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Tilting at Windmills

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September 17, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

WHO'S WHO....Ah. My boss emails to remind me that the rampant cronyism that characterized the occupation of Iraq was first noted by none other than the Washington Monthly back in December 2003:

Simone Ledeen is serving her country. She is the daughter of Michael Ledeen, the Iran-Contra luminary, AEI scholar, and all-around capo in the neocon mafia. She's 29, a freshly-minted M.B.A., with little to no experience in war-torn countries. But as an advisor for northern Iraq at the Ministry of Finance in Baghdad, she is, in essence, helping shape one quarter of that nation's economy.

....The architects of the war chose card-carrying Republicans operatives, flacks, policy-wonks and lobbyists for almost every key assignment in the country. Some marquee examples include....Tom Korologos, one of the most powerful GOP lobbyists on Capitol Hill....Dan Amstutz, a Reagan administration veteran who until recently served as the president of the North American Export Grain Association....Dan Senor....Williamson Evers....Leslye Arsht....Jim Nelson....Rich Galen.

...."They are all on the campaign trail," said another official. "They see this as a stepping stone to a better job in the next Bush administration."....It's also driven journalists on the ground, watching these operatives move in and out of Saddam's marble Republican Palace, which CPA commandeered as its headquarters, to joke: "They don't call it the Republican Palace for nothing."

It's probably time for a "Where Are They Now?" followup, don't you think? But only if you have a strong stomach.

Kevin Drum 3:24 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (67)

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Comments

Hopefully they're all working for the GOP in official positions. Their incompetence and corruption will surely be welcome there.

Posted by: SteveAudio on September 17, 2006 at 3:27 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, a "where are they now?" feature really would be timely. As Chandrasekaran is going to be doing an online chat on the Post site tomorrow, maybe someone should ask him to do it. Frankly I doubt that service with CPA is going to be a big plus on anyone's resume.

Posted by: Zathras on September 17, 2006 at 3:32 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe it's time for GOP to stand for:
Greedy Obsolete People

Repugnacans must love war and death for they sure know how to rake in the cash over in Iraqistan while untold folks die (or maimed) for an increasing unclear reason.

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on September 17, 2006 at 3:33 PM | PERMALINK

"Frankly I doubt that service with CPA is going to be a big plus on anyone's resume."

Unless their resume makes it look like they are a CPA.

Posted by: Carl on September 17, 2006 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK

...is this an "I told you so" thread? Because...

We told you so!

Posted by: Darryl Pearce on September 17, 2006 at 3:43 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, you would deny all these people their Glorious Freedom! A chance of being blown up at any moment is a small price to pay for Freedom!

Purple Fingers!

Posted by: Al on September 17, 2006 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

I recall reading about the cronyism well before December 2003, though I don't remember from where.

Posted by: Joe Buck on September 17, 2006 at 3:59 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, this is an old smear. Former White House staffer Mona Charen defended Simone Ledeen's appointment:

She had earlier lived and worked in Poland following the liberation from communism. She helped to transform what had been an underground Solidarity book publishing enterprise into a thriving, free market enterprise.

Actually, without knowing Simone Ledeen's duties for the CPA, it's impossible to judge her qualifications.

Note that Kevin left out some of Ms. Ledeen's background. In the middle of the 20th century it was the Republicans who played this sort of game, e.g., referring to V.P. nominee, Senator Harry Truman, as a "haberdasher." Today's liberals have adopted some bad practices of old-time conservatives. That's why I am an ex-liberal.

Posted by: ex-liberal on September 17, 2006 at 4:02 PM | PERMALINK

Why isn't Michael Ledeen in prison?

Posted by: Boronx on September 17, 2006 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK

It will take our country years to recover from the collective damage caused by the Bush adminisration's criminal folly -- yet most Americans are apparently too self-absorbed to notice, treating our country's politics as vicarious reality TV-style entertainment rather than the serious business that it is. Therefore, this upcoming election is as much a test for them as it is for either major political party.

There is now more than enough public evidence strongly indicating that the GOP is enriching a privileged few at everyone else's expense while hurling Ameica down a cul-de-sac at 75mph. If we still opt at the polls to preserve the present political status quo, I fear that we will inevitably get what we so richly deserve.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on September 17, 2006 at 4:20 PM | PERMALINK

Democrats should be equating the bungling of the Iraq occupation to the mismanagement of Katrina relief in New Orleans.

