Jim Jones, Sally Quinn and the neocons

Jim%20Jones "…the sniping is reportedly coming mostly from State Department officials and some staffers at the White House. Jones, not surprisingly, has a good relationship with the Pentagon. So who's out to get him? Reporters across town are being called and spun. Jones is out of it, they are told, doesn't show up; doesn't speak up at meetings; works only a 12 1/2 -hour day; doesn't stand next to the president in photographs; doesn't like to give interviews. Funny, but those all sound like things the national security adviser should be doing. Reporters are protecting their sources, but Hillary Clinton is apparently not behind the stories. She likes her job, those who have been spun say, and gets along well with Jones.

Meanwhile, the stakes are higher than ever: Iraq is not resolved. Iran could go nuclear at any moment. Pakistan, already a nuclear state, is chaotic. Afghanistan is hanging on by a thread. The Arab-Israeli peace talks have stalled. And that's not to mention North Korea and other hot spots. If ever there was a time to work as a team, this is it. If the leaders of those hot spots think that the Americans are internally divided and do not respect each other or that President Obama is too weak to control the sniping around him, it could be harmful to our foreign policy. "  Quinn


Sally Quinn, the wife of the retired managing editor of the Washington Post has published this oped in the Post.  The editorial page of the Post has become notoriously (delicious word) neocon in its orientation.   The likely source of the whispering campaign against General Jones is the neocon/AIPAC/Likudnik camp.  Jones is unlikely to be emotionally engaged in the fate of any foreign country and is therefore automatically considered an enemy by those folks.  Quinn obviously has a lot of "clout."  Otherwise this piece would never have been published.

The "substance" of the campaign against Jones is made up of standard neocon agitprop themes.  These themes are; laziness, inattentiveness, implied creeping senility and most especially not working enough hours…  Heaven forbid that anyone in the White House should get enough sleep to be healthy or spend enough time in "real life" pursuits to think clearly!!  Heaven forbid.  The neocons have used these same themes (successfully) over and over again against people they wanted to bar from public service. 

Jones stands too close to the president for their taste.  They are now engaged in trying to pressure or persuade Obama to eliminating Israel's Iranian rival's chance of becoming a competing regional power.  They do not want to take the chance that Jones (or Clinton) might oppose that.  Therefore…

Quinn is right about Jones.  One should not confuse reserve with timidity.  A former commandant of the US Marine Corps is a dangerous enemy.  pl

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30 Responses to Jim Jones, Sally Quinn and the neocons

  1. J says:

    Heaven forbid if America puts American interests ‘first’.
    OMG, the Israelis are pooping their drawers at such a thought of Retd. Gen. Jones putting America ‘first’.
    Gen. Jones, time to go to work eliminating the Neocon/Israeli threat to our nation.

  2. Harper says:

    Bring it on! The national security team–Jones, Gates, Clinton, Holder–is the administration’s strongest suit. Naturally there is a drive to bust up this combination early and often, and not a surprise this story appears the day that Bibi is at the White House meeting with the President. Recall that Jones was NATO commander, and dealt directly with the Israeli military, and then again later, as part of the late Bush team working on Israel-Palestinian security “cooperation.” So he knows the nature of the beast, and has, from what I have heard, made his views very clearly known to the top of the Israeli command.
    The big problem in the Obama team lies with the economic advisors, who are addicted to bailing out Wall Street, at the expense of the living conditions of the American people. Watch out for the big push for health care “reform” which is polite word for a radical cut in medical services across the board, under the guise of expanded coverage. Summers, Geithner and Orszag are the real disaster, so why doesn’t Sally Quinn focus her attention on a real problem, rather than one contrived by AIPAC and Likud?

  3. Yes indeed. Neocons nail Freeman, flummox Congress with their buddies at AIPAC and ZOA (Zionist Organization of America), etal. then go for Gen. Jones. They want their hands on US foreign policy which of course includes defense policy.
    So let’s take a look at the broader counterintelligence issues here.
    For example, Haaretz carries this today:
    “When the Shalem Center was established in 1994 with the aim of bringing neoconservative thinking into the Israeli political and cultural discourse, along the lines of American think tanks it was thought to be on the margins of Israeli intellectual life. Yoram Hazony, the center’s provost and one of its founders – who is also one of Netanyahu’s friends and former advisers – said when the center was established that Israel was in the midst of an “ideological degeneration” that had to be stopped. The institute was founded with the aid of American Jewish donors, including the Bernstein family, Sheldon Adelson, George Rohr and Ron Lauder.
    “In the United States, research institutes like this serve as the intellectual hinterland of Republican administrations, leading critics of the Bush administration to argue that the White House was in effect being run by neoconservative intellectuals from think tanks like the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research and the Project for the New American Century….”

