Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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April 8, 2004
By: Kevin Drum

MORE CONDI....Sid Blumenthal interviews yet another White House staffer who left because Condi Rice wasn't competent enough to ride herd on the president and get something done. This time it's the Middle East peace process:

In January 2002, Rice launched a serious effort to restart the Middle East peace process between the Israelis and Palestinians. She hired Flynt Leverett, who was a professional foreign service officer on the policy planning staff of the State Department, as director of the initiative on the National Security Council.

...."[George Bush] said that Condi would ride herd on this process. She never even saddled up," said Leverett. Six months earlier, Rice had appointed neoconservative Elliott Abrams as her Middle East coordinator on the NSC, and he threw up obstacles to prevent the road map from going forward. Bush, for his part, never followed up on his own rhetoric and was utterly absent from the policymaking.

So Leverett decided [in 2003] he must quit. "When they wouldn't put the road map out in 2002 and brought in someone like Abrams, that meant they weren't going to be serious. I didn't want to stick around for a charade. I say this as someone who voted for Bush in 2000 and was genuinely committed to see him succeed."

Maybe Leverett can get a book out of this too. Shall we go for a baker's dozen before November 2?

Kevin Drum 2:04 AM Permalink | Trackbacks

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