush and the United States in conflicts with Saddam Hussein and Iraq. There, however, the resemblance ends. Haass contrasts the decisions that shaped the conduct of the two wars and makes a crucial distinction between the 1991 and 2003 conflicts. The first Iraq war, following Saddam Hussein's invasion of neighboring Kuwait, was a war of necessity. It was limited in ambition, well executed, and carried out with unprecedented international support.

By contrast, the second Iraq war was one of choice, the most significant discretionary war undertaken by the United States since Vietnam. Haass argues that it was unwarranted, as the United States had other viable policy options. Making matters worse was the fact that this ambitious undertaking was poorly implemented and fought with considerably more international opposition than backing.

These are the principal conclusions of this compelling, honest, and challenging book by one of this country's most respected voices on foreign policy. Haass's assessments are critical yet fair -- and carry tremendous weight. He offers a thoughtful examination of the means and ends of U.S. foreign policy: how it should be made, what it should seek to accomplish, and how it should be pursued.

War of Necessity, War of Choice -- part history, part memoir -- provides invaluable insight into some of the most important recent events in the world. It also provides a much-needed compass for how the United States can apply the lessons learned from the two Iraq wars so that it is better positioned to put into practice what worked and to avoid repeating what so clearly did not.
Newsbreaking and controversial -- an award-winning investigative journalist uncovers the thirty-year relationship between the Bush family and the House of Saud and explains its impact on American foreign policy, business, and national security.
House of Bush, House of Saud begins with a politically explosive question: How is it that two days after 9/11, when U.S. air traffic was tightly restricted, 140 Saudis, many immediate kin to Osama Bin Laden, were permitted to leave the country without being questioned by U.S. intelligence?
The answer lies in a hidden relationship that began in the 1970s, when the oil-rich House of Saud began courting American politicians in a bid for military protection, influence, and investment opportunity. With the Bush family, the Saudis hit a gusher -- direct access to presidents Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush. To trace the amazing weave of Saud- Bush connections, Unger interviewed three former directors of the CIA, top Saudi and Israeli intelligence officials, and more than one hundred other sources. His access to major players is unparalleled and often exclusive -- including executives at the Carlyle Group, the giant investment firm where the House of Bush and the House of Saud each has a major stake.
Like Bob Woodward's The Veil, Unger's House of Bush, House of Saud features unprecedented reportage; like Michael Moore's Dude, Where's My Country? Unger's book offers a political counter-narrative to official explanations; this deeply sourced account has already been cited by Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton and Charles Schumer, and sets 9/11, the two Gulf Wars, and the ongoing Middle East crisis in a new context: What really happened when America's most powerful political family became seduced by its Saudi counterparts?
The epic 2012 presidential contest between President Barack Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney represents the stunning comeback of GOP boss Karl Rove, the brilliant political operator whose scorched-earth partisanship infamously earned him the moniker “Bush’s Brain” and provoked some observers to label him as dangerous to American democracy. How, after leaving the Bush administration in disgrace, did Rove rise again, and what does it mean that he is back in power? This timely, meticulous account by New York Times bestselling investigative reporter Craig Unger provides the surprising and disturbing answers.

KARL ROVE, the man who masterminded the rise of George W. Bush from governor of Texas to the presidency, who advised Bush during two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, who some claim helped seize the 2004 election for Bush, and who was at the center of the Bush administration’s two biggest scandals—the Valerie Plame Wilson affair and the U.S. attorneys scandal—is back.

Since exiting the Bush administration, Rove has quietly become the greatest Republican power broker in the country. His pulpit is much vaster than his role as a commentator on Fox News and his regular columns for the Wall Street Journal suggest. His real strength is his ability to mobilize immense sums through the SuperPAC American Crossroads and similar organizations, and channel that money on behalf of Republican candidates.

Knowing that Rove remains connected and powerful, Unger investigates Rove’s politically controversial activities of times past, shedding important new light on them, and shows their relevance to his activities today. He scrutinizes Rove’s roles in the Valerie Plame Wilson affair, the U.S. attorneys scandal, the strange events in Ohio on the night of the 2004 presidential election, and much more.