Bush put Michael Brown (someone who was too incompetent to run a pony show) in charge of FEMA; Bush also put a bunch of other Michael Brown types (who had no experience or qualifications beyond being loyal campaign contributors or lobbyists) in charge of Iraq.

Instead of taking the occupation seriously (there are hundreds of thousands of soldiers and Iraqi civilian lives at stake), they played petty politics and turned Iraq over to incompetents.

Michael Brown and FEMA aren't an isolated instance, but most voters don't know that! This is an excellent way to attack Bush on Iraq without actually having to play the lose-lose game of being for or against the war.

Instead, the portrays the Republicans as corrupt, arrogant and incompetent. It shows the Republicans (contrary to popular myth) are horrible for the military. And it suggests the Democrats would do a better job running things, if only because they wouldn't hire complete and total incompetents out of personal loyalty to the Dear Leader.

Posted by: Augustus on September 17, 2006 at 4:26 PM | PERMALINK

The "where are they now" idea sounds truly enlightening.

I hope you can track these Republican youth down and find out how idealistic they are about Iraq now.

Posted by: Billkav on September 17, 2006 at 4:38 PM | PERMALINK

I wonder how many of these folks came home with a backpack full of the one hundred dollar bills that went unaccounted for.

Posted by: jimbo on September 17, 2006 at 4:38 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal: "Kevin, this is an old smear. Former White House staffer Mona Charen defended Simone Ledeen's appointment ..."

Excuse me -- but Poland is not Iraq, and communism is not religious fundamentalism (neither is fascism, for that matter).

Saddam Hussein is not al Qa`eda, and Iraq was no more tangible to the fight against Islamic extremism than the 1982 Falkland Islands War was to the Cold War conflict.

Why do neo-conservatives always conflate completely disparate issues as easily as they would compress computer files into a ZIP drive?

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on September 17, 2006 at 4:41 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal:
"Kevin, this is an old smear. Former White House staffer Mona Charen defended Simone Ledeen's appointment:

She had earlier lived and worked in Poland following the liberation from communism...."

Wow, she must have been quite a precocious teenager! Poland left Soviet control in 1989 and if she was 29 in 2003 this young woman was born in 1974.

Posted by: J Bean on September 17, 2006 at 4:45 PM | PERMALINK

Excerpts from Krugmans Fantasy, The New York Times columnist gets the CPA wrong, by Simone Ledeen

1) Instead of trying to find out who my colleagues and I really are and what we did in Iraq, Krugman created a fantasy world in which unqualified people got great jobs because they were children of celebrated or powerful Washington insiders.

2) People were hired based on professional experience and abilities, not cronyism.

3) In my case, I have an MBA, spent a year in post-Communist Eastern Europe at a newly privatized publishing house, and have worked at an economic consulting firm and a venture-capital group.

4) Contrary to Krugman's fantasy, several of my colleagues were staunchly antiwar and had voted for Gore, yet held positions of considerable responsibility within the provisional government.

5) At no point did those of us in the trenches ever assume direct responsibility for running the Iraqi economy.

6) Readers should also know that despite the difficult conditions, my colleagues frequently took the time to visit orphanages around Baghdad.

7) Krugman believes he is in a position to judge my work and that of my CPA colleagues though he knows nothing about us or our effort

Posted by: Ayathollah of Rock-n-Rolla on September 17, 2006 at 4:45 PM | PERMALINK

White House looks more and more like the politburo.

Conservatives like to suppress all talk of creeping fascism with the bogus question, 'what rights have you lost under Bush?', as though the rights are some sort of physical decorative appendages to our attire that the democracy gives to its citizens, and fascism cannot be upon us unless those are forcibly taken away from every individual.

Posted by: gregor on September 17, 2006 at 4:46 PM | PERMALINK

As I noted at the time, you don't want an MBA to be the head of Finance for the CPA. You want a CPA.

She was completely unqualified for the job, don't let the MBA thingy fool you.

