The Corner

This Week on Uncommon Knowledge: Douglas Feith

From 2001 to 2005, Douglas Feith served as the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, a position in which he reported directly to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld—and played a central role in the response to 9/11, including the war in Iraq.  Critics have derided Feith as feckless and arrogant.  War and Decision:  Inside the Pentagon at the Dawn of the War on Terrorism, his new book, demonstrates that Feith is instead diligent, hard-working, immensely well-read, and posssessed of a quality that his critics manifestly lack, intellectual humility.

The book is detailed, extensively documented, and lucid.  Never shy about stating his own opinions, Feith provides plenty of scope for the reader to come to opinions of his own.  In any given chapter, War and Decision provides more reliable information about what really happened than you’ll find in you’ll find in any other entire book, most particularly in the hackneyed and self-regarding offering by Scott McClellan.

In today’s segment of Uncommon Knowledge, Feith takes on assertions about the decision to go to war that in certain quarters have acquired the weight of accepted fact—notably, that the administration fudged the intelligence data, lying to the nation.  Bush lied, people died?  For Douglas Feith’s response, click on the image above.

Peter Robinson — Peter M. Robinson is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution.

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