What’s Up With the Eikenberry Leak, Anyhow?
Parlor-game speculation about who leaked what and why always reminds me of a line Mad Men’s Don Draper gives to Betty when she vents to him about the infidelity of her friend Francine’s husband: “Who knows why people do what they do?” Don, of course, is incapable of telling the truth, and uses Betty to deflect what he perceives as an accusation of his own infidelity, which is manifest to the point of pathology. And such is the case with any queries of leaking. You ask someone who they think did it and their answer is refracted through their own prism of interest. Not only don’t they know, but they’re trying to direct you at their enemies.
The best I can do with Amb. Karl Eikenberry’s leaked cables cautioning against an increase in U.S. troops in Afghanistan is report that some in the White House think Eikenberry himself leaked them. Andrew Exum of the Center for a New American Security finds that explanation implausible, and makes a good case. Laura Rozen tries to offer a more plausible scenario:
“The [White House] political operation is using him to push back [against the] Pentagon,” one Democratic foreign policy hand suggested.
White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel and Vice President Joseph Biden have publicly expressed skepticism about surging troops to Afghanistan, and reservations about what can be achieved working with Hamid Karzai.
I don’t know. And chances are I won’t.