Dual Loyalties

My opinion on the people who shape our world

Friday, January 28, 2005

Jerusalem Post | Feith resigns for 'personal reasons' (Is David Szady a personal reason)

Jerusalem Post | Breaking News from Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World:

In light of the AIPAC Spy Scandal, Franklin's Cooperation, and David Szady I have to wonder about what the personal reasons were. JBOC

"Feith resigns for 'personal reasons'

Douglas Feith, a senior Pentagon official who was instrumental in crafting the rationales for an invasion of Iraq and has been one of Israel's most ardent supporters in the administration, has submitted his resignation.

Feith, who serves as undersecretary of defense for policy, announced Wednesday he would leave his position this summer.

He told Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld he was leaving for "personal and family reasons." Sources close to Feith said he was in fact leaving for personal reasons and was not asked to leave by the administration.

"Doug Feith has contributed to the security of the country. He is creative, well organized and energetic, and he has earned the respect of civilian and military leaders across the government. Regrettably, he has decided to depart and he will be missed," Rumsfeld said in a statement.

Not everyone, however, will lament Feith's departure. He made enemies throughout the military and the administration with his hawkish views and also for his efforts pre-war to illustrate a link between Saddam Hussein's regime and al-Qaida. The special unit Feith helped set up within the Pentagon to search for the link was heavily criticized by American intelligence personnel.

In his memoir, former commander-in-chief of the US central command, Tommy Franks, described Feith as a "theorist whose ideas were often impractical; among some uniformed officers in the building he had a reputation for confusing abstract memoranda with results in the field.

"My dealings with him had left me ambivalent: I liked him personally, but I wasn't convinced that Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was always well-served by his advice," Franks added.

"Feith was a master of the off-the-wall question that rarely had relevance to operational problems. It was obvious that Don Rumsfeld trusted him, and I wanted to use the products of his intellect. But I had little time – or inclination – to answer Feith's 'mind teasers.' So I generally ignored his contributions, and focused on what the secretary had to say. And Rumsfeld never allowed Feith to interfere with my business. I was always thankful for that," he wrote.

During a press briefing Wednesday, Rumsfeld disclosed that Feith approached him after President George W. Bush's victory and said that he would like to move back into the private sector by next summer. Rumsfeld said he had asked Feith to remain in his post until a replacement is found. It is still unclear whether Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, or Rumsfeld himself, will remain through the end of the year. Some commentators have suggested that the departure of the key Iraq War advocates could be interpreted as an acknowledgement of failure. Others say a course change is necessary and that a personnel change could be an important first step in making changes to the Iraq policy."


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