Note: Emphasis in original-- Grace
In appreciation of Under Secretary of Defense Douglas Feith's "four distinguished, but grueling, years at the forefront of the War on Terror," the Center for Security Policy has issued "a comprehensive sampling" of Feith's collected works. This gesture is intended "both to salute this outstanding public servant and to castigate his ever-voluble critics." And castigate they do.
Most of the reportage on Secretary Feith's departure this summer has dredged up various unsubstantiated charges that have been made against Mr. Feith and/or his subordinates. The fact that no credible evidence has yet been offered to back up any of these transparent attempts at character assassination for political purposes - principally, mounting an oblique attack on President Bush in the run-up to last November's elections - reflects even less credit on those who persist in repeating them in the media than it does on those who recklessly alleged them in the first place.The point being, I guess, is that it's better to be the first one to make the charges than the one who repeats them. But I really don't understand why there's a sliding scale.
Perhaps even more troubling has been the suggestion that Mr. Feith is motivated in his public policy role by a dark and malevolent ideology. Specifically, he is said to be "a neoconservative" and that explains policy predilections that led the Nation to war with Iraq on false pretenses and in a poorly planned fashion.At this point, quotation marks around "a neoconservative" are unnecessary (except, of course, just now).
It is always easier to repeat such nonsense than to examine with care the actual evidence of the thinking of a person like Douglas Feith. This is particularly egregious since, as is generally true of men and women of his formidable intellectual capacity and policy outlook, Mr. Feith has a voluminous record by which his true thinking can be assessed.And let it not be said that the Center for Security Policy believes in veiled threats.
Anyone who wishes to understand the actual, extraordinary caliber of this man - and the loss to the country represented by his departure from public service - is invited to peruse his record of profoundly thoughtful, well-reasoned and brilliantly articulated writings. And note will be taken of those who, by their persistent refusal to examine such materials, signal a laziness, indifference to the truth and/or partisanship that is truly worthy of criticism, if not contempt.Au revoir, sous le secrétaire de la défense Feith. Ne laissez pas la porte vous frapper dans le derrière sur votre sortie.