Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Hi Pakistan: John Lehman staunch supporter of Likud

Hi Pakistan:

"John Lehman, who served as secretary of the navy under Ronald Reagan (1981-89) is a dyed-in-the-wool neo-conservative who most recently gained public attention in June when, as a member of the commission that investigated the September 11 terrorist attacks on New York and the Pentagon, he spoke out in defence of Cheney's continued insistence that former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein may have played some role in the 9/11 catastrophe.

A staunch supporter of Likud governments in Israel, Lehman has long been closely associated - both professionally and ideologically - with a number of other prominent neo-conservatives, including former Defence Policy Board chairman Richard Perle and Deputy Secretary of Defence Paul Wolfowitz.

After the 9/11 attacks, he signed an open letter published by the neo-conservative-dominated Project for the New American Century (PNAC) that urged that Washington overthrow Saddam Hussein.

Like other neo-conservatives, he has also been a chronic critic of the CIA for allegedly producing overly optimistic assessments of the capabilities and intentions of US foes, from the Soviet Union to Iraq.

Lehman's nomination would signal a major resurgence of neo- conservative influence in the Bush administration after months of steady decline resulting from their own overly optimistic predictions about post-war Iraq"

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