It’s a truism that neoconservatives have a talent for failing upward: for repeatedly getting important things wrong and not seeing their careers suffer – for, in fact, being handed new opportunities to pursue their work (see, e.g., Kristol, Bill; and Hayes, Stephen).
Today we can add another name to that list: Laurie Mylroie, the quintessential conspiracy theorist of the Iraq War era, wrote reports about Iraq for the Pentagon as recently as Fall 2007, years after she was discredited.
Before becoming an advocate for the Iraq War, Mylroie had been an embarrassing apologist for Saddam Hussein. In an article she wrote in 1988, which I discussed here a few years ago, she proposed an American alliance with Saddam against Iran.
Iraq’s good fortune, said Mylroie, was due to the wisdom of Saddam, who was implementing an economic “perestroika” and political “glasnost.” Iraqi officials interviewed by Mylroie told her that Saddam was “much concerned about democracy . . . He thinks that is healthy,” and she wagered this was “not just idle chatter.” From an American perspective, Mylroie concluded, “the more Saddam Hussein exercises control over the Baath Party, including the ideologues, the better.”