Now that the greatest strategic disaster in American military history is an accomplished fact, its architects are distancing themselves from their handiwork. For the past year or two, we have been treated to the spectacle of what might be called neoconservative panic syndrome — the cabal that lied us into war is frightened to death of being held responsible for the catastrophe. Their catastrophe.
And who can blame them? After all, the consequences could include prosecution for all sorts of crimes, running the gamut from torture to deliberately misleading Congress to violation of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act. In a halfway rational world, these people would be tarred and feathered, at the very least, before the law had a chance to nab them. Instead, these war birds are still pontificating from their protected perches on the op-ed pages of the New York Times and the Washington Post, albeit to a shrinking and increasingly skeptical audience.
Some have recanted. Others, less reflective, blame everyone but themselves. And a good many are defiant and more full of themselves — as well as other substances — than ever. Such a one is Richard Perle, the so-called Dark Prince of the neocons, the most relentless and disreputable of the lot. Writing in The National Interest, where Francis Fukuyama first proclaimed “the end of history,” Perle treats us to a neocon revision of some very recent history — in other words, an account of the origins and execution of the Iraq war that will appear in the history books of Bizarro World.
According to Perle, the palace revolution carried out by the War Party in the wake of 9/11 — which Bob Woodward likened to the establishment of “a separate government” by the neocons — never really came off.
Justin Raimondo [send him mail] is editorial director of Antiwar.com and is the author of An Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard and Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement.