Ethics & Public Policy Center

The Klein and the Fury

Published in Commentary on April 7, 2008



On Friday I wrote a response to Joe Klein's most recent Time column — and apparently Joe didn't like it very much. On Sunday he wrote not one but two responses to my posting. They are worth unpacking.

 

1. Klein refers to me as the “former chief White House propagandist for the Iraq war” and says “those who spent the past seven years as propagandists for the one of the worst, and needlessly blood-soaked, presidencies in American history, have such a fabulous record of self-righteous wrong-headedness that they needn't be taken seriously at all.”

 

One might think that when it comes to Iraq, Klein would tread carefully. As I have pointed out here, here, and here, Klein, despite his efforts to make it appear otherwise, supported the Iraq war before it began.

 

On February 22, 2003, he told Tim Russert on his CNBC program that the war was a “really tough decision” but that he, Klein, thought it was probably “the right decision at this point.” Klein then offered several reasons for his judgment: Saddam's defiance of 17 U.N. resolutions over a dozen years; Klein's firm conviction that Saddam was hiding WMD; and the need to send that message that if we didn't enforce the latest U.N. resolution, it “empowers every would-be Saddam out there and every would-be terrorist out there.”

 

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