One warning, however: Those who are looking for dirt on Feith's colleagues in government are not going to find it here. He seems to be at pains to relay the arguments of those who had different views fairly and accurately. He concedes some mistakes of his own. And he contradicts much of what has become conventional wisdom about the Iraq war. To whet your appetite, here is an excerpt from the introduction:
"Readers who have invested time and faith in the current public affairs literature may find it jarring to discover that key Administration figures--Colin Powell, Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, Richard Armitage, Paul Wolfowitz, myself, and others--made arguments and advocated policies that run directly counter to the positions usually associated with them. For example:"
--"It was the Pentagon "neocons" who continually urged the President to tone down his democracy rhetoric."
--"The most powerful analysis of the downsides of going to war in Iraq came not from the State Department or the CIA, but from Donald Rumsfeld."
--"The Pentagon-CIA dispute over the Iraq-al Qaeda relationship began with objections by Defense officials about the CIA's politicization of intelligence, not the other way around."
--"The work of the State Department's Future of Iraq project on post-Saddam political transition was opposed not by Defense officials, but by Colin Powell and Richard Armitage."
--"It was CIA officials who predicted that Iraqis would launch pro-U.S. uprisings after the start of the war."
--"It was State Department officials who advocated a multiyear U.S. occupation of Iraq."
By Michael Barone