Off The Record - Bush's Behavior Worries White House Aides.
Original article by Doug Thompson
In interviews with a number of White House staffers who were willing to talk off the record, Paint a portrait of a man on the edge, increasingly wary of those who disagree with him and paranoid of a public that no longer trusts his policies in Iraq or at home.
Aides say the President gets "hung up on minor details," micromanaging to the extreme while ignoring the bigger picture. He will spend hours personally reviewing and approving every attack ad against his Democratic opponent and then kiss off a meeting on economic issues.
Aides who raise questions quickly find themselves shut out of access to the President or other top advisors. Among top officials, Bush's inner circle is shrinking. Secretary of State Colin Powell has fallen out of favor because of his growing doubts about the administration's war against Iraq.
Tenet was allowed to resign "voluntarily" and Bush informed his shocked staff of the decision Thursday morning. One aide says the President actually described the decision as "God's will."
But the President who says he rules at the behest of God can also tongue-lash those he perceives as disloyal, calling them "fucking assholes" in front of other staff, berating one cabinet official in front of others and labeling anyone who disagrees with him "unpatriotic" or "anti-American". One troubled aide who admits he is looking for work elsewhere says "In this administration, you don't have to wear a turban or speak Farsi to be an enemy of the United States. All you have to do is disagree with the President."
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US told Saudis to let al-Qaeda gunmen escape
Saudi authorities were instructed by US diplomats to give safe passage to three al-Qaeda gunmen after the they killed 10 of the hostages they were holding at a hotel in the oil hub of Khobar, a senior security official said. The Saudi official said upon hearing hostages had been killed, US officials advised the Saudis that letting the militants go would avert a bigger catastrophe. The US embassy in Riyadh did not have immediate comment on the Saudi official's account.