A dissenting voice is out at State

Philip Zelikow will resign by the end of the year.


Tim Grieve
November 28, 2006 2:38AM (UTC)

On Oct. 28, the New York Times profiled Philip Zelikow as a counselor to Condoleezza Rice who "gives advice others may not want to hear." The characterization may have been more apt than anybody knew. Reuters says that Zelikow is now resigning as one of Rice's closest advisors.

A State Department official tells the news agency that Zelikow is leaving on his own terms, but it's hard not to think that he hasn't been made to feel too welcome of late. As the Times noted in its profile last month, Zelikow had become known for producing memos that "often depart sharply from the Bush administration's current line." Among them: one that said -- before it was obvious to everyone everywhere -- that the war in Iraq could become a "catastrophic failure," and another that called into question the Bush administration detention system that the Supreme Court eventually invalidated.

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The Times said that Rice considered Zelikow an "intellectual anchor," and former National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft described him as "a very important intellectual resource, even if [Rice] may not always agree with him."

The Times speculated that Zelikow could have an outside shot at filling the vacant job of deputy secretary of state. Instead, Reuters says, he'll be returning to his old job at the University of Virginia.


Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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