Here's what the chief of staff to former Secretary of State Colin Powell had to say yesterday at a Washington, DC think-tank:
When you cut the bureaucracy out of your decisions and then foist your decisions on us out of the blue on that bureaucracy, you can't expect that bureaucracy to carry your decision out very wellâ€¦.
Remember what I said about the bureaucracy if it's going to implement your decisions having to participate in those decisionsâ€¦.
What I saw was a cabal between the vice-president of the United States, Richard Cheney, and the secretary of defense, Donald Rumsfeld, on critical issues that made decisions that the bureaucracy did not know were being madeâ€¦.
So you've got this collegiality there between the Secretary of Defense and the Vice President. And then you've got a President who is not versed in international relations. And not too much interested in them either.
And so it's not too difficult to make decisions in this, what I call Oval Office cabalâ€¦.
Let's see. Voters elect a president and vice president. Once in office, the president and vice president attempt implement the principles and policies they campaigned on. They direct the unelected bureaucrats in the executive branch to carryout those policies, including those who disagree with those polices. This process apparently meets the definition of a "cabal" in the mind of the former chief of staff. Of course, others may characterize a group of unelected bureaucrats who act in an insubordinate manner and decide not to carryout the decisions made their elected leaders as a "cabal."