Scoundrel Perle distances neocons from Iraq invasion
by Pravin, Thu Jan 08, 2009 at 10:19:46 AM EST
It is indicative of the character of a lot of these neocons that I am no longer shocked by what they say. Richard Perle now tried to parse his words so that he can distance himself from the Iraq war. He keeps claiming that he was not the architect of the war, which may be technically true even if it is a way to minimize the perception of his role in causing this war to happen. He had high level access. He was there at some important think tank meetings. He had access to many top level officials.
And he goes a step further by distancing the neocon movement from this war as if they had no influence with the Bushies in the planning of this war. Say what?
I have been widely but wrongly depicted as deeply involved in the making of administration policy, especially with respect to Iraq. Facts notwithstanding, there are some fifty thousand entries on Google in which I am described as an "architect," and often as "the architect," of the Iraq War. I certainly supported and argued publicly for the decision to remove Saddam, as I do in what follows. But had I been the architect of that war, our policy would have been very different. [...]
But about the many mistakes made in Iraq, one thing is certain: they had nothing to do with ideology. They did not draw inspiration from or reflect neoconservative ideas and they were not the product of philosophical or ideological influences outside the government.
We can always count on ThinkProgress to call him on his bullshit.
Perle is right. He strongly advocated publicly for the invasion of Iraq, especially after 9/11, even making claims that Saddam Hussein had links to Osama bin Laden (an assertion he later claimed he never said). But in fact, Perle had direct access to top administration officials during the run up to the war. Former CIA director George Tenet recalled that shortly after 9/11, Perle told him that "Iraq has to pay a price for what happened yesterday, they bear responsibility."
Moreover, the neoconservative influence on the Bush administration, particularly regarding Iraq, has been well documented. For Perle to claim otherwise is beyond absurd.
This is why we need to punish anyone with official responsibility who lied or hid the facts during this war. We cannot let these people get away with it only to rise again when the next opportunity presents itself. If you punish them now, they will be unable to get away with a bland press release when a future Bush or Reagan appoints them or if they are hired to advise some senate committee. Their name needs to be mud to save future decisionmakers from being pressured by their supporters to hire them.