Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Doug Feith Speaks Out

It must be exceedingly difficult being Doug Feith, the former policy chief at the Pentagon. Here he is last night explaining how he was right about everything regarding the Iraq war while everybody else -- Powell, Armitage, Bush, Rice, Rumsfeld, Tenet, Franks, Bremer -- was wrong.

-- Dana Milbank

By Dana Milbank  | April 25, 2008; 10:18 AM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Mistakes were made. But not by him.
Next: Could Rev. Spell Doom for Obama?

Comments

Mr. Milbank, I really appreciate your columns and your commentary on Countdown. I don't know where to send the following observation, which I think deserves a bit of attention, so I thought I'd send this to you and Eugene Robinson: Laura Bush slapped Jenna on the cheek when Jenna said that she was thinking about not necessarily voting for McCain. Jenna looked hurt and humiliated, and her cheek was bright red. I saw only the clip on cable news, so don't know whether LK soothed Jenna. At the time he turned away and seemed to laugh. There is no mention of the slap in the transcript.

Posted by: newddle | April 26, 2008 1:03 AM | Report abuse

Again, I commented on the previous post by Milbank on the subject. This is not good journalism. He has obviously not read the book, but nevertheless feels content to issue judgments. I think the overall message of the event was not that "everyone else" was to blame for mistakes, but that what happened was far more complex than the current conventional wisdom. The current literature essentially has it that State and CIA were basically right about everything, and Pentagon was wrong about everything. This is essentially the reverse of what Milbank is attributing to Feith. I would recommend reading this book and making your own mind up, the point is not that Feith was right and everyone else was wrong, but that there is a lot of new information in the book that is valuable for anyone trying to understand what happened. The current understanding will continue to evolve as more accounts and more information comes out. Those interested in the truth will welcome this, instead of clinging to the politically-motivated current wisdom like Milbank.

Posted by: DHobgood | April 26, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

This man and many others have the blood of thousands of Americans, and hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis on their hands. They will go to their graves totally clueless to the great harm they have wrecked upon not only Iraq, but our nation as well.

Posted by: A.Lincoln | April 28, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

HA HA HA! YES, INDEED, FEITH IS THE LATEST IN THE CLUELESS, UTTERLY UTTERLY CLUELESS IRAQ WAR MOVERS AND SHAKERS TO STEP FORWARD AND ANNOUNCE THAT HE ALONE WAS THE SINGULAR VOICE OF HESITATION AND CAUTION AMONGST ALL THOSE MAD WARMONGERS, CHENEY, GWB, RUMSFELD, WOLFOWITZ, DCI TENET-NOT NECESSARILY IN THAT ORDER.

IT'S HYSTERICAL. I THOUGHT DCI TENET'S SELF-SERVING AUTOBIOGRAPHY WAS THE WHOPPER OF ALL REVISIONIST HISTORY ON WHO AIDED ABETTED AND CREATED THE IRAQ WAR-BECAUSE I REMEMBER HOW HE ABSOLUTELY WAS GUNG-HO ON IRAQ, AND WAS DOING EVERYTHING IN HIS POWER TO FURTHER THE "INTEL" ON THE WMD. I GUESS HE THINKS MOST AMERICANS ARE STUPID, HAVE AMNESIA, AND JUST PLAIN WEREN'T PAYING ATTENTION IN THAT 2002-2003 TIME PERIOD. I REMEMBER READING HOW TENET HOPPED OVER TO THE WHITE HOUSE, BREATHLESS WITH EXCITEMENT, BECAUSE THE AGENCY HAD FOUND OUT EXACTLY WHERE SADDAM WAS HIDING-AND SO THE US MILITARY SENT A MASSIVE BOMB STRIKE TO THE AREA-UH, NO DICE.

NOTE: CIA TRADECRAFT, HAS, OVER THE PAST SEVERAL YEARS, GONE TO HELL IN A HANDBASKET-IT SEEMS THEY CAN'T GET ANYTHING RIGHT-THE LATEST BEING THAT CIA IS CONVINCED THAT THE SITE THAT ISRAEL BOMBED IN SYRIA REALLY WAS A NUCLEAR REACTOR-GOT NEWS FOR YOU FOLKS-IT ISN'T, DESPITE WHAT THE CIA IS INSISTING TO THE CONTRARY! AND CIA DIRECTOR HAYDEN IS GOING TO HAVE, ONCE AGAIN, EGG ALL OVER HIS FACE-AS IF THE CIA DOESN'T HAVE ENOUGH TROUBLES ALREADY, WITH THEIR WEAK INTEL ANALYSIS, WHAT WITH THE CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION INTO TO THE WATERBOARDING MEMOS AND ALL. THIS IS NOT A GOOD THING.


