Philip Zelikow: Good Cop, Says NY Times

A delicious piece of propaganda from the NY Times today. Apparently, Philip Zelikow, the executive director of the 9/11 Commission, is really the good cop to Cheney's bad cop. The premise for the article is that Zelikow has been expressing the views of Condoleezza Rice recently, and those views contradict certain White House positions on torture and intelligence.

For example, one of his memos "described the potential for Iraq to become a 'catastrophic failure.' Another, among several that have come to light in recent weeks, was an early call for changes in a detention policy that many in the State Department believed was doing tremendous harm to the United States.

Others have proposed new diplomatic initiatives toward North Korea and the Middle East, and one went as far as to call for a reconsideration of the phrase 'war on terror' because it alienated many Muslims — an idea that quickly fizzled after opposition from the White House."

In terms of 9/11, this depiction of Zelikow attempts to distance him from his role as White House insider and cover-up artist; at one point, the Times speculates over Zelikow being "an in-house contrarian." The idea that Zelikow opposes current detention polices, or objects to the term "war on terror," is ludicrous. This is the man who crafted the 9/11 Commission Report and its recommendations for further centralization of intelligence gathering at the level of the executive branch.

The article also creates a portrait of Zelikow as more of a policy wonk than a criminal conspirator: "He is a sometimes-geeky intellectual known for fingernails that are bitten down to nubs."

The biggest laugh-inducing line is this description of the 9/11 Report: "the report that took both the Clinton and Bush administrations to task for failing to act with sufficient seriousness against the threat from Al Qaeda."

Finally, the article offers this description of Zelikow's handling of the 9/11 Commission: "He became the executive director of the 9/11 Commission, from where he pressured Ms. Rice to turn over highly classified intelligence estimates and testify in front of the commission. Officials who worked with him marveled at his industry and precision, but described him as far more opinionated than his gather-the-numbers approach might first suggest. Staffers on the commission said other colleagues were assigned the task of smoothing over the bruised egos of those who had crossed Mr. Zelikow."

Zelikow writes for Foreign Affairs -

I heard Ralph Schoenman discuss Zelikow on one of his radio shows, Guns and Butter or Taking Aim - -
Zelikow has written articles trying to debunk JFK assassination researchers.
He and Max Holland do a lot of work pushing the CIA disinfo line -

Peter Bergen

Thanks. I noticed in the issue of Foreign Affairs you linked to that Peter Bergen was spouting his usual nonsense about how nobody but the Taleban supported al Qaeda. Bergen is a definite CIA shill. Recall, earlier he was on CNN claiming the idea that Bin Laden worked for the CIA was just an urban legend.