The new Pentagon papers, cont.


Geraldine Sealey
March 23, 2004 2:41AM (UTC)

What follows is a letter to the editor of the Washington Post written by Karen Kwiatkowski:

"George Will's March 15 op-ed column, 'Bombs, Ballots and Nation-Building,' discussed various topics with a theme of condemning American political rhetoric that is 'vituperative.'"

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"But Will included vituperative words of his own in a reference to my efforts to create awareness of -- as I wrote last summer in a published op-ed piece and in Salon.com last week -- how "peculiar bits of 'intelligence' found sanctity in a presidential speech, or why the post-[Saddam] Hussein occupation has been distinguished by confusion and false steps."

"Will includes a phrase I wrote in a new context, saying I have "written about 'the Zionist political cult that has lassoed the E-Ring' of the Pentagon (the offices of senior civilian Defense Department officials)." But the source article, "The 'No Oil Bid'ness Left Behind' Act," published in October 2000 says: "U.S. intentions in Iraq have been criticized for a lot of reasons. Chickenhawks fit to be deep-fried, a Zionist political cult that has lassoed the E-Ring and parts of Washington, general disrespect for Texan traditions of leading by example instead of by force, constitutional concerns and using war to resolve years of piss-poor U.S. energy policies."

"Had Will bothered to read what I wrote, he would have recognized that I was listing one of many reported criticisms circulating in 2002. Also, Will -- by inserting his own words in a discussion of my writings -- intends to communicate that I am anti-Semitic. Will's abominable phrase, "those E-Ring Jews," is placed such that it seems as if I either wrote such a term or intended to. I did neither. Suggesting this is a vile, despicable smear."

"I understand that my speaking out about what I saw in the Pentagon during the run-up to the Iraq war is disconcerting to people who support the Bush administration's foreign policy. I expected to be questioned on the merit and detail of my observations and memories. Surprisingly, not one defender or advocate of our actions in Iraq and associated propaganda has done that. Instead, people so in love with war without having spent a single minute in a military uniform attack me for standing up to be counted. Vituperative? Try cowardly."


Geraldine Sealey

Geraldine Sealey is senior news editor at Salon.com.

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