Posted by: jerry on September 17, 2006 at 4:50 PM | PERMALINK

Excerpts from In Iraq, the Job Opportunity of a Lifetime
Managing a $13 Billion Budget With No Experience
By Ariana Eunjung Cha

1) Occupied Iraq was just as Simone Ledeen had imagined -- ornate mosques, soldiers in formation, sand blowing everywhere, "just like on TV."

2) In short order, six of the new young hires found themselves managing the country's $13 billion budget, making decisions affecting millions of Iraqis.

3) Viewed from the outside, their experience illustrates many of the problems that have beset the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), a paucity of experienced applicants, a high turnover rate, bureaucracy, partisanship and turf wars.

4) They were supposed to be experts, but many of the younger hires who filled the CPA's hallways were longer on enthusiasm than on expertise.

5) Ledeen's journey to Baghdad began two weeks earlier when she received an e-mail out of the blue from the Pentagon's White House liaison office. The Sept. 16 message informed her that the occupation government in Iraq needed employees to prepare for an international conference. "This is an amazing opportunity to move forward on the global war on terror," the e-mail read.

6) Without hesitation, she responded "Sure" to the e-mail and waited -- for an interview, a background check or some other follow-up. Apparently none was necessary.

Posted by: Ayatollah of Rock-n-Rolla on September 17, 2006 at 4:51 PM | PERMALINK

Former White House staffer Mona Charen defended Simone Ledeen's appointment:

Why the hell should a former White House staffer have any credibility and why would you quote from her?

She had earlier lived and worked in Poland following the liberation from communism. She helped to transform what had been an underground Solidarity book publishing enterprise into a thriving, free market enterprise.

A book publishing enterprise. Fascinating. Look, this woman was just a political hack connected to the AEI. Stop apologizing for the corrupt hackery in the CPA. You're embarassing yourself in your kneejerk, mindldess desire to defend the Bush administration.

Posted by: Constantine on September 17, 2006 at 4:56 PM | PERMALINK

Excerpts from In Iraq, the Job Opportunity of a Lifetime
Managing a $13 Billion Budget With No Experience
By Ariana Eunjung Cha

1) For months they wondered what they had in common, how their names had come to the attention of the Pentagon, until one day they figured it out: They had all posted their resumes at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative-leaning think tank.

2) When Ledeen's group showed up at the palace -- with their North Face camping gear, Abercrombie & Fitch camouflage and digital cameras -- they were quite the spectacle. For some, they represented everything that was right with the CPA: They were young, energetic and idealistic. For others, they represented everything that was wrong with the CPA: They were young, inexperienced, and regarded as ideologues.

3) Several had impressive paper credentials, but in the wrong fields. Greco was fluent in English, Italian and Spanish; Burns had been a policy analyst focused on family and health care; and Ledeen had co-founded a cooking school. But none had ever worked in the Middle East, none spoke Arabic, and few could tell a balance sheet from an accounts receivable statement.

Other staffers quickly nicknamed the newcomers "The Brat Pack."

"They had come over because of one reason or another, and they were put in positions of authority that they had no clue about," remembered Army Reserve Sgt. Thomas D. Wirges, 38, who had been working on rehabilitating the Baghdad Stock Exchange.

4) "There were a lot of people who, being political science majors, didn't know what an income statement was, who were asking the impossible. . . . That was giving us ulcers, quite frankly," he said.

The young budget advisers are the first to admit that they weren't the most qualified to be managing Iraq's finances. "We knew we were overwhelmed. We wanted help," Ledeen said. "We were doing maintenance, trying to make sure there were no riots, that no one went hungry." The budget team reported to Rodney Bent, a former U.S. Office of Management and Budget official, and Tony McDonald from the Australian Treasury. McDonald said it angers him to hear people criticize the budget team. "The people who came were young and keen -- not necessarily the most experienced -- but they were here. They did a great job in working as hard as they could."

Posted by: Ayatollah of Rock-n-Rolla on September 17, 2006 at 4:56 PM | PERMALINK

Sort of reminds you of the New Deal, doesn't it? Or the Great Society.

Posted by: Andrew II on September 17, 2006 at 5:36 PM | PERMALINK

Tell me again why we had to destroy Iraq.?

If our goal was to "liberate" the Iraqis then aren't "liberal values" an important way of ensuring a healthy state?