  4. Idrees says:

    At the State Department? Let me guess…Dennis Ross!
    Ross has tried to undercut the government on several occasions planting comments in the media which are then attributed to an ‘unnamed STate Department official’, giving them an official imprimatur of sorts. However, according to Jim Lobe, people in the government are not unaware of this game. Their official rebuke took a similarly circuitous approach:
    As regards Jones, Eli Lake has been on his case for some time. The lobby generally resents him for the report he wrote during his visit to the Occupied Territories, which was subsequently suppressed by Rice. The new subterfuge and Phil Weiss recently noted is to attack him on the grounds of a casual statement he made about his working hours:

  5. Fred says:

    “A former commandant of the US Marine Corps is a dangerous enemy.” I for one would like to see what he can do to the press corps.

  6. johnf says:

    >The institute was founded with the aid of American Jewish donors, including the Bernstein family, Sheldon Adelson, George Rohr and Ron Lauder.
    Anyone know how these individuals are doing financially? Sheldon Adelson has certainly gone down the tubes big time and I seem to remember reading that another big donor to this institute had hit the financial buffers, but can’t remember which.
    Let’s hope none of them were Madoff clients.

  7. All indications Jones is styling his position as one of the few honest brokers in its history. My problem is that with NSC staffing over 50% usually actively serving military officers from different branches it is a mistake to fill this job with a flag rank active or retired. Too many decisions need a brake on DOD group think and officers not likely to go against DOD while on active service. If you think AIPAC has good coverage of the NSC you should see those who makes career promotion decisions on officers detailed to NSC. Every paragraph of every position paper probably vetted for doctrinal purity and DOD conformity. Need civilian control at NSC. Every day!

  8. Nell says:

    What a disgusting display by the Post.
    Thanks for calling this out.

  9. Patrick Lang says:

    It did not occur to me that you would see
    Quinn as part of the “plot” against Jones rather than his defender. pl

  10. charlottemom says:

    The spinning is in overdrive when Isreal comes to town — and on many fronts. Jones in his capacity is an obvious target by the usual suspects (of course it’d be the Post, but is this Quinn’s usual beat?).
    The Pressure is not reserved to just Jones — look at what’s in Obama’s inbox — a congressional bipartisan memo from Cantor and Hoyer (not Pelosi?) re Israel.
    I would love to hear your take Col. Lang on the letter from Cantor/Hoyer sent to Obama re Israel. (Rosenberg has a great thread on this on TPM entitled “Bipartisanship at its most loathsome”).
    The question being who will Congress choose to side with — Isreal or Obama? Isn’t that the central message/question with ALL the spinning?

  11. arbogast says:

    Sheldon Adelson?
    Are you kidding? The stock of Las Vegas Sands is doing just fine. Shelly’s great. Don’t worry about him.
    Worry about the United States.

  12. Byron Raum says:

    Not all, sir. I didn’t see the article as part of the plot against Jones. The only thing that struck me was that his defender, like him, is also fairly low-key.
    One thing that she states in her article “the stakes are high” – it occurs to me that this is so exactly because his detractors have been allowed free rein for so long.

  13. WILL says:

    “Obama has said many times that he wants to hear all voices. He famously assembled a team of rivals. And if those who are sniping think Jim Jones is not doing a good job, they should go directly to the president, not leak and spin to the press. That’s their duty. Obama is not afraid to cut his losses. He did that with Jim Johnson, one of the vice presidential vetters, when questions arose about his role in the Fannie Mae scandal. Tom Daschle and Bill Richardson were dropped from Cabinet appointments. Which is why Obama should put an end to this sniping. Either Jones is doing a good job or he is not. If he is not, the president should make a change. If the president continues to have confidence in Jones, those who are attacking him should beware. They are messing with the wrong dude. Those ribbons on his uniform were not awarded for nothing. ”

