By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: November 29, 2005
Filed at 6:58 a.m. ET
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Former Secretary of State Colin Powell's chief of staff says President Bush was ''too aloof, too distant from the details'' of post-war planning, allowing underlings to exploit Bush's detachment and make bad decisions.
In an Associated Press interview Monday, former Powell chief of staff Lawrence Wilkerson also said that wrongheaded ideas for the handling of foreign detainees after Sept. 11 arose from a coterie of White House and Pentagon aides who argued that ''the president of the United States is all-powerful,'' and that the Geneva Conventions were irrelevant.
Wilkerson blamed Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and like-minded aides. Wilkerson said that Cheney must have sincerely believed that Iraq could be a spawning ground for new terror assaults, because ''otherwise I have to declare him a moron, an idiot or a nefarious bastard.''