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Deconstructing Paul O’Neill: The Leftist Media’s Newest Sock Puppet
by Doug Schmitz
23 January 2004Paul O'Neill

It’s appalling when the media establishment takes a known liar like O’Neill at his word, while constantly inventing conspiracy theories to discredit and destroy the Bush Administration.


O’Neill’s accusations sound like nothing more than a frustrated man’s attempt at recognition. Ineffective as a positive force in the Bush White House, his book basically relates the tale of a man (namely himself) out of step in today’s political arena and unable to work with others either his equal or above him in the power chain. O’Neill himself sat at many of these National Security meetings, as Woodward’s book tells.

The “unilateralist” charge is an old one, now being replayed yet again by the Democratic presidential candidates who wasted little time in echoing O’Neill’s sound bites. To sum up Paul O’Neill’s brief tenure as the Bush administration’s Treasury secretary, one need not look further than his own words featured in a Washington Post editorial from August of 2002: “I’m constantly amazed that anybody cares what I do.” Indeed.
 -- Vincent Fiore, The Washington Dispatch, 1/14/04


When it comes to scavenging for anything to incriminate the Bush Administration and discredit the just war in Iraq, the leftist media always find a way of ciphering the dirty cisterns of fellow Bush haters – whether they are from the past or present.

As a result, the leftist media will go to great lengths to protect their Bush-hating sources, even if it means distorting and slanting the truth in order to accomplish this goal.  And it looks like they have found their newest sock puppet: The disgraced and disgruntled former Treasury Secretary and Republican turncoat, Paul O’Neill. 

Despite already draining the murky reservoirs of current media darlings, Howard Dean and military phony, Wesley Clark, the leftist media are drinking deeply from the polluted well of O’Neill, who hasn’t exactly been the most credible source regarding President Bush, who fired him two years ago for his very loose lips. 

While Dean and Clark have tapped into the imbecilic rage of the Far Left in their inane antipathy toward Bush, the Far Left has also anointed O’Neill as their newest media darling in its ongoing crusade to bring down George W. Bush. 

Unquestionably, with the willing help of ultra-liberal reporter Ron Suskind, author of O’Neill’s scathing tome, The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House and the Education of Paul O’Neill, the left-wing corridors of the elite media have swung wide open in the hopes of milking this latest conspiracy theorist for the freshest red meat.

While O’Neill didn’t actually pen this latest book of fabrications, ghostwriter Suskind has been all too accommodating in his own quest to promote himself on the talk show circuit.

In fact, on his Web site, Suskind hyperbolically described his anti-Bush hatchet job as, “A sweeping tour of the inner working of the Bush Presidency, among the most secretive administrations in modern times.  The book follows the two-year arc of Paul O’Neill, Bush’s Treasury Secretary and a principal of the National Security Council, as he and other senior officials assess the conduct and character of this Presidency.”

According to National Review’s Jonah Goldberg, Suskind cares more about setting his own leftist agenda than he does about whether O’Neill’s account is factually accurate, let alone whether the secret documents O’Neill lent to him were legally obtained upon his much-deserved exit from the White House.

Given to taking many journalistic liberties on many occasions, Suskind has been known to frequently get his facts wrong, which hasn't been the first time, Goldberg reported.  In fact, columnist Bob Novak said he talked to several of Suskind's previous interviewees; they told him Suskind never took any notes, nor used a tape recorder.

Now, O’Neill is suddenly shocked and awed by the negative reactions he’s getting to his pompous pontifications and false portrayals of the Bush Administration?  After all, O’Neill did let an anti-Bush reporter – who also had a political ax to grind – write his hit piece.

Equally, O’Neill is sounding more and more like the typical Democratic presidential candidate on the campaign trail: He’s been talking out of both sides of his mouth with no cogency – and with the single goal of getting his Bush-hating rant across to anyone who would listen; especially to a leftist media all too willing to let O’Neill carry their water. 

But O’Neill’s acerbic venting against Bush is already backfiring because, like leftist writers Molly Ivins, Al Franken, Michael Moore, David Corn and Joe Conason, O’Neill has since been exposed as the latest liar for the Left.

In fact, since the firestorm of controversy hit over O’Neill’s personal culpability in how he obtained those secret documents when leveling his unsubstantiated allegations against Bush, as seen on Jan. 11’s “60 Minutes,” there has resulted in an internal investigation that the leftist media have characteristically ignored. 

Consequently, O’Neill has suddenly changed his story and is in full backpedal mode as he joins the other U.S. traitors on the Left in politicizing the war in Iraq – just to settle an old score.

Actually, in 2002, O’Neill told talk show host Mike Gallagher that after his firing from the White House, he would not criticize the Bush Administration.  But obviously O’Neill’s word means nothing.

The Washington Times also noted that O’Neill’s critical comments are a sharp contrast to his diplomatic words upon leaving the administration in 2002: “I’m determined not to say any negative things about the president and the Bush administration,” O’Neill told Pittsburgh television station KDKA on Jan. 12, 2003. “They have enough to do without having me as a sharpshooter.”

