On January 27, 2005, the Washington Post announced: "A principal architect of the Defense Department's postwar strategy in Iraq ... will leave his post this summer."
The announcement came after years of rumors that top administration officials had decided that Feith had to go, but were dissuaded by Donald Rumsfeld who argued that his ouster would be viewed as an admission that the war in Iraq was a mistake. But the administration had definitely reduced Feith's authority over the past 2 years.
In announcing his departure, Feith claimed he was leaving for personal reasons, citing the desire to spend more time with his children. "For the last four years, they haven't seen me a lot," he told the Post.
He used the standard administration exit line. Sort of like the noticeably absent in light of Katrina, ex-FEMA director, Joe Albaugh, who left his job to spend time with his family. Joe was Bush 's chief of staff when he was governor of Texas and his campaign manager in 2000. Once Bush took office, Joe accepted a gig as director of FEMA.
Like Feith, when he announced his resignation, Joe said, "Now I am going to take the opportunity to spend some time with my wife and children."
I sure hope Doug spends more time with his kids than Joe did, because judging from hindsight, Joe should have been a psychic. He somehow knew at the beginning of March 2003, that he should quit FEMA and go into the business of securing reconstruction contracts in Iraq for wealthy clients before the first bomb was dropped. And his family could not have enjoyed much quality time at all with Joe, being he opened up New Bridge Strategies for business within a few short weeks of leaving the White House.
At the time, Josh Marshall, who writes a column for the Washington newspaper, The Hill, said that he believed that each new piece of legislation needs a catchy title, and came up with title "The Bush Crony Full-Employment Act of 2003, " for the $87 billion allocated for rebuilding Iraq.
According to Josh, New Bridge was actually an outgrowth of Haley Barbour 's lobbying firm, Barbour Griffith & Rogers. Josh says he reached that conclusion after he learned that both firms were located in the same office space. And also because Lanny Griffith was the CEO of New Bridge and Ed Rogers was the vice president. Sounds like a logical conclusion to me.
When the company began, the New Bridges official web site said, "the opportunities evolving in Iraq today are of such an unprecedented nature and scope that no other existing firm has the necessary skills and experience to be effective both in Washington, D.C., and on the ground in Iraq." That phrasing was quickly changed.
How could it get any sweeter than this? Joe quits FEMA, moves into the office space of one of the most successful and powerful GOP lobbying firms in the country and starts advertising for clients who want to win reconstruction contracts in Iraq.
First Brother, Neil Bush, also jumped on this money train and landed a $60,000 a year consultant contract with a principal in New Bridge. According to Neil's testimony in his divorce deposition in March 2004, in return for his salary, he took phone messages for about 3 hours a week.
However, 3 people contacted by the Financial Times of London reported seeing letters written by Neil that recommend business ventures promoted by New Bridges in the Middle East. So we had Neil being paid an annual fee to "help companies secure contracts in Iraq," the Times reported.
I'm not too worried about Doug Feith ending up in the unemployment lines because following in Joe's footsteps, Feith and his law partner stayed very busy behind the scenes planning for Feith's retirement when it came time to leave the White House.
The Iraqi International Law Group
Before Feith was inducted into the Bush administration, he was the Feith half of the Feith & Zell, law firm in Washington. His partner, Marc Zell, simply renamed the firm, Zell, Goldberg & Co, when they decided to set up shop to start cashing in on the Iraq contracting business.
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Douglas Feith, the recently resigned undersecretary of defense, who just happened to be one of the main people who for years on end advocated for a war in Iraq, and who in large part developed the disastrous policies for the war in Iraq, planned ahead for his retirement and will not be seen in the unemployment line.
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