How Do You Measure Success in Iraq?
How do you know things are going really well in Iraq? The State Department doesn’t have to threaten to draft employees to fill positions in Iraq anymore. All 300 jobs are now filled with willing volunteers.Recall how in Kenneth Timmerman's The Shadow Warriors, the author describes how State Department officials, as well a some in the CIA and political appointees held over from the Clinton Administration, have worked to undermine the Bush Administration out of political partisanship over professionalism and patriotism.
FP: Shed some light for us on the shadow warriors at the State Department. How much have they hurt Bush administration policies?
Timmerman: Let me answer with an anecdote I describe in the book. After President Bush was elected to a second term in November 2004, Secretary of State Colin Powell called a town meeting at the State Department in Washington . Faced with a sea of Kerry-Edwards stickers in the parking lot, Powell decided to confront the problem head on. “We live in a democracy,” he said. “As Americans, we have to respect the results of elections.” He went on to tell his employees that President Bush had received the most votes of any president in U.S. history, and that they were constitutionally obligated to serve him.
One of Powell’s subordinates, an assistant secretary of state, became increasingly agitated. Once Powell had dismissed everyone, she returned to her office suite, shut the door, and held a mini town meeting of her own. After indignantly recounting Powell’s remarks, she commented: “Well, Senator Kerry receive the second highest number of votes of any presidential candidate in history. If just one state had gone differently, Sen. Kerry would be President Kerry today.” Her staff owed no allegiance to the president of the United States , especially not to policies they knew were wrong, she said. If it was legal, and it would slow down the Bush juggernaut, they should do it, she told them.
Here was an open call to insubordination, and, I might add, it was not an isolated incident.
Cross-posted at Flopping Aces