First, poisonous leaks by senior CIA and State officials corroded trust inside the administration and damaged its public image. Feith cites leak after leak aimed at undercutting him personally, the Defense Department in general and the neoconservative political philosophy. The Bush administration was systematically undercut and trashed by its own senior officials. President Bush, who bragged he did not read newspapers, and his NSC adviser, Condoleeza Rice, tolerated disloyalty and paid the price in plummeting public approval and increasing political opposition.
If McCain gets in, will he purge the disloyal?
You can bet your ass Obama will. Former Regime Loyalists better not drop any soap.
Facts rarely change ideological attitudes. The leakers effectively appealed to the liberal instincts of many journalists to shape narratives around presumptive political philosophies. Once Feith, Wolfowitz and Rumsfeld were branded with the scarlet word ‘neocon’, then the substance of their positions – and the credibility of the leaks degrading them – became secondary.
Neocon, chickenhawk, BDS — all part of the fish rots from the head meme for Non-kinetic Decapitation, character assassination, undermining the chain of command and denying legitimacy.
CIA and State officials, disagreeing with Bush’s policies, leaked false stories impugning so-called neocons in order to enlist the press. Journalists who pride themselves on healthy skepticism should read this book to understand how they can be played.
“Journalists” are played less often than they willingly and knowingly participate.
“I now see more clearly,” Feith wrote, “the intense animus behind the systematic leaking and “backgrounding” that undermined President Bush and others who supported him. Our failure – as targets – to heed the attack, to protest it, and to fight back, was a form of unilateral disarmament that did not serve the interests of the President, the country, or truth.”
What goes around comes around. Payback is a Mike Foxtrot and karma is a Bravo.