Booting the whistleblower

By Geraldine Sealey
Published March 11, 2004 8:59PM (EST)

Karen Kwiatkowski, the former military officer who says neocons in the Pentagon manufactured a case for war, must have really struck a chord. Sen. Ted Kennedy mentioned her in a speech last week chastising the Bush administration. And out comes Max Boot, neocon fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations who writes a weekly column for the Los Angeles Times, calling Kwiatkowski "flaky," "fringe" and lacking authority because she is a libertarian and writes columns for various publications from that perspective, including a magazine run by Pat Buchanan.

Boot says: "Kennedy's speechwriters must have been familiar with Kwiatkowski's oeuvre -- how else could they have dredged up that quote? -- but it did not stop them from holding her up as a trustworthy source. This isn't unusual. Many retired national security bureaucrats claiming President Bush lied about Iraq have a not-so-hidden agenda." Boot doesn't have much to say about the substance of Kwiatkowski's account of what she saw at the Pentagon. Indeed, he admits some of what she says could be right on. Instead, Boot tries to discredit her merely by questioning some publications she writes for, which isn't much of an argument against the merits of her story.

Geraldine Sealey

Geraldine Sealey is senior news editor at

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