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Boot Takes On Critics of Bush's Move Into Iraq

March 14, 2004

Re "The Fringe Fires at Bush on Iraq," Commentary, March 11: Max Boot sees left-wing lunacy everywhere he looks. Could the mote be in his eye? Why does he devote so much space to an attack on former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV when retired Air Force intelligence officer Karen Kwiatkowski is the supposed focus of his piece? Is this because the outing of Wilson's wife, CIA operative Valerie Plame, could have criminal implications for Bush administration officials?

For that matter, why go after Kwiatkowski so fiercely? Is it possible that her description of what went on in the Pentagon strikes too close to the truth? Consider the recent revelation during congressional hearings that CIA Director George Tenet did not know about a special Pentagon intelligence analysis unit, set up by one of Donald Rumsfeld's lieutenants, that bypassed the CIA and fed its version of "intelligence" directly to the White House. This would seem to lend credence to Kwiatkowski's claims. Boot is resorting to an age-old maxim: The best defense is a good offense. In this case, ignore the message and attack the messenger.

Martin Parker

Thousand Oaks

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Boot says that Kwiatkowski, Ray McGovern and Wilson have "flaky" views because they claim, essentially, that a gang of fascists has hijacked the American government and seeks to install a global Pax Americana. Sorry, Max, I don't see a single flake in there. Did you get snowed?

John McCumber

Santa Monica

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One can't help but admire the loyalty of people like Boot when it comes to the Bush administration. His column is simply an exercise in exposing the personal biases of those with anti-Bush criticisms, as opposed to the validity of the criticisms themselves. Everyone, including Boot, has biases, but the facts remain. President Bush plays on conservative loyalties without being much of a conservative himself. In effect, people like Boot are being used for political gain.

Mark Van Leeuwen

Newhall

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