Some of the vitriol directed at Feith by anonymous sources may be due to personal animus. A 2002 Washington Post profile of Feith noted that he is “disliked by many people who work with him on a daily basis,” and in March 2003 the National Journal noted that “it is hard to overstate how utterly Feith is reviled in certain circles.” The latest manifestation of this is the juicy quote by Gen. Tommy Franks in Bob Woodward’s Plan of Attack, in which Franks calls Feith “the fucking stupidest guy on the face of the earth.”
Franks shows a military man’s ability to get to the heart of the matter. But Feith isn’t dumb. His defenders, in fact, frequently stand up for him by citing his brilliance. But Franks’ lament is a blunter, less eloquent version of what Fallows wrote in the Atlantic of the office of the secretary of Defense, particularly Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, and Feith: “What David Halberstam said of Robert McNamara in The Best and the Brightest is true of those at OSD as well: they were brilliant, and they were fools.”
If Rumsfeld says it was not a “gutsy” call, why in the hell didn’t he do it. Some possible reasons
- He didn’t hire the right people
- It wasn’t important
- He was trying to suck up to Cheney.
- He was preoccupied with planning the Iraq invasion
- Did I say, “It wasn’t important?”