Is this the image the Carson campaign wants to convey? When a top Carson advisor speaks candidly about the candidate's obvious lack of foreign policy expertise the Carson campaign implies he is senile. Duane R. Clarridge, a former C.I.A. agent and adviser to Ben Carson was quoted in a New York Times story. “Nobody has been able to sit down with him and have him get one iota of intelligent information about the Middle East,” He also said Mr. Carson needed weekly conference calls briefing him on foreign policy so “we can make him smart.”
That was his explanation as to why Carson made the strange and obviously incorrect statement that the Chinese were involved in Syria. Carson claims his source was a retired intelligence agent in the Middle East who made the spurious revelation in a private phone call.
Okay everybody gets bad information from time to time and surely the campaign was aware of Carson's limited foreign experience so why not let the public forget the faux pas? Instead the campaign decide it was better to impugn Clarridge's mental faculties in the Business Insider.
"Mr. Clarridge has incomplete knowledge of the daily, not weekly briefings, that Dr. Carson receives on important national security matters from former military and State Department officials," Doug Watts, a Carson campaign spokesman, told the Business Insider in an email.
"He is coming to the end of a long career of serving our country. Mr. Clarridge's input to Dr. Carson is appreciated but he is clearly not one of Dr. Carson's top advisors. For the New York Times to take advantage of an elderly gentleman and use him as their foil in this story is an affront to good journalistic practices."
Ouch! Then why the hell is he on the payroll? Watts not only dissed a fellow aide but also opened up the campaign to the criticism that it hires incompetent advisors one of whom is in his dotage.