At the end of my last posting, I listed four neocons that are closely linked to the philosophy of Leo Strauss and the Bush II. Here they are again:
Irving Kristol, devoted follower of Leo Strauss, godfather of neoconservatives, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. and senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2002 by The Decider.
Paul Dundes Wolfowitz, former Bush Deputy Secretary of Defense, considered to be one of the most prominent and “hawkish” of the neo-conservatives, is the principal author of the “Wolfowitz Doctrine“, also known as the Bush doctrine, received his doctorates under Strauss in 1972. Wolfowitz is now president of the World Bank.
Abram N. Shulsky, has worked in the Office of Special Plans, a secretive intelligence outfit in the Pentagon that was charged with digging up information on Iraq that would support the administration’s arguments for going to war, received his doctorates under Strauss in 1972.
William Kristol, son of Irving Kristol and Vice President Dan Quayle’s chief of staff and chairman of The Project for the New American Century – inactive since late 2005, is the neo-conservative editor of the Weekly Standard and now a Time magazine columnist.
This posting is about the neocons that President Bush has in his inner circle of friends and staff. It also exposes the spread of neocons within the current administration through quotes from Bush II and his former Secretary of Defense, Don Rumsfeld (Now an “non-paid consultant” for the department.)
But first, here are summaries of the neocon think tanks whose associates are helping the Decider with his neocon decisions.
The Americans for Victory over Terrorism (AVOT) – This organization was founded by William Bennett, who is also a founding member of William Kristol’s Project for the New American Century. One of their guiding principles is to identifying internal enemies (dissidents) of the neocon’s view of the world. According to Right Web:
During the press conference announcing the new organization, AVOT leaders said that as part of the effort to combat the internal “threat” posed by dissidents of President Bush’s war on terrorism, they had compiled a list of statements by professors, legislators, and writers that the group deemed objectionable–an effort that mirrored an earlier initiative to monitor war opponents by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA).
The American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA), a group founded by Lynne Cheney and Senator Joe Lieberman (Remember that kiss Bush II gave Joe.) Despite their mission statement to, “ensure that the next generation receives a philosophically-balanced, open-minded, high-quality education,” one of their first acts was to identify those who they felt were too far left to keep things balanced. They titled their report, “Defending Civilization: How Our Universities Are Failing America and What Can Be Done About It.” The Nation had this to say about the ACTA report:
They painted academe as a passivist fifth column undermining the war effort through equivocation, “moral relativism” and outright opposition, noting: “Some [professors] even pointed accusatory fingers, not at the terrorists, but at America itself.” And they named names: academics who had supposedly pointed such fingers and uttered such equivocations in 117 instances collected from media sources. They also announced that they would send the list to 3,000 trustees at colleges across the country.
The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) met last December with Bush II to present their solution to the conflict in Iraq. Their plan is very similar to The Deciders plan. At an AEI dinner in 2003, Bush II had this to say about Irving Kristol, “You do such good work that my administration has borrowed 20 such minds.” (And I’m only mentioning a few of those 20.) Also, President Ronald Reagan’s administration attracted so many AEI associates, that the AEI offices were relatively empty.
The Center for Security Policy was founded in 1988 by Frank Gaffney. Their slogan is, “to promote world peace through American strength.” Their “Keeper of the Flame Award” recipients include Newt Gingrich and Don Rumsfeld. In November 2001, Don Rumsfeld said to Frank Gaffney, “If there was any doubt about the power of your ideas, one only has to look at the number of Center associates who people this administration—and particularly the Department of Defense—to dispel them.” Rumsfeld has been a CSP financial backer and Cheney was formerly a board member of CSP.
The Project for the New American Century (PNAC) describes itself as a “nonprofit educational organization supporting American military, diplomatic, and moral leadership.” William Kristol is listed as their chairman. The offices of the PNAC are collocated in the same building as the AEI offices. (Here is a list of PNAC members working for Bush II.)
Here are the neocons that work closely with President Bush or have a direct link to his inner circle and are associated with one or more of the organizations above:
Karl Zinsmeister was appointed in June 2006 as the Assistant to the President (Bush II) for Domestic Policy and is director of the Domestic Policy Council. He is a neo-conservative, was a J. B. Fuqua Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and for 12 years was the Editor in Chief of The American Enterprise.
Dick Cheney is a former board member of the Center for Security Policy and has become the most powerful Vice President in U.S. history. He was also Chief of Staff to President Ford and Secretary of Defense under Bush I. During his time with Bush I, Cheney, Wolfowitz, and “Scooter” Libby put the Defense Policy Guidance doctrine together, which was used by Bush II to support his preemptive assault on Iraq.
Stephen Hadley was appointed Bush’s National Security Advisor in November 2004. He is a foreign policy hawk closely associated with Dick Cheney and was an assistant to Wolfowitz while Wolfowitz developed the 1992 Draft Defense Planning Guidance for preemptive strikes. He participated in the study team at the hardline National Institute for Public Policy (NIPP) that produced Rationale and Requirements for U.S. Nuclear Forces and Arms Control. This study called for the development of “mini” nuclear weapons or bunker busters. Recently, after delivery of the final report of the Iraq Study Group (ISG), Hadley suggested that the United States consider a significant short-term surge in the number of troops sent to the Iraq before eventually deescalating.
David Addington has been a loyal Cheney supporter since the mid-1980s. According to Ryan Lizza of the New Republic’s “ … Libby’s resignation may be a bigger boon to Democrats than they realize. Addington is both more extreme and more politically tone-deaf than his predecessor. He and Cheney are the harbingers of bad times for Bush. When their names are in the news, political peril seems to follow.” According to New York Times (November 3, 2005), Addington helped draft the White House “torture memos,” which claimed that the president could sidestep the Geneva Conventions in the “war on terror.” According to the New Yorker’s Mayer, Addington is the architect of what is known as the “New Paradigm.” This paradigm provides that “the president, as commander-in-chief, has the authority to disregard virtually all previously known legal boundaries, if national security demands it. Under this framework, statutes prohibiting torture, secret detention, and warrantless surveillance have been set aside.”
Lynne Cheney, the wife of the Vice President and former chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities, is a hard-line conservative who works at the American Enterprise Institute. She and Senator Joe Lieberman founded American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) and criticized dozens of college professors for making ‘anti-American’ statements as reported above in this posting. Irving Kristol is a member of their National Council.