BUT I DIGRESS. NOW HERE COMES FEITH, AFTER DCI TENET, WITH ANOTHER REVISIONIST TALE TO TELL-GET 'EM OUTTA HERE, I SAY! HONEST TO GOD, THEIR EGOISM AND CLUELESSNESS KNOWS NO BOUNDS-HOW DID THESE JOKERS END UP IN SUCH POSITIONS OF AUTHORITY?

Posted by: farfalle44 | April 28, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Those among the senior military that had contacts with Mr. Feith observed that he was "undoubtedly the dumbest person that had ever served in high office." He, Mr. Rumsfeld and the others of that ilk can speak and write for eternity but it will not change the fact that they were out of their element in the Pentagon and totally incompetent. They will go to their graves with the blood of American soldiers on their hands because of their arrogance and stupidity. They, however, have no shame only self-serving egos, so they will continue to hopelessly sell their pitiful stories.

Posted by: JKV | April 28, 2008 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Regarding Wright's assessment that this is all about the black church I have some things to say.

The black church USED to be a force of change and renewal. It used to be an energy which commanded respect and voiced the hopes of so many people who, though not black,themselves, felt alienated and subjugated in the majority culture.

The black church has become irrelevant and obtuse. When confronted with the fact that 1 in 50 African American males is HIV infected they have turned a blind eye to that need. Citing the willingness of God to damn those who have it because they were obviously engaging in something unapproved by the Bible. Oh they tried with efforts like Balm in Gilead but in decades of effort they have progressed no further than when they started.

The black church has continuously negated the presence of gay men and women in the world choosing instead to uphold and enforce the bigotry and derision voiced against this minority. Instead of standing with any alienated person the black church has refused to let anyone else's struggle be about "civil rights" unless they're black. They say, "Being black is harder than being gay because everyone knows you're black." So friggin' what! Black people don't have to tell their parents they're gay. Gay people do.

Where has the black church been in response to the needs the black community has? Having worked in the social service sector all of my adult life I can tell you that the black response has been poor to awful for things such as violence, youth crime, teenage preganancy, veneral disease, poverty, hunger, unemployment and education.

The black church has become a place of Promise Keeper men, women with big hats and agendas all about themselves. It is a people, not of hope and help, but a people most concerned with revenge and success oriented theology. It's a dirty rotten shame what Wright and all the other black pastors like him have made of the church.

Imagine a white congregation's pastor asking God to damn America and then blasting it all over every TV screen in America. Does anyone think that the IRS would NOT take away their 401? Huh? Of course not. But because no one can call the black church on their nonsense without being labelled bigots then we have to endure the self-righteous pontifications of Wright, the NAACP and all the other black pompous, arrogant, clerics of the UCC who uphold his right to incite treason. SHAME ON THE BLACK CHURCH! SHAME on the UCC. Shame on Trinity UCC. Shame.

Posted by: Joe | April 28, 2008 3:15 PM | Report abuse

P.S. DH-it's patently obviously that you are Feith's "ALTER EGO" on this blog-but it will do no good-FEITH IS A SELF-SERVING IDIOT, BUT NO DIFFERENT FROM THE OTHER EVIL AND YES, I WOULD ARGUE CRAZY, HIGH COMMAND OVER THERE AT DOD DURING THE RUN-UP TO THE IRAQ WAR-HONEST TO GOD, IF PEOPLE KNEW SOME OF THE THINGS THAT RUMSFELD AND WOLFOWITZ DID, TO TRY AND GARNER SUPPORT FROM THE BRITISH, FOR EXAMPLE, THE PEOPLE THEY WOULD CONTACT OVER THERE, THE "CHARACTERS" THAT THEY WOULD BRING IN TO THE PENTAGON'S FOLD-IT WOULD TRULY TRULY ASTONISH-BUT THOSE THINGS CAN'T BE TOLD-BECAUSE THAT ALL REMAINS CLASSIFIED. BUT IT WAS EVIL, WHAT THEY DID. THERE IS NO QUESTION THAT WOLFOWITZ, FEITH AND RUMSFELD WERE ONE CLUELESS, TRIUMVERATE-ALONG WITH THEIR SPIRITUAL SOULMATE DICK CHENEY-I REALLY DO BELIEVE THAT GROUP SHOULD BE TRIED FOR WAR CRIMES. SERIOUSLY-A EXCELLENT CASE COULD BE MADE FOR THAT.

