A Funny Sort of Destruction:

Joe Klein writes, in a Time magazine piece:

But it is an even better indication of how the White House reflexively dealt with unpleasant news: destroy the messenger. Last week there was more of the same, according to a prominent Republican, who told me that the White House had sent out talking points about how to attack Brent Scowcroft after Bush the Elder's National Security Adviser went public with his opposition to the war in the New Yorker magazine. "I was so disgusted that I deleted the damn e-mail before I read it," the Republican said. "But that's all this White House has now: the politics of personal destruction.

But RealClearPolitics quotes what seems to be that very e-mail, and, in the words of Mickey Kaus, the e-mail "was a completely civil and substantive attempt to rebut the substance of Scowcroft's arguments. . . . [T]he sober, almost academic email . . . ends with a vicious, inflammatory, "Let the debate proceed." If you can't send that around then you can't have a useful argument about policy. Read the e-mail for yourself, and see if "destroy the messenger" (as opposed to, say, "argue with the messenger") is a fair characterization.

(Thanks to InstaPundit for the pointer.)