A Bush Aide's blunt words - by Peter Baker
|Articles - Political|
Washington Post, 6/13/06
New advisor pulled no punches in his magazine pieces
Al Gore is a "mad dog" known to "foam at the mouth." John McCain is given to "showboating." And Jacques Chirac, Nelson Mandela, Gerhard Schroeder and Kofi Annan are all "feckless fools."
Says who? President Bush's new chief domestic policy adviser. While most White House aides carefully trim their public commentary, they can't take back what they said before arriving in the West Wing, and few in this day and age arrive with a more provocative paper trail than Karl Zinsmeister, who started his new job yesterday.
Although Bush avoids casting terrorism as a battle with Islam, Zinsmeister has not been so reluctant. "First, let's recognize that we're in a full-blown war; that (contrary to mealy-mouthed platitudes) it is indeed a war against a considerable part of Islam," he wrote in 2001. Yet he fretted at American sensitivity. "Would you believe that the number of formal U.S. investigations of how terror detainees are being treated recently reached 189?" he wrote last fall. "What mad self-doubt and softness!"