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Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowski, a lifelong conservative, was appalled as the neocon wing of the Bush administration, including her superiors at the Pentagon Planning Department, ignored internal dissent, disregarded its own intelligence and arrogantly pushed for a war with Iraq.

According to Kwiatkowski, the Office of Special Plans at the Pentagon — a pet project of Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld — was a prime mover in what she calls a "neoconservative coup, a hijacking of the Pentagon."

Kwiatkowski is a columnist with Military Week, a regular contributor to, and has had articles about her work with the Department of Defense published recently in the American Conservative.








A Letter from Karen Kwiatkowski

Since The Transfixing Power of Image: Karen Kwiatkowski, Abu Ghraib and the $700 Million Misdirection was posted at this website, Kwiatkowski has become the target of a smear campaign that includes hit pieces published by the American Enterprise Institute and the National Review Online. She has also been subject to "blatantly false" accusations by Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona. Below is a Kwiatkowski's response.

I am sending this to reporters and others who have contacted me in the past, as a matter of courtesy and concern.

Michael Rubin is currently attempting to smear me as both a LaRouche adherent and anti-Semite, along with others at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and the National Review Online. Additionally, Senator Jon Kyl, R, Arizona, has taken these types of lies and insinuations and published them (see attached letter and text below). I am not and have never in my life been associated with LaRouche or his organization, know very little about it, and definitely do not support it. I was a registered Republican all my life until I switched directly to the Libertarian Party some years ago. Specifically, Rubin's two personal attacks on me on 18 and 19 May at National Review Online are filled with lies, untruths, and baseless defamation.

Obviously, the intent is to negatively impact my credibility as a witness to what went on in the Pentagon leading up to the invasion of Iraq.

I wanted each of you to know from me that I am innocent of the charges made in National Review Online in the past two days, and also those mentioned by Senator Kyl in a speech he has been giving. I have no LaRouche connections, never sought out Jeff Steinberg (he called me as did 100 other reporters last fall to the present), and am not anti-Semitic. I stand 100% by what I have written, most directly and completely the reports in the American Conservative and Salon, in my own words.

I have already written the Senate, AEI, NRO, Michael Rubin himself, CSIS and CFR (where Kyl gave his speech) and others declaring my innocence and asking them to correct the record. I have received no answers so far from anyone.

Thank you for your support. I am just a regular person, and am not used to being smeared and denigrated by people who are apparently very comfortable with lying. Because of my upbringing and my 20 years as a military officer, I am not at all comfortable with lying, and therefore am extremely careful with what I say and write, such that it is as honest and as accurate as I can make it.

Karen Kwiatkowski

Karen Kwiatkowski's letter to the senate Judiciary Comittee, Faxed 14 May 2004 to Senate offices.

Senator Jon Kyl
730 Hart Senate Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

Senator Kyl:

Your recent speech (located at this website [in pdf format], and presented to CSIS on 3 May 2004) provided a page one footnote ostensibly detailing my background and political views.
Several important statements contained in this footnote are blatantly false. The accusation that “Lt. Col. Kwiatkowski, a former U.S. Air Force officer who served at the Pentagon during the buildup to Operation Iraqi Freedom, works closely with Lyndon LaRouche…” is a prime example.

This is absolutely false. I have no association with LaRouche or his organization, have never worked closely or otherwise with LaRouche, and know very little about his views or his organization. I certainly do not advocate what little I do know of his views.
Your mention that my writing “include[s] many weird, extremist, and bigoted diatribes” reflects an opinion you are certainly entitled to hold, assuming you have ever read any of my essays and not just selected paragraphs. As many of my articles utilize satire as a primary literary vehicle, they are vulnerable to being taken out of context. This is exactly the same mistake made by George Will in a misleading and embarrassing op-ed he penned on 16 March, and the Washington Post was kind enough to publish my letter of response.

Further, your footnote states, “And she is fixated on Israel and what she sees as “Zionist” conspiracies.” Again, this is absolutely false. It truly deserves no response, as it is simply inaccurate.

I hope that you, as a distinguished United States Senator, are as disgusted as I am with the slanderous broadsides aimed at American citizens critical of this administration’s policy in Iraq, particularly those citizens like myself who have served a long, honorable and productive career in the United States Armed Services.

I was a registered Republican from age 18 to 37, when I switched party affiliation to the Libertarian Party. I am a traditional conservative in all ways, and hearken back philosophically to Thomas Paine, Thomas Jefferson and before them, Edmund Burke. I am a Ph.D. candidate at Catholic University currently completing my dissertation on the Reagan Doctrine in Angola. I have been married to the same man (a Republican) for 22 years and am the mother of three teenagers and a 20 year old. My parents and my parents in law are also Republicans. I wanted you to know this so that you will fully understand my current expectations.

I expect a public correction of the record – to include a correction to your speech electronically posted at the website above, any other locations where it may be posted, and your personal notification of this change to all public venues where you have personally given out this false and slanderous information.
I expect a cessation of any and all further false references to supposed connections between my political views and the LaRouche organization, as well as my purposed fixation with Israel.

Of hundreds of essays I have written on defense policy, most of them relating to our Middle East policy, Israel or Zionism is mentioned in probably ten of them. This is actually an under-representation of the critical importance of Israel as our top and most reliable ally in the region. This fact, while you are apparently unaware of it, affects your own credibility as a U.S. Senator.
I expect you to make a public statement for the congressional record acknowledging that the information you are using in reference to me and my political views, and writings, has been false.

Lastly, if this false and slanderous information has been provided to you by others, I would appreciate knowing their names and organizations. I do know that Richard Perle has been falsely claiming a LaRouche link since at least January 2004, as I was asked on video by a BBC journalist about Perle’s private statement to him in this regard. I corrected the falsehood on the record for the BBC, but obviously, the word has not gotten out to the U.S. Congress.

Thank you for your quick and honorable attention to this matter.

Karen U. Kwiatkowski

cc: Senator Hatch Senator Kennedy Senator Graham
Senator Grassley Senator Biden Senator Schumer
Senator Specter Senator Leahy Senator Craig
Senator Dewine Senator Feinstein Senator Durban
Senator Sessions Senator Kohl Senator Chambliss
Senator Edwards Senator Cornyn Senator Daschle
Senator Byrd Senator Reid Senator Dorgan
Senate Republican Policy Committe