Feith-Based Hiring

3 comments May 27th, 2007at 10:29am Posted by Eli

About two years ago, I wrote a post about the conflict between loyalty and competence, especially in BushCo. Monica Goodling’s hiring practices at DOJ are one example of this principle in action, but this one might be even more shocking:

At a recent forum, career U.S. intelligence officer Patrick Lang recounted a job interview he had with neocon war architect Douglas Feith. Lang, who had previously run the Pentagon’s world-wide spying operations, “was put forward as somebody who would be good at running the Pentagon’s office of special operations and low-intensity warfare, i.e., counterinsurgency.” So he was interviewed by Feith:

“He was sitting there munching a sandwich while he was talking to me,” Lang recalled, “which I thought was remarkable in itself, but he also had these briefing papers — they always had briefing papers, you know — about me.

“He’s looking at this stuff, and he says, ‘I’ve heard of you. I heard of you.’

“He says, ‘Is it really true that you really know the Arabs this well, and that you speak Arabic this well? Is that really true? Is that really true?’

“And I said, ‘Yeah, that’s really true.’

“That’s too bad,” Feith said.


“That was the end of the interview,” Lang said. “I’m not quite sure what he meant, but you can work it out.”

So, basically, Feith didn’t want to hire Lang because he might actually know what he was talking about, which would inevitably conflict with BushCo’s insane policy imperatives. Or, alternatively, because Feith thought that anyone who understood Arabs so well must be some kind of terrorist sympathizer.

So, in case you’re wondering why Iraq is such a completely fucked-up mess…

UPDATE: I should also add that if you walk into a job interview and your interviewer is eating his lunch, you’re not getting the job. And furthermore – trust me on this – you really don’t want the job.

Entry Filed under: Bush,Corruption/Cronyism,Iraq,Politics,Republicans,Terrorism,Wankers


  • 1. Glenn  |  May 27th, 2007 at 10:54 am

    One more proof of the alternate “reality” these people insist on living in.

  • 2. bdr  |  May 27th, 2007 at 11:35 am

    I worked tangentially w/Feith at Georgetown these past two semesters, and everything people say about his being the dumbest fucking person on the planet is true but not enough.

    He is ingratiating contemptuous of every other opinion, putting on this “I’m listening” face while sucking in his cheeks and licking his lips before ignoring what he wasn’t listening to in the first place.

    I talked to a student who took Feith’s class, and she said she was astonished at the direct relationship between how highly he thought of himself and what a shitty teacher he was.

    Symbolic, yes?

  • 3. Eli  |  May 27th, 2007 at 12:12 pm

    He sounds like a perfect loyal Bushie, bdr. But the title of dumbest fucking person on the planet is a very hotly contested one, primarily by Bushies, but there’s a lot of competition from pundits, right-wing bloggers, and even some Democrats. He’s unquestionably a finalist, though.

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