A bit troubling is the indefinite quality of Joe Klein’s vacation send-off; at any level of journalism I’ve been in, one knows exactly how many weeks off one has coming, and the “one, maybe two weeks ” in Klein’s last post raises some question about whether he has truly gotten away with his honest and on point paragraph about neoconservative motivation and the Iraq War. For those new to this, Klein wrote two weeks ago:

The fact that a great many Jewish neoconservatives–people like Joe Lieberman and the crowd over at Commentary–plumped for this war, and now for an even more foolish assault on Iran, raised the question of divided loyalties: using U.S. military power, U.S. lives and money, to make the world safe for Israel.

Mickey Kaus has been ably tracking the story — the inevitable attacks by NRO and other watchdogs of the Israel lobby’s pristine reputation, the gently menacing letter from Abe Foxman, Klein’s refusal to knuckle under. He’s Galileo up against the new Inquisition. It’s a tale for our times, posing the question of whether truth is an adequate defense for a highly regarded journalist, or whether this subject is so sensitive that other criteria are more important.