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Posted October 23, 2014
An Insider's View at a troubled time
Hoeffel provides a detailed examination of the lead-up to the vote for military action in Iraq circa 2002-2003. Hoeffel's position as a Democratic Congressman and a member of the International Relations Committee gave him a front row seat to the all-out blitz by the Bush administration to proactively engage and unseat the Hussein regime.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
The detailed analysis showing the discrepancies between the actual assessments made by the various intelligence agencies versus what the administration was feeding the public and Congress is damning. A very strong case is presented that the White House did indeed knowingly and irresponsibly led the nation into war (and its even more tragic aftermath) under false pretenses.
This book can be recommended to anyone wishing to get a firm handle on the weeks leading up to that fateful vote. What Hoeffel leaves for another day or for someone else is why we were led into this quagimire -- what were the true objectives of the administration in initiating this war. Despite the factual nature of the analysis and reporting, there is some level of partisanship that does sneak into the narrative. Of specific note is the fact that a number of high ranking congressmen also read the comprehensive and detailed intel reports (that Hoeffel, the rest of Congress and the public did not see until it was too late) and the Dem leaders still supported the administration's call to war (with the interesting exception of Nancy Pelosi who arises as an unlikely voice of principal and dare I say reason). These Dems who would seem equally culpable are spared criticism in the book which isn't quite a level playing field.
Overall however, a very worthwhile, well-researched read.