Feb. 8, 2008 -- In a confidential memo, a long-time Republican operative who has served in the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad for the past year says the State Department's efforts in Iraq are so poorly managed they "would be considered willfully negligent if not criminal" if done in the private sector.
"We have brought to Iraq the worst of America -- our bureaucrats," writes Manuel Miranda in the memo, which was addressed to U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker and cc'd to "ALCON" or "all concerned" at the State Department.
"You are doing a job for which you are not prepared as a bureaucracy or as leaders," Miranda writes. "The American and Iraqi people deserve better."
Asked to respond to the allegations made in Miranda's memo, State Department spokesman Tom Casey said Miranda is entitled to his opinion, but "We think Ambassador Crocker and his team are doing a very good job under extremely challenging circumstances. We have great confidence in their ability to carry out their mission."
Miranda previously held senior Republican leadership positions on Capitol Hill, including counsel for then-Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. While on Capitol Hill, Miranda was embroiled in a controversy when he obtained a confidential memorandum written by Senate Democrats and leaked it the press. Democrats accused Miranda of hacking into their computer systems. Miranda said the Democratic staffers had left the memo on a computer server accessable to all Senate staffers.
You can read Miranda's memo HERE.