The Dark Side
Kremlinology for our time: Frontline has produced a detailed, unsettling examination of how the Cheney-Rumsfeld team took control of intelligence and foreign policy from September 2001 on.
The Dark Side proceeds very much -- okay, entirely -- from the point of view of the Cheney clique's opponents or victims within the regime: Richard Clarke, Jim Wilkerson (Powell's aide), Paul Pillar (CIA), Michael DeLong (Army), and many, many more. Stephen Coll, Dana Priest, and Ron Suskind are the journalists most often heard from. The immediate emotion the program left me with was a vague dread. While never raising explicitly the idea that Cheney and Rumsfeld might decline to relinquish power on or before January 20, 2009, it manages to convey the sense that if that should happen, most of the people seen onscreen should look to their personal safety.
But that's crazy talk, eh? The fact that such a show can be made and shown (and purchased for $29.95) makes clear the country's not a stifling dictatorship. The Dark Side is part of a massive push-back by the realist faction of the intel and foreign policy elite that includes a recent rundown of the Niger yellowcake lie by Craig Unger and the new Ron Suskind book The One Percent Doctrine.
The producer's online chat at the Washington Post today is worthwhile so far. Off to follow along; more later. [See comments]