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December 03, 2002

Busting Kneecaps?

So what's going on with John J. DiIulo? The former head of the Office of Faith-Based Initiatives claimed recently that the White House puts politics ahead of policy. (No kidding?) The press started running with the story, and then we hear that DiIulo is "toning down" his criticism. Coincidentally, DiIulio's apology sounds almost exactly like statements made by Ari Fliescher, head spinner at the White House. Now we can read DiIuilo's accusations here and here, so we can make up our own minds about what DiIulo said or meant to say. The question is, did the White House put some kind of ugly pressure on DiIulo to get him to "tone down" his comments, or was he just motivated to do this out of the kindness of his own heart?

Update: Joan Walsh explains this DiIulio situation better than I did:

The very day his bracing criticism of Rove and the White House made national news, he apologized to his former colleagues, twice. It was a strange, cringe-inducing spectacle, with language out of a Soviet show trial: He called his own criticisms, as quoted by Suskind, "groundless and baseless due to poorly chosen words and examples." Bush spokesman Ari Fleischer had earlier called his complaints "groundless and baseless," so his use of the same terms seemed rote and creepy, like he'd either been beaten up or lobotomized. "I sincerely apologize and I am deeply remorseful," he said in a statement.

The rest of Walsh's story contains great background on DiIulio and the whole "faith-based initiatives" charade.

Posted December 3, 2002 04:38 PM | general politics

ari fliescher as "head spinner"? that has some delicious double meaning!

Posted by: matt at December 4, 2002 09:02 AM

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