Who Forced Greg Craig To Leave The White House?

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on November 16, 2009

As Steve Clemons mentions, it appears to have been Rahm Emanuel–a theory that is backed up by people like Nina Totenberg of National Public Radio. Clemons decries the leak, saying that it never should have happened in this White House, but I suppose that kind of thing would be expected from someone who believes that Barack Obama was the Messiah, as opposed to just being another politician.

That having been written, Clemons asks some good questions and makes some good points:

If the leaks were, in fact, made with President Obama’s encouragement, they could have come from any number of others deep inside the team – including David Axelrod, Valerie Jarrett, or Denis McDonough. It almost doesn’t matter who among these insiders might have done the leaking. None of them would have engaged in such an effort to dislodge Greg Craig unless the president had lost faith in his counsel.

But that begs the question: Why didn’t the president himself have a direct discussion with his counsel? Why didn’t Rahm Emanuel, as the president’s Cromwell, put it straight to the GITMO-burdened White House lawyer? Obama might have been uncomfortable with dislodging a friend and someone who had been so valuable and close during the campaign. As for Emanuel, it may be that he excels in and enjoys political intrigue more than being up front.

As mentioned before, the reason why Craig lost his job was that he was scapegoated. The President should have taken the responsibility that Craig was forced to take, and he failed. Now Craig has to be the fall guy. The funny thing is that the White House tells us that irrespective of its inability to meet the deadline for closing the prison at Guantanamo, imposing the deadline was a good idea, because it forced people to act. If so, and if the White House genuinely believes as much, it is yet another reason why Craig should not have been fired; after all, it is hard to justify firing someone for failing to meet a deadline, when the imposition of the deadline is supposed to have done more good than harm.

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