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Inside The Belly Of Bush's Beast

I'm a day late on this, but don't miss David Sanger's intriguing story on what the transitionistas are uncovering about the inner functionings of the formerly-opaque Bush administration:

“For a bunch of small-government Republicans,” one former denizen of the White House who has now stepped back inside for the first time in eight years, “these guys built a hell of an empire.” Eight years ago, there were two deputy national security advisers; today there are a half-dozen, each with staff. ...

It's not fleshed out as much as the reader might hope, but Sanger touches on the proliferation of high-tech toys in the White House and the unexpected downsides of a more modern Oval Office:

[T]hey have been surprised to see the degree of tactical detail about two wars and a handful of insurgencies — from the tribal areas of Pakistan to Sudan and the Congo — that surrounds him. Partly this is because the high-tech makeover of the Situation Room, completed about two years ago, makes instantaneous conversation with field commanders easier than ever.Both the transition officials and some White House insiders say it may make this communication too easy, sucking the commander-in-chief into a situation in which real-time, straight-from-the-battlefield discussions of tactics masquerade as a conversation about strategy.

Raises the idle question -- could Obama's BlackBerry-loving, tech-savvy ways, if not channeled in the right direction, actually make him less effective?

P.S. Wires slightly crossed here -- this is the same story as Seyward's second link just below.

--Eve Fairbanks