Posted by: FARFALLE44 | April 28, 2008 5:28 PM | Report abuse

My God, how tragic it all is! What is the fault of Wright? He is intelligent man, and he is preaching the real Christianity. Why should it be the offence to Obama and/or the fault of Obama that he has been his pastor for years, ah? We are trying to endorse the continuation of the terrible joined dynasty of Clinton-Bush-clinton, which has not brought ANYTHING GOOD to the wast majority of Americans, and we are blaming Obama that his pastor spoke the truth, even if the sharp and bitter truth. Terrible, simply terrible!

Posted by: aepelbaum | April 28, 2008 5:34 PM | Report abuse

It should not be a surprise that Black Panthers provide Rev Wrights security guards, they stood behind him in one of the clips and were giving each other high fives. Just think, if Obama is president he can replace the regular security and hire black panthers and when he makes his first State of the Union address America can see their first black president surrounded by black racists. Ahhh, change you can believe..

Posted by: tiredofit | April 28, 2008 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Milbank and I evidently did not hear the same speech by Dr. Wright. I think that Mr. Milbank heard only what he wanted to hear. Shame on him. I am about ready to stop my subscription to The Post.

Posted by: Nancy R Parker | April 28, 2008 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Regardless of his personal motivation to write, and some would say to distort, the history of the decision process, the use of the "Afghanistan model" on Iraq is a flawed one at best.

In Afghanistan, there was an opposition group to the Taliban, i.e., the Northern Alliance. In Afghanistan, the Northern Alliance was a group to which "power could be handed to after the Taliban was toppled. And that was why no massive use of US troops was involved. But in Iraq, if not Chalabi's people, to whom was Feith going to "hand" the power to? Was he going to go to the streets of Iraq and just grabed a bunch Iraqis? And if WMD was not needed as a "justification" for invading Iraq, why was it pushed so hard by none other than his president? And why, if Feith had any integrity and considered serving the nation a higher priority than holding the job, did he not speak out?

Finally, that there was no massive attack on the homeland during the past six and a half years is now the result of the Iraqi invasion? Where did Feith learn his logic? How about the cost of the war, the fall of the dollar, and the emergin recession? Does any of these have anything to do with the Bush/Chenney/Rumsfeld/Feith war?

Posted by: Steve Chan, Los Altos Hills | April 28, 2008 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Ah, more dreaming aloud from a Clinton supporter. The facts remain the same: (Party) rules dictate that the delegate count decides it. Obama will have more delegates, period. Oh, the cry goes up amongst Hillary's goose steppers: "But nobody will have 2,024"! So we are to give it to the one with fewer? Be serious. Or: "The supers can go their own way"! They do not have the guts to deny the first Black presidential candidate in US history. And we all know it. It's all over. And there is nothing Hillary or any of her cadre can do about it.

Posted by: gmundenat | April 28, 2008 11:18 PM | Report abuse

I'd say this was a pretty good indictment of Wright and indirectly Obama, too. But didn't the audience cheer Wright on? The audience was mostly journalists, I assume, even though Wright was allowed a cheering section.

So what appears as an indictment to me may very well be a reasonable assessment of the state of society by . . . others.

Posted by: rphillips | April 28, 2008 11:19 PM | Report abuse

DHobgood expresses my feelings better than I could. The attempts to undermine the policies of the democratically elected voice of the people by the State Department, the CIA, and the free press is nothing short of treason.

Posted by: polows | April 29, 2008 7:07 AM | Report abuse

FARFALLE44:

Not sure about why you feel the need to use all caps. I'm most definitely not Feith's "alter-ego," and if you actually tried to understand my post, was not trying to "absolve" Feith. My point was just that Milbank's account was biased, (he was not on the guest list and I did not see him, so I do not think he was even there), and second, (this is a point you have demonstrated better than I ever could) the popular understanding of what happened in the run-up to the war has been so subsumed and dominated by politics that people like yourself do not even care to look at new evidence as it comes to light. "Journalists" like Milbank, instead of fulfilling their duty to the people by providing objective analysis of new material, regurgitate past insults and issue judgments based on emotions more than reason. My point was not that Feith is absolved, merely that the book is full of a lot of new information, and contrary to most previous accounts actually backs up many of its arguments with declassified documents. If you will notice, this statement does not even take a position on Feith as a person or a policy-maker. But in the minds of people like yourself, any statement on a member of the Bush administration which does not reflexively condemn them as a demon and the source of all evil somehow makes me an "alter-ego." If you read this post, please take occasion to ponder how your mind became so warped and extremist, and consider whether you are manifesting many of the pernicious habits of thought that you are so ready to condemn in others.

