General William Odom, former Director of the National Security Agency, was an early critic of the Bush administration’s obsession with invading Iraq.
He called the decision the worst strategic mistake in American military history in the last century and perhaps since the establishment of the Republic. Word has reached me that he died yesterday at 75.
Odom was an occasional reader of The Washington Note — and I will greatly miss both him, his fiery twang, and the volumes of national security information and perspective he would frequently share with me by phone.
When I was writing a great deal about Scooter Libby, his legal defense fund, and doing research into who was helping him behind the scenes, General Odom was a key source of material and smart thinking.
Odom’s last published oped was co-written with Zbigniew Brzezinski and was a sane and realist outline of how America should approach Iran. Here is his and Brzezinski’s Washington Post oped, “A Sensible Path on Iran.”
General Odom was one of those conservatives with a conscience this blog gladly and enthusiastically salutes. Rest in peace.
— Steve Clemons