REMEMBER LAURIE MYLROIE?…. For all of the well-known Bush administration officials who were frightening in their handling of U.S. policy towards Iraq, sometimes it’s the lesser-known officials who are truly jaw-dropping. Justin Elliott reports:
It’s a truism that neoconservatives have a talent for failing upward: for repeatedly getting important things wrong and not seeing their careers suffer — for, in fact, being handed new opportunities to pursue their work (see, e.g., Kristol, Bill; and Hayes, Stephen).
Today we can add another name to that list: Laurie Mylroie, the quintessential conspiracy theorist of the Iraq War era, wrote reports about Iraq for the Pentagon as recently as Fall 2007, years after she was discredited, according to documents obtained by TPMmuckraker.
Mylroie is the author of two studies — “Saddam’s Strategic Concepts: Dealing With UNSCOM,” dated Feb. 1, 2007, and “Saddam’s Foreign Intelligence Service,” dated Sept. 24, 2007 — on a list of reports from the Pentagon’s Office Of Net Assessment [ONA], obtained by TPMmuckraker through the Freedom Of Information Act. The ONA is the Defense Department’s internal think tank, once described by the Washington Post as “obscure but highly influential.”
Steve Clemons said he was “shocked” to hear that Mylroie was still doing taxpayer-financed work for Bush’s Pentagon in 2007. Jacob Heilbrunn added, “It’s kind of astonishing that the ONA would come even within a mile of her.”
And why are they astonished? Because Laurie Mylroie has a rather “unique” perspective on world events. In 2003, the Washington Monthly ran a must-read piece on Mylroie, explaining why she’s the “neocons’ favorite conspiracy theorist.” In the article, Peter Bergen explained:
…Mylroie became enamored of her theory that Saddam was the mastermind of a vast anti-U.S. terrorist conspiracy in the face of virtually all evidence and expert opinion to the contrary. In what amounts to the discovery of a unified field theory of terrorism, Mylroie believes that Saddam was not only behind the ’93 Trade Center attack, but also every anti-American terrorist incident of the past decade, from the bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania to the leveling of the federal building in Oklahoma City to September 11 itself. She is, in short, a crackpot, which would not be significant if she were merely advising say, Lyndon LaRouche. But her neocon friends who went on to run the war in Iraq believed her theories….
Now we learn that even after Mylroie had been discredited, those same neocon friends elevated her to an influential position, writing about Iraq policy matters for the Pentagon’s in-house think tank.