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Christian Science Monitor
October 16, 2006

State Department Has Been Active In Iraq

John Hughes's Oct. 11 Opinion column, "Problems in Iraq should not deter US commitment to freedom," makes the false assertion that postwar problems in Iraq are due in part to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's "apparent decision to sideline the State Department."

The State Department was well represented on the staff of Lt. Gen. Jay Garner (US Army, ret.) and in the Coalition Provisional Authority. Many senior staff members with Coalition Provisional Administrator Ambassador L. Paul Bremer were from the State Department.

And senior State Department officials served as advisers heading Iraqi ministries prior to the transfer of sovereignty to the Iraqi interim government on June 28, 2004. To claim that the State Department was "sidelined" is simply inaccurate.

Bryan Whitman, Deputy assistant secretary of defense for Public Affairs, Washington

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