During an interview last night on 60 Minutes with former Pentagon official and Iraq war architect Douglas Feith, CBS correspondent Steve Kroft noted two key elements that led to the rise of the Iraqi insurgency shortly after the U.S. took control in April 2003: not having enough troops to stop the widespread looting and the decision to disband the Iraqi Army.
But instead of taking any responsibility, Feith quickly passed the buck, just as he has done in his latest book. He suggested that if only his plan for Iraq had been put in place after the invasion, none of the chaos that ensued would have taken place:
FEITH: We developed plans to try to give meaning to the concept of liberation rather than occupation, and one of — one of my great regrets is that the United States wound up setting up an occupation government in Iraq for 14 months, which I think was a — was a serious mistake.
Kroft then noted that Gen. Tommy Franks once referred to Feith as “the dumbest guy on the planet” and former CIA Director George Tenet called Feith’s intelligence evaluations “total crap.” Feith replied: “I don’t think its a great thing” to “use harsh language.”
Feith must only think its not “a great thing” to “use harsh language” when others are directing it towards him because he said recently that only “assholes” are concerned with how the use of torture reflects on America’s “moral authority.”
But more broadly, Feith is the latest in a long list of war supporters to deflect blame for the failures in Iraq from either themselves or the Bush administration. Indeed, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and AEI war hawk Danielle Pletka recently blamed the Iraqis for the continued violence in Iraq. Some other lowlights:
– Like Feith, fellow war architect Richard Perle blamed the war’s failures on the decision to not “turn Iraq over to Iraqis” after the fall of Baghdad.
– “Surge” brainchild Fred Kagan said last month that he “supported the 2003 invasion despite misgivings about how it would be executed, and those misgivings proved accurate.”
Former Iraq occupation governor L. Paul Bremer recently responded to the criticism from Feith and Perle that Iraq wasn’t handed over to the Iraqis soon enough saying: “It sounds like the architects are running away from their building here.”
Crooks and Liars has more on Feith’s 60 Minutes interview.