Freedom does not mean rampant cronistic capitalism, a bit of altruistic behavior would seem crucial for democracy to truly flourish.

Maybe we should read our history books and look at how post-war Japan was handled. There were folks who wanted to dismantle every facet of Japan's society, but level-headed folks realized that certain elements shouldn't be drastically altered (like their educational system). The result, a healthy nation-state.

Managing human affairs is not an easy task. Those who think otherwise have not come to grips with reality.

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on September 17, 2006 at 5:38 PM | PERMALINK

The religion of the Bush Administration is not really Christianity, the Free Market, or even the various dogmas of the Republican Party. It's much more basic than all that. It's simply tribalism. They're the good guys who BELIEVE fervently in themselves and their tribe. Winning is their only goal. If they're having a bad game, it's the fault of the refs. If it's a bad season, it's the fault of a particular player (say, Don Rumsfeld). But the team itself is sacrosanct.

Posted by: walt on September 17, 2006 at 5:41 PM | PERMALINK

Baghdad: the New Orleans of 2003.

Posted by: Vincent on September 17, 2006 at 5:45 PM | PERMALINK

Andrew II:

Uhm ... no it doesn't.

Unless you imagine the Brain Trusters (New Deal) and community activists leveraging funds (Great Society) as -- I dunno, what would be a properly alien culture from the US? -- who can't speak English, let alone understand American values ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on September 17, 2006 at 5:47 PM | PERMALINK

White House looks more and more like the politburo.

No, the White House looks more like the Renaissance Papacy - or maybe one of the more boorish Roman emperors.

Posted by: Thinker on September 17, 2006 at 5:47 PM | PERMALINK

I finally understand why Repubs had such a hard time with Joe Wilson. They couldn't believe someone was performing a duty based on merit and expertise instead of simply for "knowing someone" or Bush loyalty.

Posted by: ckelly on September 17, 2006 at 6:13 PM | PERMALINK

Actually The American Conservative, that radical ideologue, Pat Buchanan's left wing rag, did a story on this almost a year ago. Money for Nothing

It is a good read. My favorite part was this little gem:

Money also disappeared in truckloads and by helicopter. The CPA reportedly distributed funds to contractors in bags off the back of a truck. In one notorious incident in April 2004, $1.5 billion in cash that had just been delivered by three Blackhawk helicopters was handed over to a courier in Erbil, in the Kurdish region, never to be seen again. Afterwards, no one was able to recall the couriers name or provide a good description of him.

The writer of the article also singled out Simone Ledeen ss being notably unqualified for her position. Unfortunately she didn't seem to uniquely unqualified.

Posted by: majun on September 17, 2006 at 6:18 PM | PERMALINK

Actually now that I think about it, has anyone ever thought to ask how much of those billions that went missing under the CPA in 2003 - 2004 went to pay for things like Swift Boat commercials?

Posted by: majun on September 17, 2006 at 6:25 PM | PERMALINK

Way to deploy the best and brightest in the central theater of the war on terror.

Posted by: b on September 17, 2006 at 6:29 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, a "where are they now" so we can serve them with their indictments for criminal negligence.

Posted by: Alexander Wolfe on September 17, 2006 at 6:48 PM | PERMALINK
Today's liberals have adopted some bad practices of old-time conservatives... ex-liberal at 4:02 PM
Today's Republicans have abandoned none of the smear&lie practices of their forefathers. That's why you are a liar. Posted by: Mike on September 17, 2006 at 7:23 PM | PERMALINK

Today's liberals have adopted some bad practices of old-time conservatives. That's why I am an ex-liberal.
Posted by: ex-liberal

if you were ever a liberal, you likely switched along with the rest of the old white men who resented having to suppress their inner bigot, and found the racism of the southern strategy more appealing.

