The Corner

What Else Is New?

CBS via “60 Minutes II” is moving what they (and Drudge) seem to think is a big story about Greg Thielmann, a career State Department guy. Thielman says of Colin Powell’s UN appearance “…I think my conclusion [about Powell’s speech] now is that it’s probably one of the low points in his long distinguished service to the nation,” says Thielmann. No doubt we’ll be hearing what a brave whistle blower this guy is.

That’s cool. Except his act is hardly new. A full year ago yesterday US News reported,

“In terms of the lives of America’s sons and daughters, Saddam does not pop up to me as the greatest threat,” says Greg Thielmann, who just retired from running the proliferation office at the State Department’s intelligence bureau.

Last may Nicholas Kristoff wrote in the New York Times:

“The Al Qaeda connection and nuclear weapons issue were the only two ways that you could link Iraq to an imminent security threat to the U.S.,” notes Greg Thielmann, who retired in September after 25 years in the State Department, the last four in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research. “And the administration was grossly distorting the intelligence on both things.”

And since then he’s been popping up on PBS’ Frontline and other spots on the “no war” circuit.

That’s cool, I’m even sure he’s sincere in what he’s saying. But can we stop dusting off old anti-war bureaucrats who surely had their say and were overruled when it mattered? And can we stop treating them like they’ve got blockbuster revelations? I’m sure every war in American history had its skeptics within the government. But this guy is just repeating what he’s been saying all along.


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