Hayes vs. Feith: Everyone Wins « The Washington Independent
See, Feith slapped together a fantasy about al-Qaeda colluding with Saddam Hussein. It found its way into Steve’s trembling, sweaty, credulous hands, and the Standard published the lie. Only Feith doesn’t play the role he’s supposed to play: standing up for Steve, who walked the plank for Feith’s deceit. And Steve, caught out in the cold swells of a deep and vast ocean of bad faith, flails his arms wildly:
In op-eds and interviews, Feith has defended himself by challenging the criticism and distancing himself from the memo that bears his name. He continues this effort in “War and Decision” and it gets him in trouble.
Feith writes that his “list became the subject of a cover story in The Weekly Standard that incorrectly depicted it as my ‘case’ for claiming a close connection between Iraq and al Qaeda. That supported the magazine’s own editorial position, but in fact the list was no such thing.”
Either Feith is unfamiliar with the contents of the memo that bears his name or he is simply misrepresenting its contents. Consider, for instance, item No. 37. “Sensitive reporting indicates senior terrorist planner and close al Qaeda associate [Abu Musab] al Zarqawi has had an operational alliance with Iraqi officials.” Elsewhere, Feith describes a “credible” source with “close access” to Osama bin Laden and concludes “bin Laden is seen as heavily involved with Iraq.” In his memo, then, Feith points to an “operational alliance” between Zarqawi and the Iraqi regime and argues that al Qaeda’s leader was “heavily involved” with Iraq. But in his book Feith denies he ever made those arguments and tells his readers that he never claimed a close connection between Iraq and al Qaeda. Falsus en uno. … [snip]
In the end, Feith provides a detailed account of the national security issues that will define George W. Bush’s presidency. But his inaccurate characterization of the memo that bears his name should make readers wonder how many of those details are true.
Oh Steve. As a wise man once asked: Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?