Posted by: Nads on September 17, 2006 at 7:28 PM | PERMALINK

There's a timely comment in the Post Global section of the same paper, in a discussion of NATO's predicament in Afghanistan, by Bashir Goth, a Somalian:

"The Pashtuns, the traditional rulers of Afghanistan, saw themselves as defeated, humiliated and sidelined. Like any tribal society, the Afghan people's trust and loyalty lies with their elders. They are the custodians of the clan's identity, property, sovereignty and above all honor and pride. If the elder's opinion is ignored the whole clan feels humiliated and rallies behind him. It is on this issue that the U.S-led West always fails in all its engagements in tribal societies. By imposing their prepackaged fit-for-all ideologies they disregard the traditional role of the elders and rely on men that enjoy little or no respect from the tribe. Baffled by the white man's sheer ignorance of the value of men, a Somali poet once said: " Allahayow faranjigii muxuu doqon fariideeyey, Muxuu faydalaawiyo nin rag ah fayl u wada joojay" (Oh my God! how often the white man adorns fools with wise qualities, how often he places inferior men in the same rank as men of sagacity). This ignorance of the value of men is indeed the reason for the failure of the U.S. and its allies in Afghanistan and Iraq and before them in Somalia."

That's my motto for today: " Allahayow faranjigii muxuu doqon fariideeyey, Muxuu faydalaawiyo nin rag ah fayl u wada joojay"


http://blog.washingtonpost.com/postglobal/

Posted by: mdsand on September 17, 2006 at 7:39 PM | PERMALINK

Every ten years or so, you need to pick up some crappy little Republican war-criminals and thieves and throw them jail, just to show the others you mean business.

Posted by: derek on September 17, 2006 at 7:50 PM | PERMALINK

Wow, what a shocking revelation, Kevin. People who supported GW Bush were in favor of the Iraq War.

Kevin, how do you manage to come up with all these blockbuster revelations?

What will you reveal next? Something truly amazing, like most of Bush's judicial nominations are Republicans?

Posted by: Frequency Kenneth on September 17, 2006 at 8:02 PM | PERMALINK

If these people are not currently serving time in a federal penitentiary, there is no such thing as justice in the United States anymore.

Posted by: The Liberal Avenger on September 17, 2006 at 8:20 PM | PERMALINK

John Wayne & Ronnie in the Green Zone making movies and money...

And America's po'niggas on the mean streets of Iraq getting their bitch limbs blown off for chump change. Did anybody ask them if they were repug?

LOL...

That's why I say:
Ain't nothing wrong with America that exporting our repugs to Iraq can't fix.

If I has the power of a God I'd heave these repug swine into Iraq faster than you could say: God is great!


Posted by: koreyel on September 17, 2006 at 8:58 PM | PERMALINK

"Did anybody ask them if they were repug?"

Ask yourself why Gore's crew worked so hard to keep military votes out of Florida. Because they were Democrats?

Posted by: mike on September 17, 2006 at 9:48 PM | PERMALINK

Makes me think of Guadalcanal: politics among Marines ranged from Pedro Del Valle, who was more or less a fascist, to Evans Carlson, of whom it was said " He may have ben Red, but he wasn't yellow."

They got the job done. Bush didn't.

Posted by: gcochran on September 17, 2006 at 9:58 PM | PERMALINK

Gore and Kerry served in Vietnam, Bush avoided it.

Bush: A yellow Republican chickenhawk hero.

Posted by: haha on September 17, 2006 at 10:02 PM | PERMALINK

Al Gore: five months as a field reporter near Saigon.

At least Kerry saw some action.

Posted by: kerryin08 on September 17, 2006 at 10:13 PM | PERMALINK

'Ask yourself why Gore's crew worked so hard to keep military votes out of Florida. Because they were Democrats?'
--mike

No, shit-for-brains, because they were illegitimate. Ask yourself, why did Bush and his Enron-financed legal team not want ANY of the votes in Florida counted???

Posted by: Joe Bob Briggs on September 17, 2006 at 10:19 PM | PERMALINK

Someone should also do a "Where are they now?" on the NYT Magazine article on the "Young Hipublicans" several years back. I'm sure a few of them have grown up.

Posted by: Will on September 17, 2006 at 10:38 PM | PERMALINK

"The writer of the article also singled out Simone Ledeen ss being notably unqualified for her position. Unfortunately she didn't seem to uniquely unqualified."

Majun, that has to be the best punchline of the weekdry, but with just a hint of delicious snark.

And FrequentBedwetter, your ability to comment on posts you clearly haven't read is of almost Olympic proportions. The point wasn't that they were Bush supporters, you nitwit, but that this givenabout loyalty, not expertisewas their one and only qualification.

