The second rule of Neocon Club?
And, that apparently is Richard Perle's story, and he's sticking to it.
Dana Milbank, in the WAPO today, has a fascinating, and hilarious, piece, on one of the Grand Poohbars on the Neocon Society, one of the architects and vociferious advocates of the invasion and occupation of Iraq, dutifully carried out by the Bush Grindhouse.
Manning already understood that people close to President Bush wanted to go after Iraq, and Tenet of course knew it too. Conspicuous among them, in his mind that night, was the neoconservative agitator and polemicist Richard Perle, an outspoken advocate of removing Saddam Hussein by military force. On the very first page of Tenet's memoir, he tells us that he had run into Perle that very morning -- Sept. 12 -- as Perle was leaving the West Wing of the White House. They knew each other in a passing way, as figures of note on the Washington scene. As Tenet reached the door, Perle turned to him and said, "Iraq has to pay a price for what happened yesterday. They bear responsibility."
Ahh, but on to the hijinks.
Prince of Darkness Denies Own Existence
No, not that "Prince of Darkness", the one that runs over homeless people in his Corvette.
The Prince of Darkness -- so dubbed during his days opposing arms control in the Reagan Pentagon -- was not about to let details get in the way of his argument that "50 million conspiracy theorists have it wrong," as the subtitle of his article for National Interest put it. "I see a number of people here who believe and have expressed themselves abundantly that there is a neoconservative foreign policy and it was the policy that dominated the Bush administration, and they ascribe to it responsibility for the deplorable state of the world," Perle told the foreign policy luminaries at yesterday's lunch. "None of that is true, of course."
As you can see, Perle is adhering, not to the letter, the rules of Neocon Club.
In real life, Perle was the ideological architect of the Iraq war and of the Bush doctrine of preemptive attack. But at yesterday's forum of foreign policy intellectuals, he created a fantastic world in which:
1. Perle is not a neoconservative.
2. Neoconservatives do not exist.
3. Even if neoconservatives did exist, they certainly couldn't be blamed for the disasters of the past eight years.
"There is no such thing as a neoconservative foreign policy," Perle informed the gathering, hosted by National Interest magazine. "It is a left critique of what is believed by the commentator to be a right-wing policy."
Even when he was pressed;
Richard Burt, who clashed with Perle in the Reagan administration, took issue with "this argument that neoconservatism maybe actually doesn't exist." He reminded Perle of the longtime rift between foreign policy realists and neoconservative interventionists. "You've got to kind of acknowledge there is a neoconservative school of thought," Burt challenged.
"I don't accept the approach, not at all," the Prince of Darkness replied.
As Milbank aptly notes, "there was a sense of falling down the rabbit hole", but this wasn't merely a stumble, this was a head-first, deep-as-the-core-of-the-earth, plunge down that rabbit hole.
The Bush Grindhouse, in a equally-bald-face, twisted employment of the lexicon, gave us the "Clear Skies Act".
Perle, taking his cue, is trying to sell his "Clear Conscious" act.
Which is as about as credible as the mushroom clouds and WMD's Perle and his Neocon Nitwits tried to palm off on us.
And, when you look at where we are now, after eight-years of this kind of horse-shit, Perle and Co. followed the script perfectly.
After establishing the Neocon Club, they immediately put into action Project Mayhem.
Bonus Neocon Club Riffs
Washington Sketch: Richard Perle in Wonderland (Video)
Christy Hardin Smith - Richard Perle: Rebranding Himself, The Neocons And Other Con Jobs
Steve Benen: RICHARD PERLE PLAYS MAKE-BELIEVE...
Spencer Ackerman: Just Ignore Everything Richard Perle Says for the Rest of His Life
Alan Colmes: Neocon Says There’s No Such Thing As A Neocon
Think Progress: THE ARCHITECTS OF WAR: WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
Garlic Poll Results ...Most People Think The PNAC Is ...
Where's Ernest Borgnine when you need him?
Neocon Dolphins? ... Say It Ain't So, Flipper!
(Cross Posted at The Garlic)