If you read Brooks' reply you see immediately the man's intellectual dishonesty and bad faith. His first sentence launches an ad hominem attack: since Lehman is "already on record as a vehement detractor" of de Man, this naturally discredits all Lehman's opinions about de Man. This obvious ploy conveniently allows Brooks to avoid addressing any of the documented evidence that led Lehman to his (supposed) vehemence in the first place. (By the way, is calling de Man a "scoundrel" really vehemence, or just a simple statement of fact?) In this manner, Brooks is able to occlude and dismiss the real issue(s) at hand! Incredible.
But this is in keeping with what Brooks does to Barish: he substitutes his own trope--in her case, "Mr. Ripley"--then attacks the trope as if it were her argument. Again, as with Lehman, he conveniently allows himself the freedom to smear Barish with a trope that has nothing to do with Barish, Paul de Man, or the facts at issue, thereby relieving himself of the responsibility for answering any of her actual arguments. A few flaws in her book somehow dismiss the overwhelming case she makes against de Man? I don't think so.
There's some poison in the Charles River that has been seeping into the soil and air there since 1620 at least. I did a study a few years ago in which I researched three books of essays on Mark Twain. These books were from a series called generally the "Twentieth Century Views" series--each volume was a collection on one major writer--that were published in the 1960's and sold widely to undergraduate populations as basic critical support of the pantheon. I forget the precise figures, but the essays had something like almost an 80% correlation to Harvard; that is, nearly 80% of the authors of the essays had been educated at Harvard, or taught there, or both. One of the authors, Leo Marx, is primarily responsible for the negative reading of the last third of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn that obtains even to this day for most readers. From our perspective, Marx's reading can now be seen as a whitewashing, unconscious or not, of the smug racist (and anti-Semitic) "liberalism" that permeated the genteel WASP boys'-club culture at Harvard (not to mention the other Ivies)--a culture that Twain sought to razz and expose and demolish in HF.
Peter Brooks took his B.A. and Ph.D. at Harvard. Throw in the disgraceful actions by Harry Levin, et al, and the entire American side of the de Man saga ends up being a Columbo episode, where the whole Harvard muck out of which Brooks surfaces becomes apparent to the viewer, if not to the villain(s). With this tasty addition: the irony of deconstructionists and their apologists pulling in an authority-system from "outside" the "language game" is rich, very rich, indeed.