In Washington, there's nothing rarer, or more damaging, than when people criticize you on the record.
That's why a New York Times piece published Tuesday - headlined "Ben Carson Is Struggling to Grasp Foreign Policy, Advisers Say" - hurts so bad.
The piece featured Duane R. Clarridge, 83, identified as a top adviser to Carson on national security and terrorism, absolutely blowing out his boss.
"Nobody has been able to sit down with him and have him get one iota of intelligent information about the Middle East," Clarridge told reporter Trip Gabriel. Another "close friend," Armstrong Williams, lamented Carson's inability in a TV interview to say whom he'd ask to form a coalition against the Islamic State. He'd "been briefed on it so many times," Williams said.