By that standard, it's really amazing that they haven't offered you a job yet.

Posted by: Kenji on September 17, 2006 at 11:08 PM | PERMALINK

Ah - at last! - Mr. Bush is finally worthy of Mr. Truman (with whom he and his comrades are so eager to compare him and his works). Arguably, it wasn't so much Korea that brought down Truman, but the nepotism, incompetence, and corruption of his Korea-related appointments; for a long time that *was* Truman's legacy. One suspects though that long time will be much long for this president. Where is his Marshall Plan again? What about his Fair Deal?

Posted by: Linus on September 17, 2006 at 11:33 PM | PERMALINK

PS At least Ike, Nixon, and Reagan had enough class to outsource torture of the communist menace to third-world degenerates, absolving our young men in uniform the terrible burden of law, dishonor and conscience (assuming of course the law or the better angels of the American people ever catch up to them; one hopes their consciences terrorizes them a bit more than the likes of the Nazi fugitives). It isn't much - all our presidents are monsters in one way or another, and the Cold War-era presidents monsters of a particular kind - but still, it doesn't get much worse than Bush in these parts.

Posted by: Linus on September 17, 2006 at 11:43 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, the fact that Dubya is willing to go to the mat publicly for this, above all things (like disaster relief, let's say), may well stay in people's minds long after the fact. It will further entrench his he-man cred with neo-Nazis in Idaho, but one would think many fencesitters and actual Christians (as opposed to the Elmer Gantrys who play them on TV) will feel their stomachs slowly turning.

Posted by: Kenji on September 17, 2006 at 11:58 PM | PERMALINK

JoeBob:

"No, shit-for-brains, because they were illegitimate. Ask yourself, why did Bush and his Enron-financed legal team not want ANY of the votes in Florida counted???"

Badly marked ballots, spoiled ballots, and flawed ballots are also illegitimate. Who cared about that? When they looked to be Democratic ballots, then ALL VOTES SHOULD BE COUNTED! Odd how that slogan faded out when the flawed ballots were suspected of being Republican votes.

Al Gore started a gutter fight in Florida, and came up on the wrong end of it. The votes were counted. All over the state twice, and manually after that in many counties, over and over again. Later, they were recounted by the newspapers. Get over it, already.

The real Joe Bob would use you to wipe out spittoons.

Posted by: mike on September 18, 2006 at 12:55 AM | PERMALINK

"Al Gore started a gutter fight in Florida..."

What a masterful spoof of a right-wing lickspittleyou know, the kind who has been paying no attention to reality for the last four years but who just waits for crumbs of approval to fall down from the Politburo above. And when they never come, he's even firmer in his resolve that the Dear Leaders are always right. Funny stuff, man. Keep up the good work!

Posted by: Kenji on September 18, 2006 at 1:06 AM | PERMALINK

Actually, without knowing Simone Ledeen's duties for the CPA, it's impossible to judge her qualifications.

She was hired without an interview or background check, and her duties are well-documented.

It's almost as amusing as Ari Fleischer's brother being hired to teach Iraqi businessmen how to deal with a system that was no longer dominated by cronyism.

Rory Stewart's book on being the British government's 'man in the marshes' is interesting in this regard, as is his resume. From Wikipedia:

After a brief period as an officer in the British Infantry (the Black Watch), Stewart joined the Foreign Office. He served in the British Embassy in Indonesia from 1997 to 1999, as the British Representative to Montenegro in the wake of the Kosovo campaign and as Coalition Deputy Governor of Amarah and Senior Advisor in Nasiriyah, Iraq during 20032004.

So, while the British government was sending someone with military and diplomatic credentials to Iraq -- who also speaks fluent Arabic and Persian, and had spent the previous year walking across Afghanistan -- the US government was sending the families of GOP pundits and operatives to run the show.

If you have trouble distinguishing the two -- I'm looking at Fuckwit Ken and others -- then it's very much your problem.

Posted by: ahem on September 18, 2006 at 1:33 AM | PERMALINK


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Posted by: blogs on September 18, 2006 at 2:47 AM | PERMALINK

Long live the Boke! Ha-ha.