Posted by: DHobgood | April 29, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

All Feith has done is create a record (for himself) that might, twenty years hence...or sooner) be a basis for his defense when he and the other warmongers get pulled before a court of law.

Posted by: ohnoyoudont | May 1, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

DHobgood is what we call a "concern troll," not addressing the facts of Feith's treason but trying to massage our frustration with being repeatedly forcefed illogic.

Rumsfeld famously counseled Wolfowitz on how to speak to congress, "Start with an illogical statement and proceed logically from there." The result is to flummox people with a series of apparently logical statements that are logically false.

Feith is of the same school of logic. I only leafed through the book in the bookstore, but his "new information" is specious assertions that don't flow from the facts on the ground. Sorry Doug, they can't send to Syria what they don't have. And Chalabi was/is a scam artist of the first order.

I'd still like to know why NOBODY in the Bush administration asked a tourist, reporter or spy to conduct basic due diligence on the condition of Iraqi infrastructure. "Oh my, oh my, Iraq is in much worse shape that we ever thought!" It's obvious that they were only looking at the oil fields, ignoring the power grid, water system, sewage, transportation, etc.

If I went to my investors and board of directors with that incomplete of a plan, I'd be out on the street tomorrow. When he was in business Rumsfeld was infamous for terrifying corporate managers with his scathing due diligence. I find it impossible to believe this wasn't a political and ideologically motivated invasion rather than a managed process of our nation's first pre-emptive war.

I can't fathom what political cover protected Feith, I wouldn't trust him to write a business plan nor hire him to run a copy center. Perhaps DHobgood you can educate me on this guy. How can I land a paying gig at Georgetown, Harvard and the Hoover Institution? Who do I need to be my patron saint?

Posted by: boscobobb | May 2, 2008 8:08 PM | Report abuse

I don't know why so many of the more liberal commentators feel the need to personally attack and impugn the motives of anyone they disagree with. Calling me a "concern troll," whatever that means only makes you childish. Unlike you, who apparently feel content that you fully grasp the content of a book after "leafing" through it in a bookstore, I actually read it before I made up my mind about it. On many points I disagree with Feith, but he certainly does not come off as ill-intentioned, and he does present many original documents which have not yet been seen and which contradict some of the conventional wisdom about the intra-governmental State-DoD dispute. It is a far more complex picture than wise advice offered by State and a DoD guided by a neocon "cabal." State, not DoD, was the main proponent of an extended occupation and the creation of the CPA. DoD urged a quick turnover of power akin to that in Afghanistan. Perhaps Chalabi is a con artist, I don't know the man (I'm sure you don't either. As regards his corruption charges, he was let off by an Iraqi judge, and his previous charge came from the Jordanian government, at the time a strong supporter of Saddam. So accepting its credibility at face value is a bit naive.) But State's fervent hatred of him and the other "externals" and their resistance to the idea of empowering Iraqis early resulted in Bremer's disastrous year in Iraq.

"I'd still like to know why NOBODY in the Bush administration asked a tourist, reporter or spy to conduct basic due diligence on the condition of Iraqi infrastructure."

OK. First of all, there were not, to my knowledge, many "tourists" visiting Iraq before the war. Totalitarian dictatorships built upon secret police and torture chambers generally do not attract tourism. Reporters were also not free to tour the country and provide "due diligence" as you so wisely suggest. And the reason they didn't have spies perform this job was that they DIDN'T HAVE ANY. This fundamental failure of the CIA lead to the many intelligence failures before the war. Contrary to conventional wisdom, the intelligence wasn't twisted or manipulated to make the case for war, as CIA's intelligence was largely guesswork in the first place. Much of this guesswork, on the part of the CIA and the administration took what little solid intelligence they had and interpreted it based on Saddam's history and behaviors. At the time no one to my knowledge correctly diagnosed the state of Saddam's WMD programs or why he behaved as if he DID in fact have significant WMD. Furthermore, as a look at the administration's statements and the war authorization bill in Congress, the case for war did not rely entirely on Saddam's stockpiles, as the intelligence community correctly knew that regardless of these Saddam had the capability to restart his BW and CW programs and have significant product within weeks. Given the state of our intelligence, the likelihood that we would have known in time if he had done so is very small.

Posted by: DHobgood | May 5, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company