Last night on Rachel Maddow’s show, the Wonk Room’s Matt Duss discussed the emergence of the Foreign Policy Institute, the seeming new shelter for disgraced neoconservative foreign policy “experts.” Maddow asked Duss how is it that the architects of the Iraq failure are able to reconstitute themselves:
MADDOW: Here’s the thing I don’t understand about DC and national security policy: Why is it that people who are catastrophically wrong about big important things like foreign policy and war never, like, flunk out of that as a subject? It doesn’t affect our judgment of them apparently at all for the next things they want to do.
DUSS: I think that’s a great question, Rachel. I ask myself that question all the time. There seems to be this special dispensation in American foreign policy that, as long as you are wrong on the side of more military force, then all is forgiven. … As long as you make these errors in favor of more military action, then eventually you’re forgiven and allowed back in the conversation. And everyone just forgets about it.
Addressing the failure of accountability over Iraq war architects, Paul Krugman wrote in 2007: “The Bushies, it seems, like starting fights, but they don’t believe in paying any of the cost of those fights or bearing any of the risks. Above all, they don’t believe that they or their friends should face any personal or professional penalties for trivial sins like distorting intelligence to get America into an unnecessary war, or totally botching that war’s execution.”