But now that Rove is back in control of GOP political strategy and funding, there are pressing new questions: How did Rove do an end around on the Republican National Committee and build his own more powerful organization? In what ways did he subtly and not so subtly influence the 2012 Republican primary process? What did he say (and do) regarding candidates Rick Perry, Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Santorum? How did he placate the Tea Party, which he privately despises, even as he cleverly marginalized its importance? How did he and Mitt Romney draw closer as the GOP convention neared? How will he further benefit from a Romney victory? And if Romney loses, why will Rove remain powerful? Unger has the answers.

As demonstrated in his previous books, Unger is adept at combining incisive reporting with the journalistic record to create a master narrative that sheds new light on a political subject. Detailed, fascinating, and entertaining, Boss Rove will interest not only readers who want to know more about the 2012 election but also those keen to understand the forces endangering American democracy. This up-to-the-minute journalistic report sheds crucial light on Rove’s vital behind-the-scenes role in this fall’s presidential election and in the future of American politics.
THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

“The story Unger weaves with those earlier accounts and his original reporting is fresh, illuminating and more alarming than the intelligence channel described in the Steele dossier.”—The Washington Post

House of Trump, House of Putin offers the first comprehensive investigation into the decades-long relationship among Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, and the Russian Mafia that ultimately helped win Trump the White House.

It is a chilling story that begins in the 1970s, when Trump made his first splash in the booming, money-drenched world of New York real estate, and ends with Trump’s inauguration as president of the United States. That moment was the culmination of Vladimir Putin’s long mission to undermine Western democracy, a mission that he and his hand-selected group of oligarchs and Mafia kingpins had ensnared Trump in, starting more than twenty years ago with the massive bailout of a string of sensational Trump hotel and casino failures in Atlantic City. This book confirms the most incredible American paranoias about Russian malevolence.

To most, it will be a hair-raising revelation that the Cold War did not end in 1991—that it merely evolved, with Trump’s apartments offering the perfect vehicle for billions of dollars to leave the collapsing Soviet Union. In House of Trump, House of Putin, Craig Unger methodically traces the deep-rooted alliance between the highest echelons of American political operatives and the biggest players in the frightening underworld of the Russian Mafia. He traces Donald Trump’s sordid ascent from foundering real estate tycoon to leader of the free world. He traces Russia’s phoenix like rise from the ashes of the post–Cold War Soviet Union as well as its ceaseless covert efforts to retaliate against the West and reclaim its status as a global superpower.

Without Trump, Russia would have lacked a key component in its attempts to return to imperial greatness. Without Russia, Trump would not be president. This essential book is crucial to understanding the real powers at play in the shadows of today’s world. The appearance of key figures in this book—Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen, and Felix Sater to name a few—ring with haunting significance in the wake of Robert Mueller’s report and as others continue to close in on the truth.
The Israel Lobby," by John J. Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago and Stephen M. Walt of Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government, was one of the most controversial articles in recent memory. Originally published in the London Review of Books in March 2006, it provoked both howls of outrage and cheers of gratitude for challenging what had been a taboo issue in America: the impact of the Israel lobby on U.S. foreign policy.

Now in a work of major importance, Mearsheimer and Walt deepen and expand their argument and confront recent developments in Lebanon and Iran. They describe the remarkable level of material and diplomatic support that the United States provides to Israel and argues that this support cannot be fully explained on either strategic or moral grounds. This exceptional relationship is due largely to the political influence of a loose coalition of individuals and organizations that actively work to shape U.S. foreign policy in a pro-Israel direction. Mearsheimer and Walt provocatively contend that the lobby has a far-reaching impact on America's posture throughout the Middle East—in Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, and toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict—and the policies it has encouraged are in neither America's national interest nor Israel's long-term interest. The lobby's influence also affects America's relationship with important allies and increases dangers that all states face from global jihadist terror.

Writing in The New York Review of Books, Michael Massing declared, "Not since Foreign Affairs magazine published Samuel Huntington's ‘The Clash of Civilizations?' in 1993 has an academic essay detonated with such force." The publication of The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy is certain to widen the debate and to be one of the most talked-about books in foreign policy.

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