December 2, 2014
The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014
Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology
The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious
: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain
April 14, 2014
Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time
: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic
: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships
: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin
: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate
: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure
April 11, 2014
Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden
: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does
: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer
: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You
April 9, 2014
Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?
Samuel G. Freedman
: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau
: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau
: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease
April 8, 2014
Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease
Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear
April 4, 2014
A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children
Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet
Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds
Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves
April 2, 2014
Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?
Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities
It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene
Jewish World Review
Sept. 6, 2006
/ 13 Elul, 5766
Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.
There was only one thing truly astonishing about the revelation last week that Richard Armitage, Colin Powell's deputy at the State Department during George W. Bush's first term, was the source of Bob Novak's first column about Iraq war critic Amb. Joe Wilson and his CIA agent wife, Valery Plame. That was the fact that Novak subsequently described the man who first "outed" Plame's place of employment as "no partisan gunslinger."
The truth is that Rich Armitage is the consummate partisan gunslinger. It's just that his partisanship is not usually defined by his allegiance to the Republican Party and certainly not to its current standard-bearer, President Bush. Rather, more often than not, Armitage slings his gun or, more accurately, wields his stiletto in the other sense of a partisan: one who wages war from behind enemy lines.
During the first term, Colin Powell and Rich Armitage lost policy battle after battle to the President's loyal subordinates. It fell to Armitage to try to overturn or undermine those policies Powell opposed, in the interagency process, through leaks to the press (whose appreciation has been reflected in generally kid-glove treatment of the revelation of his role in the Plame affair), via back-channels with foreign governments and, not least, through attacks on his bureaucratic rivals.
A prime example of such attacks was the Armitage-encouraged campaign against John Bolton, President Bush's nominee to be U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. During their four years together in the Powell State Department, the Deputy Secretary made no secret of his hostility towards then-Under Secretary Bolton. He encouraged insubordination, bureaucratic end-runs and personal attacks against Mr. Bolton by individuals assigned to State's powerful regional bureaus and its intelligence organization.
Some of those responsible for such behavior like Armitage cronies Carl Ford and Tom Fingar subsequently sought publicly to sabotage the Bolton nomination, engendering a Senate filibuster that was only ended when Mr. Bush gave his choice for the UN a recess appointment. It is to be hoped that the Foreign Relations Committee will rectify this travesty by voting this week to confirm the re-nominated Amb. Bolton, whose past year of service at the United Nations has forcefully demonstrated the baseless nature of the partisans' attacks on this outstanding public servant.
Rich Armitage's mean-spirited partisanship is especially evident in the fact that neither he, nor Mr. Powell nor their lawyer, then-State Department Legal Advisor William Taft IV, saw fit to inform the White House that Armitage was the source of the Novak leak. The reason, according to reporters Michael Isikoff and David Korn: Armitage did not want to give the White House a pretext for placing the blame where it belonged with the disloyal denizens of the State Department's seventh floor.
To be sure, Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald was informed, in the hopes of minimizing the danger that the Deputy Secretary would be indicted and tried. But, in an act of real betrayal, the elected President who appointed Messrs. Powell, Armitage and Taft and his senior subordinates were kept in the dark even as Fitzgerald's inquiry subjected several of the latter, and the administration more generally, to relentless hectoring from Democrats and the media, career-imperiling grand jury appearances and dangerous distractions in time of war. Had the White House known the truth, the whole inquisition may have come to a screeching halt virtually at its outset.
Which brings us back to the point about the partisan at the center of this scandal. It was no accident that the people who came under most intense scrutiny thanks to Rich Armitage's disloyalty were presidential advisor Karl Rove and the Vice President's then-chief of staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby. Both recognized that the Powell-Armitage State Department was not on the President's team with respect to virtually any aspect of the administration's post-9/11 foreign and defense policies. Weakening, if not removing, such counterweights to Foggy Bottom's influence and agenda would have been a fringe benefit arising from the Deputy Secretary's lack of transparency.
Unfortunately, the sort of destructive and disloyal behavior Deputy Secretary Armitage epitomized continues to be practiced in high reaches of the State Department. Notably, Under Secretary of State Nick Burns has pursued in recent months diplomatic initiatives on such sensitive matters as North Korea's missile tests and Iran's nuclear weapons ambitions that have mutated the President's policies beyond recognition and played into the hands of critics who accuse the Bush national security team of lacking coherence and competence.
Indeed, it is one of the great ironies of this presidency that an administration which prides itself on loyalty has for so long tolerated its systematic practice in the breach by the Department of State. The costs of such disloyalty have already been high: a government seen by friends and foes alike as distracted, at best, and, at worst, paralyzed by divided counsel, communicating mixed signals and signaling an irresolution that invites contempt and aggression.
Recent speeches by two of the people most loyal to Mr. Bush and his policies, Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and by the President himself, have squarely addressed the danger we face: Islamic fascists are on the march and we dare not ignore their menace or fail to meet it effectively. These brave men have made clear that appeasement is not an option. If they wish to be taken seriously, let alone to secure the support of the American people for their policies, however, they must ensure that the President's team is no longer undercut by disloyalists among the administration's own senior ranks.
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
JWR contributor Frank J. Gaffney, Jr. heads the Center for Security Policy. Comments by clicking here.
BUY FRANK'S LATEST
"War Footing: 10 Steps America Must Take to Prevail in the War for the Free World"
America has been at war for years, but until now, it has not been clear with whom or precisely for what. And we have not been using the full resources we need to win.
With the publication of War Footing, lead-authored by Frank Gaffney, it not only becomes clear who the enemy is and how high the stakes are, but also exactly how we can prevail.
War Footing shows that we are engaged in nothing less than a War for the Free World. This is a fight to the death with Islamofascists, Muslim extremists driven by a totalitarian political ideology that, like Nazism or Communism before it, is determined to destroy freedom and the people who love it. Sales help fund JWR.
© 2006, Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.