July 15, 2008

If you can't say something nice...

...say something not so nice about Douglas Feith

People often testify alongside witnesses with whom they disagree, Nadler said as he opened the hearing, and "such concerns are no reason to decline to appear when you've said you will."

But Feith's lawyer, in his letter, said he'd been assured his client would testify "in an atmosphere free from the vitriol and ad hominem attacks that have regrettably dominated the debate." And this other witness was none other than Lawrence Wilkerson, who had been chief of staff to then-Secretary of State Colin L. Powell and had allegedly made "reckless, bigoted and defamatory remarks" about Feith.

Moustakas said that in 2006 Wilkerson accused Feith of being a "'card-carrying member of the Likud party' whose allegiance is to Israel rather than the United States." (Actually, according to writer George Packer's book "The Assassins' Gate," it was Powell who made that allegation to President Bush in the Oval Office in January 2005.)

What's more, Moustakas wrote, "Wilkerson said of Mr. Feith in 2005: 'Seldom have I met a dumber man.' " (Actually, Wilkerson was simply agreeing with Gen. Tommy Franks, who famously called Feith "the [expletive] stupidest guy on the face of the earth.")

"Mr. Feith believes he not only has never met [Wilkerson], but has never even been in the same room with him," Moustakas sniffed in the letter, and no "proper, substantive discussion" would be had if Feith testified "with the likes of Lawrence Wilkerson."

Wilkerson said yesterday that he believes he met and shook hands with Feith when both were in the White House situation room on a Saturday morning in January 2003 for a meeting chaired by then-deputy national security adviser Stephen J. Hadley and attended by Ryan Crocker, then deputy assistant secretary of state.

"Doug was there and holding forth on ties" between al-Qaeda and Iraq, Wilkerson recalled. "The purpose was how we were going to 'market' the war." Wilkerson said he also met Feith at the Pentagon on several occasions.


Posted by mcblogger at July 15, 2008 06:33 AM

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