Sure, the new Ron Suskind book, out today, is already drawing headlines for its "impeachable" revelation about a cooked CIA document linking Saddam to al-Qaeda. And there may be much more in this vein in the book. But Suskind's influence -- with the mainstream -- pales in comparison to that of Bob Woodward.
And Woodward, very quietly, has a new book coming out on September 8. It's so quiet that it is still untitled and is known officially only as his Bush at War Book Vol. IV.
The Amazon page has nothing beyond that and its purported length at 486 pages. Barnes and Noble doesn't even have the length. But wait: there is a strong hint about the contents.
At both Amazon and at the publisher's own site (that would be Simon & Schuster) there appears this super-brief description:
"Bob Woodward's fourth book about the Bush presidency at war declassifies the secrets of America's political and military involvement in Iraq. It will be essential reading for all citizens -- and candidates -- in this election year."
My guess would be that Woodward, who finally grew much more critical of Bush and the war in Vol. III (State of Denial), will go even further this time, perhaps even producing some "smoking gun" type documents ("declassifies the secrets") of the trumped-up evidence in the march to war.
If he doesn't, would he really have a book at all at this point? Especially in the wake of the McClellan and, now, Suskind books?
My colleague here at E&P, Joe Strupp, spoke to Woodward this morning, and the author refused to describe the book beyond confirming its existence and release date. He did reveal, however, that it will be excerpted in The Washington Post.
Woodward in recent months has both admitted that the media failed in their pre-war coverage, and defended that performance, given what was known at the time.
Suskind actually made a Watergate reference on the Today Show today. He called the CIA forgery on the war "one of the greatest lies in modern American political history" and suggested it was a crime of greater impact than Watergate.
Greg Mitchell's new book covers Woodward's track record. It is So Wrong for So Long: How the Press, the Pundits -- and the President -- Failed on Iraq. He is editor of Editor & Publisher.