themcglynn.com

12 Nov

The sleazy advocacy of a leading “liberal hawk”

Peter Galbraith’s vast, undisclosed financial interests in the policies he spent years advocating as an “expert.”


The New York Times today details the unbelievably sleazy story of Peter Galbraith, one of the Democratic Party’s leading so-called “liberal hawks” and a generally revered Wise Man of America’s Foreign Policy Community.  He was Ambassador to Croatia under the Clinton administration in the mid-1990s and, in March, 2009, the Obama administration (specifically, Richard Holbrooke, Galbraith’s mentor) successfully pressured the U.N. to name Galbraith as the second-in-command in Afghanistan.  The NYT does a good job today of adding some important details to the story, but it was actually uncovered by Norwegian investigative journalists and reported at length a month ago in pieces such as this one by Helena Cobban.  In essence, this highly Serious man has corruptly concealed vast financial stakes in the very policies and positions he has spent years advocating while pretending to be an independent expert.

Galbraith was one of the most vocal Democratic supporters of the attack on Iraq, having signed a March 19, 2003 public letter (.pdf) — along with the standard cast of neocon war-lovers such as Bill Kristol, Max Boot, Danielle Pletka, and Robert Kagan — stating that “we all join in supporting the military intervention in Iraq” and “it is now time to act to remove Saddam Hussein and his regime from power.”  As intended, that letter was then praised by outlets such as The Washington Post Editorial Page, gushing that “it is both significant and encouraging that a bipartisan group of influential foreign policy thinkers, veterans of both Democratic and Republican administrations, has signed on to a statement of policy on Iraq that makes sense on the war.”  Throughout 2002 and 2003, Galbraith appeared in numerous outlets — including repeatedly on Fox News and with Bill O’Reilly — presenting himself as a loyal Democrat firmly behind the invasion of Iraq.  In 2002, he was an adviser to Paul Wolfowitz on Kurdistan.

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