Paul O'Neill and Trust

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), January 14, 2004 | Go to article overview

Paul O'Neill and Trust


Byline: THE WASHINGTON TIMES

In reference to Monday's article "O'Neill criticizes 'disengaged' Bush" (Nation): Paul O'Neill is clearly a disgruntled former political appointee, but one who is bursting with great contradictions. For example, he claims President Bush is "disengaged"; on the other hand, he claims the president, from his first days in office, planned the overthrow of Saddam Hussein and developed the concept of "pre-emption," which would seem to be the extreme opposite of "disengaged."

Which was it, Mr. Secretary? You can't have it both ways.

JAMES R. FEES

London

*

The White House has fully mobilized to discredit former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill, given the unflattering portrayal of the administration Mr. O'Neill presents in his new book. We are told Mr. O'Neill is simply a disgruntled former employee who fabricated everything, a "kook" whose opinions were not respected during his service as secretary of the Treasury.

Mr. O'Neill asserts that Vice President Dick Cheney said that "deficits do not matter," that the president was detached and lacking the ability to interact with Mr. O'Neill on economic matters and that the president had designs on deposing Saddam Hussein from the time he took office, months before the September 11 attacks on the United States. What is so implausible about any of these assertions? They all comport with what we know about the president, his ideology and his modus operandi.

Mr. O'Neill has had a long, distinguished, unblemished career, both in government and in private industry. He has a reputation for integrity, honesty and independence. …

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