Think Tank Fires Fellow For Criticizing Bush

Last month the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think-tank, fired John Hulsman. Heritage refuses to say exactly why they let him go, but the New Republic reports the “reasons for Hulsman’s departure” are “perfectly evident”; he criticized the Bush administration’s foreign policy. Hulsman previously had kept his dissent to himself, but “years of insurgency, civil war, and general chaos” in Iraq led him to speak out.

In an essay last year for The National Interest, Hulsman took issue with Bush’s policy in Iraq:

[N]eoconservatives, through their policies of expending blood and treasure for problematic gains such as Iraq, are significantly retarding America’s ability to act against the true barbarians at the gate — Al-Qaeda and Islamist extremists.

And Hulsman criticized the Bush administration’s refusal to talk to regimes it dislikes, specifically Iran:


America, on the other hand, having determined the mullahs in Iran were evil, disdained to engage them. But we cannot only conduct diplomatic relations with Canada; I have always naively thought a major reason for diplomacy was talking to those one didn’t agree with, in an effort to modify their behavior to suit one’s own national interests.

These critiques may seem mild, but as Chris Preble of the Cato Institute explains: “At Heritage, anything that smacks of criticism of Bush will not be tolerated.”