  14. charlottemom,
    1. Hoyer’s sister is a top AIPAC mover and shaker. Well Maryland poiltics and all that I suppose.
    “Bernice Manocherian
    AIPAC Chair of the Board, New York, NY
    “…if you want to affect Israel’s future, if you want to make a really meaningful difference, AIPAC is the place to be.”
    scroll down to her name and you can see her video endorsement:
    2. Pelosi, well, political Zionism runs in the family:
    “Pelosi’s father, the late US congressman Thomas D’Alesandro, Jr. of Maryland, was a fervent Roosevelt Democrat, but he broke ranks with FDR by supporting the Bergson Group, which challenged the Roosevelt administration’s policies on the Jewish refugee issue during the Holocaust.”
    “The Bergson Group was run by Irgun activists and worked in the US in the 1940s to raise awareness of the Holocaust and campaign for America to help save the Jews of Europe.
    The group’s leader, Hillel Kook (the nephew of Abraham Isaac Kook, Israel’s first Ashkenazi chief rabbi), worked under the pseudonym of Peter Bergson.”
    For those interested in data anent Kook, alias Bergson and US operations by the Irgun see a very revealing and moving book by a late friend of mine who joined the Irgun in 1932:
    Yitshaq Ben-Ami, Years of Wrath Days of Glory. Memoirs of the Irgun.1982.
    the team you mention is precisely the reason I had some hopes for this Administration. There does seem to be a powerful move afoot against the team generally.
    On your economic point, if a circle of bizzaro “economists” is indeed around the President this is another serious issue. I thought Volcker was supposed to be the adult minding the store and this is why I initially had some confidence. What happened here to Volcker? Why Summers and the bizzaros? What is up in the Dem party? How can we possibly have a robust foreign and defense policy if our economy is in shambles?

  15. curious says:

    Steny Hoyer’s sister is Bernice Manocherian. She was President of AIPAC in 2004.
    Excerpt of Hoyer’s speech to AIPAC conference in 2004: “… Now let me speak about my sister, Bernice, your incoming president. She and I were born not together, but at the same hospital in New York City. I was born at least a couple of decades before Bernice. Bernice does not have a microphone, but she said, absolutely. Bernice, we are so proud of you, we sons and daughters of the Fifth Avenue Flower Hospital. And I look forward to working as closely with you as I have with Amy – as I have with Howard. I know you will do an extraordinary job. (Applause.)”

  16. charlottemom says:

    Clifford —
    Thanks for the info/background. Zionism is certainly an entrenched family tradition for the usual political suspects.
    In today’s news, the little fireside heart-to-heart between Netanyahu and Obama was so orchestrated and contrived (more than these events usually are). Same old, same old — Obama bringing up settlement expansion needing to stop and Netanyahu countering with heartfelt pleading that Israeli are just seeking peace with a true partner. Do Americans truly never tire of this schtick? It just reeked of Obama inoculating himself on I/P issues with a “see for yourself public, I’m not afraid to address thorny issues” and then following the same old policies. Truly discouraging.

  17. Highlander says:

    Goodness, goodness! “Change you can belive in.”
    The more “Change you can belive in” you guys get. In all probability the more things will stay the same.
    Former Commandant of the Corps or not, when it comes down to Jones or the AIPAC crowd. My money is on the Zionists.
    I give Jones 6 months at the outside. He will be glad to get away from the impending slow motion train wreck of national security policy.

  18. robt willmann says:

    I am with those who see the Sally Quinn article as furthering the attack on Gen. Jim Jones.
    The first and last paragraphs give the game away.
    The lead paragraph–
    “The knives are out. The tom-toms are beating. And by Washington standards it’s soon. Usually the trashing of the national security adviser takes longer.”
    What Quinn does is to try to create the impression that a controversy actually exists in the Obama administration about Jones and his performance as National Security Advisor.
    She writes one sentence in support of him: “Funny, but those all sound like things the national security adviser should be doing”, in paragraph 5, after the supposed list of complaints against him.
    She then says, “the stakes are higher than ever”.
    Followed by–
    “If ever there was a time to work as a team, this is it. If the leaders of those hot spots think that the Americans are internally divided and do not respect each other or that President Obama is too weak to control the sniping around him, it could be harmful to our foreign policy.”
    Again, Quinn works to plant the seed that the group with which Jones is involved is not working together as a team, that they are “internally divided and do not respect each other” (that is, Jones is not respected), and that Obama might be perceived as “too weak to control the sniping around him ….”
    The final paragraph reveals the knife in Quinn’s hand–
    “Obama is not afraid to cut his losses.” And: “Either Jones is doing a good job or he is not. If he is not, the president should make a change.”
    Quinn again asserts that a controversy or problem with Jones actually exists, and that President Obama should fire him if he is not doing a “good job”, but, strangely, Obama does not have to “cut his losses”, “make a change”, and fire the people sniping at Jones if the General happens to be doing a “good job”.
    And what are the criteria to determine if Jones is doing his job?
    On that issue, Quinn is mute.