Posted by: Kenji on September 18, 2006 at 2:59 AM | PERMALINK

This quote is priceless 'my colleagues frequently took the time to visit orphanages around Baghdad'
You see they were in Iraq so they could put "established democracy" on their resumes and get some bitchin' photo-ops. These young reublicans had goals and fixing Iraq wasn't high on the list.

I wonder if Ms Ledeen ever wondered why there we so many orphans in Baghdad.

Posted by: resume padder on September 18, 2006 at 4:46 AM | PERMALINK

Nepotism, with insiders' children "dipping their nibs" into the well of the U.S. Treasury, is only one form of cronyism prevalent in the Bush administration.

Those jobs that weren't given to insiders' children were given to Young Republicans who had shown up in Florida 2000 to obstruct the counting of lawful ballots.

If it's not family members who are taking these jobs (Dick Cheney's daughters), or friends (Colin Powell and son, the son of Scalia, et al.) family members, it's the spouses of family or friends (Cheney's daughter's husband).

There's nothing about the Bush administration that isn't corrupt.

Posted by: Maeven on September 18, 2006 at 5:48 AM | PERMALINK

But did they find work for Cheney's daughter's girlfriend? Remember, if you are against that, you are the worst kind of homophobe. And, per Lynne Cheney, not a good person.

By the way, when do you think Dick and Lynne last got it on? Was a doctor present. Sorry, but these questions have to be asked sometime.

Posted by: Kenji on September 18, 2006 at 5:54 AM | PERMALINK

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Posted by: qq on September 18, 2006 at 6:15 AM | PERMALINK

"She had earlier lived and worked in Poland following the liberation from communism. She helped to transform what had been an underground Solidarity book publishing enterprise into a thriving, free market enterprise."

Well, Simone Ledeen must be really some kind of whiz kid considering communism fell in Poland in 1989 and she was 29 in 2003 when she was hired to manage Iraq's economy.
That would make her -- what? 16 -- when communism fell. Really a prodigy,then.

If you're talking about some college internship, that hardly makes her an expert. and if she went there after she graduated from college about six or seven years after the fall, Poland had some experience of being a post-communist state under its belt by then. So the original argument stands. What's a 29-year-old doing in a position like that?

Posted by: lou on September 18, 2006 at 10:10 AM | PERMALINK

Of course nothing has changed, Kevin. It's called "staying the course," Mr. Terrorist Lover.

Posted by: Wingnut on September 18, 2006 at 11:31 AM | PERMALINK

Strong stomach? I say BRING IT ON.

Posted by: airbetty on September 18, 2006 at 2:42 PM | PERMALINK

Shorter ex-liberal:

Simone Ledeeen = Harry Truman.

Posted by: Jose Padilla on September 18, 2006 at 3:21 PM | PERMALINK

I've harped on the CPA scandal now for years. Recently, I saw that one of the many Democratic vet candidates was saying essentially the same thing: the missing CPA money scandal is the hook to hang the Bushies on. $9 billion in missing money! That's the biggest money scandal the world has ever seen.

These people (Bushies) are just crooks and gangsters. Never, ever forget that.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on September 18, 2006 at 8:38 PM | PERMALINK

Where are two of the GOP cronies you listed?

Well, Dan Senor is involved in that GOP-heavy 527 group that is backing Joe Lieberman's independent bid for the CT Senate seat. He recently married NBC News correspondent Campbell Brown.

Dan Amstutz died earlier this year, in March, at the age of 74.

Posted by: sam33eeks on September 18, 2006 at 10:35 PM | PERMALINK

I fully agreed man. I would see that Al Gore started a gutter fight in Florida, and came up on the wrong end of it. The votes were counted. All over the state twice, and manually after that in many counties, over and over again. Later, they were recounted by the newspapers. Get over it man.

Posted by: Online Paid Survey on September 20, 2006 at 12:24 AM | PERMALINK

I fully agreed man. I would see that Al Gore started a gutter fight in Florida, and came up on the wrong end of it. The votes were counted. All over the state twice, and manually after that in many counties, over and over again. Later, they were recounted by the newspapers. Get over it man.


Online Paid Survey

Posted by: Online Paid Survey on September 20, 2006 at 12:25 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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