AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 1/12/2004 11:35:00 AM ----- BODY: O'Neill - Much has been made of former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill's criticisms of the president. According to Drudge, O'Neill is claiming there was no evidence of Iraqi WMD, and that Bush planned to invade Iraq long before September 11. This is a tradition almost as old as American presidential politics - a high-level administration official is fired, then comes back with criticism of his or her former bosses. What amazes me is how badly the press wants to believe O'Neill, and how they are trumpeting his charges. Very few of the accounts mention the fact that O'Neill was fired for public disagreement with the president and incompetence (how do you feel about those tax cuts, now, Paul?) and was obviously embittered by the experience. His obvious dislike for the Bush administration may color his memories of his time there. The question for Bush is why did you hire this guy in the first place? UPDATE - John Fund of OpinionJournal says the book will damage O'Neill's reputation. --------