  19. Mary says:

    Regarding Pelosi, she seems to be on the outs with the Lobby as she was booed at AIPAC a few years ago and hasn’t been back. Also, AIPAC is among those trying to topple her.

  20. dm nolan says:

    Ah, and where is Gen. Zinni ?

  21. johnf says:

    On General Jones’s “standing” within the administration. Official photographs often express the power geometry of politics perfectly. (Remember Immanuel’s wolfish stare at Perez a couple of weeks ago?). Here’s a description of yesterday’s official power placement:
    “No aides were seated on the couches. But several aides were standing near the Resolute desk. Robert Gibbs, Rahm Emanuel and George Mitchell spent much of the session leaning on the desk. Secretary Gates stood with his arm on the chair behind the desk. General Jones stood near the desk.”
    Seems to be half in, half out.

  22. rjj says:

    C. Kiracofe, I don’t see how tactical support of Bergson group in during WW2 constitutes political Zionism. Seems like a decent thing to do.

  23. charlottemom says:

    And the news just keeps getting better….
    JERUSALEM, May 10 (UPI) — Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman will be in charge of the country’s strategic dialogue with the United States, the Cabinet said Sunday.
    The appointment means Lieberman will become Israel’s point person on the 10-year-old strategic dialogue effort, which serves as a multi-agency, high-level framework for discussions of U.S.-Israeli strategic concerns, The Jerusalem Post reported.
    (end quote)
    If true, I won’t be holding my breath for that new Obama era “break through” moment in Israel/US relations.
    I’ve now moved from discouraged to depressed/petrified about what’s in store for us. I have no confidence that Obama has the anywhere near the fortitude to weather a potential s@#t storm as Israel continues to “dig in” policy-wise.

  24. MRW. says:

    Quinn is letting Obama know what’s going on. This sniping at Jones started at Commentary or National Review three or four weeks ago. I think PL has it right. This is AIPAC/Lobby driven.
    Here are the articles that started when Obama appointed Jones last December.
    “Obama’s National Security Adviser Makes Some Israelis Nervous”
    “Jones was appointed by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice a year ago as a special envoy for Middle East security, and since then has often clashed with Israeli officials as he has tried to advance a U.S. plan to train Palestinian forces to take control of security in the West Bank as part of the “road map” peace plan.
    He also prepared a report that was never published but that Israeli newspapers said was “scathing” in its criticism of Israeli policies in the Palestinian territories. Specifically, the papers reported, Jones complained about Israel’s preventing the movement of Palestinian Authority forces and blocking plans for weapons shipments and technology to the Palestinians. Officials in Jerusalem say they acted out of concern that Palestinian security forces would turn their guns on Israelis.
    Israeli military officials, including Defense Minister Ehud Barak, also have been wary of Jones’ proposal to replace Israeli troops in the territory with a NATO force and eventually turn over security in the West Bank to U.S.-trained Palestinian units.”
    “Israel fears scathing U.S. report on its West Bank policies”

  25. MRW. says:

    P.S. I should have added: This is another treasonous act by the AIPAC/Lobby. None of what they do is for the benefit of Americans. None of it. In fact, it is to our detriment.

  26. Nancy K says:

    I agree with robt willmann regarding Quinn’s motivies. If she didn’t want to make an issue of General Jone’s, she would not have brought him up in the first place. Now the Post readers are thinking umm maybe there is a problem, maybe he is too old. Quinn however looks like she is at the least, making excuses for or being supportive of Jone’s. She is speaking out of both sides of her mouth. Something unfortunately that journalists and politicians do too often.

  27. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Mrs. Bernice Manocherian’s husband, Eskandar (Alexander) Manocherian, is a Jewish Iranian.
    Mano + chehr + ian: Plural – from Middle Persian, “Those of Heavenly Face”.

  28. Babak Makkinejad says:

    General Jones seems to be behaving like General Marshall did during WWII, no?

  29. Laleh says:

    Seen this on Arad meeting with Jones?

  30. Mary says:

    In the interest of keeping track of the assassination squad, Politico says that “some on the right” see the flip-flop on the torture pics as a sign of Jones’ “weakness”:
    “You’d like to have a system where [Obama] listened to the generals and there was a strong enough national security adviser to make this case early on,” Bill Kristol said on Fox News on 5/17/09. Oy.

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