Ironically, O’Neill told “60 Minutes” that he would be “really disappointed” if the Bush White House reacted angrily to his comments: “Why would I be attacked for telling the truth?” O’Neill told Lesley Stahl.

But O’Neill definitely has a problem telling the truth and – like the Democratic presidential candidates – is being caught in his own web of lies.

For example, O’Neill immediately backpedaled on Jan. 13’s ‘Today Show’ when he confessed that Bill Clinton was the one who commenced the ouster of Hussein: “People are trying to say that I said the president was planning war in Iraq early in the administration. Actually there was a continuation of work that had been going on in the Clinton administration with the notion that there needed to be a regime change in Iraq.”

In addition, columnist Vincent Fiore said the Pentagon was already looking at options to remove Saddam since “regime change” became the official policy of the U.S. government back in 1998 during Clinton’s tenure: “So when O’Neill says the President 'was finding a way to do it,' he is speaking of a policy created three years before Bush ever entered the White House.  It is a misleading and disingenuous statement at best.”

With absolutely no regard for telling the truth themselves, the leftist media are having a field day with their newfound hero, Paul O’Neill, in the renewed quest of refurbishing Clinton’s tarnished legacy, while simultaneously trashing Bush’s.

As usual, this has always been the one element that consistently gets left out of all these Bush detractors’ allegations: From Enron to the 1998 WMD evidence against Saddam Hussein, Clinton is once again suspiciously missing from the equation.

According to the American Spectator, “what O’Neill and other Bush administration blabbermouths failed to mention when leaking NSC documents and the like for the forthcoming book O’Neill worked on, is that the Clinton administration had many of the same documents prepared laying out plans for a post-invasion Iraq.”

“We had the same stuff,” said a former senior Clinton Administration aide who worked at the Pentagon, the American Spectator reported.  “It would have been irresponsible not to have such planning.  We had all kinds of briefing material ready should the president have decided to move on Iraq.  In fact, a lot of the material we had prepared was material that the previous Bush administration had left for us.  It just isn’t that big a deal.  Or shouldn’t be.”

But it is a big deal to the leftist media and the rest of their Far Left friends who seek the political and personal destruction of George W. Bush. 

O’Neill was ultimately booted out of the White House for being a traitor.  Now he’s acting like the typical angry ex-employee who pilfers staplers and pens out of the company supply closet just before exiting the premises undetected.  Besides, Clinton also fired White House officials whom he perceived as having the slightest hint of disloyalty.

In any case, the burning question the left-wing fringes of the anti-Bush media have never bothered to ask is: Why should anyone give O’Neill, now a known liar, any credibility? 

It’s because the enemy appeasers in the elite media love traitors like Paul O’Neill. 

While they constantly defend Saddam Hussein, they routinely find fault with Bush.  But, then again, when you have a willing mouthpiece like Dan Rather, who kept referring to Hussein as “Mr. President” in a February 2003 “interview,” while still refusing to grant President Bush an exclusive interview, you have to wonder where their loyalties lie.

At the end of Couric’s “interview,” when she coaxed O’Neill into admitting whom he’d vote for (hoping to get more anti-Bush red meat for her audience), O’Neill openly admitted he would vote for Bush, even though he previously called Bush “a blind man in a roomful of deaf people.”

But as Opinionjournal.com columnist Daniel Henninger observed:

“The blind person wouldn’t recognize Mr. O’Neill, and the deaf people wouldn’t listen to him.  But for six days, all the rest of us have been able to see and hear Mr. O’Neill crystal clear.”  

The bottom line with O’Neill: The leftist media love to coddle a self-serving, Bush detractor like O’Neill, who draws the most vitriolic, Howard Dean-like venom. 

In fact, even the ultimate nut case, Wesley Clark, recently used O’Neill’s hit piece to try to exonerate himself from any responsibility for the countless lies he’s told about Bush.

O’Neill once again has proven his disloyalty and lack of candor.  Remember: This is the same guy who went on a 2002 tour in Africa with the expletive-laden rock star, Bono.

But the Bush-hating elite media have ignored those little facts, too. 

It’s appalling when the media establishment takes a known liar like O’Neill – and countless others – at their word, while constantly inventing conspiracy theories to discredit and destroy the Bush Administration.

The Left, the White House turncoats and the leftist media constantly expose their true colors and the one unmistakable motivation that gets them up in the morning – their indescribable and irrational animosity for George W. Bush.

Clinton, who’s the ultimate presidential liar of all time, must be grinning from ear to ear, as he pens his tome of fibs, sure to rival Hillary’s book of fables.
 
Doug Schmitz is a conse
rvative columnist who regularly contributes to Etherzone.com, BushCountry.org and has been a guest columnist for Accuracy in Media (www.aim.org.). © Doug Schmitz.  All Rights Reserved.

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