Plan to ‘spin’ Iraq report draws anger

Anti-war Democrats on Thursday accused President George W. Bush of plotting to lace a potentially pivotal report on his Iraq troop surge strategy with “White House spin.”

The attack came as senior congressional aides were reported as saying the White House tried to block public testimony in Congress next month from war commander General David Petraeus and US ambassador to Baghdad Ryan Crocker.

Democrats are also angry the assessment on the surge, required under US law, will be written at the White House, not personally by Crocker and Petraeus.

But the White House accused Democrats of playing political games with war strategy, and made clear the two men would testify in a public hearing.

Senate Democratic Majority leader Harry Reid accused the White House of launching an attempt to mask candid testimony on the strategy.

“If the president is going to continue to ask American soldiers to fight in this civil war … then those closest to the situation on the ground must give Congress and the American people a frank and honest account of this war free of White House spin,” he said.

Rahm Emanuel, chairman of the Democratic caucus in the House of Representatives, warned: “The American people have had four years of spin and slogans. Now, they are ready for the truth — the good, the bad and the ugly.

“An honest report from our generals and diplomats about the status of the war isn’t too much to ask.”

But National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe denied there had been an attempt to limit testimony by Petraeus and Crocker, as reported by Thursday’s Washington Post.

“General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker will testify to the Congress in both open as well as closed sessions,” he said in Crawford, Texas, where Bush is on vacation.

“It’s unfortunate that anyone would suggest that they would not do that; trying to start a fight where there really isn’t one, because this has always been the plan.”

The law requiring the Iraq war report by September 15 states that “the president shall submit” the assessment to Congress after consulting top military brass, the US ambassador to Baghdad and his national security team.

It does not specify that the report must be the direct work of Crocker and Petraeus.

The report on the strategy to surge up to 30,000 extra US troops into Iraq in an effort to give Iraqi politicians time to move political reconciliation is eagerly awaited in Washington.

Democrats opposed to the war, and Republicans increasingly anxious about the unpopular conflict’s influence on their reelection hopes in 2008 have mentioned it as a make-or-break moment for US policy.

Aides to Reid on Thursday distributed a list of occasions in which Bush repeatedly said that Petraeus would be responsible for September’s report, to bolster their claim the White House would try to skew its recommendations.

Petraeus reportedly said in Iraq on Wednesday that he was considering recommendations to slowly draw down US troop numbers in Iraq.

Comments

  1. Carl Nemo

    Yo SEAL…

    Excellent analysis and prognostication concerning the Iraqi situation.

    The Iraqi’s are victims of an evil plot as well as the American people; i.e, a war started on cooked intelligence courtesy of the Wolfowitz-Feith-Cheney rogue intelligence pipeline. All pure b.s. to simply make humongous bucks off “we the people”. They’ve done real well to this point with the last reckoning to the tune of 456 billion bucks!

    Unfortunately we are broke as a nation and “we the people” have a God-given right to survive and to prevail as a nation state. If it’s them vs. us then it’s us;ie., the U.S. first! Iraqis, be they Sunni, Shia, Kurds or whatever their political or religious predilictions, they can all go to “hell-in-a-hand-basket” as far as I’m concerned.

    If they need a good old fashioned Mao style purge to square things up, so be it! Then a new strong man can emerge. The only thing that’s important to these retrograde neolithic peoples will be that he’s Islamic and a staunch supporter/defender of the faith. They’l all have their butts up in the air as they bow towards Mecca, most appropriately in position, to be done by their newly enfranchised religious despot! : |

    Who cares?! All I care about is our country, our people, our budget, our infrastructure and “we the people’s” welfare. America First and Forever…! It’s a concept that needs to be re-birthed and nurtured. Globalism as a concept, relative to the U.S. has to be taken out behind the ol’ woodshed like a poisonous snake and have it’s head summarily chopped off for all time and all places…!

    Carl Nemo**==

  2. SEAL

    You guys are terrific at laying it all out like it is. I wish I could write and express myself as well as you do. There is much I would like to say. But I’m not skilled at this and only type about 100 words an hour when I use both fingers.

    As I have stated before, I’m not a political animal, I’m a warrior. On the subject of Iraq I have the warrior’s point of view > Determine what is necessary to complete the mission and do it. That was always my job. They would bring the problem to me, tell me what they wanted accomplished, and then got out of my way. Sometimes I would have to ask them what their second choice was because what they wanted could not be done and contained under the conditions that existed. Were they were willing to commit the resourses and would they accept the fall out of completely changing the status and condidtions. Iraq is such a situation.

    What is never mentioned is the absolute fear that is generated by the threat of a total US pullout amongst the vast majority of Iraqis. Sure, the conditions suck, but what would happen to them if we left? The shia-sunni war would take off like a rocket with too much fuel. The siites are fully organized, planned, and equipted and would launch a mass murder assault. The Iraqi army soldiers we have trained and equipted would simply choose a side. Most all of them are shiites. The streets would be a no mans land. People would be shooting at anyone who came near their home and family. Iran backed Sadr would probably become the dictator when the smoke cleared. That should only take 3-4 months. This is assuming that the saudis would not throw their troops in to help their sunni brethern. That is a possiblity that could explode and ignite the entire region into war.

    Iraq would not be just like Iran, they would be independent and not strongly influenced by them but they would be friendly with them. Everything we have worked for would be lost. We would have a new and oil powerful enemy in the middle east – Iraq. We would be screwed. This is the position Bush/Cheney et.al. has placed us in. We will not, we cannot, pull out of Iraq no matter who runs the government in 2008. Everyone in our government knows this.

    Therefore, all we will have between now an November 2007 is a dog and pony show by the two parties vieing for control of the reins.

    I would tell them that in order to complete this mission they would have to create a draft and launch an all out war to get control of this country. They would have to establish a military government and pick someone to take it over when we have the country stabilized. That person would have to be a shiite and a dictator obligated to us by fear, money, and power with a supporting cast of “ministers” to oversee and control the necessary infastructure of the contry. There would have to be a military and a police force to enforce order.

    If we do not do this, the present condition would only continue and gradually worsen as the insurgents become more proficient at what they do. Each side is being financed by outsiders in the area. Eventually they wouold lose the country just like we lost Vietnam.

    The second option would be to turn the country over to the United Nations. Who knows how that would turn out? It might be the best option for the Iraqis but we would lose everything.

    I would tell them to make up your mind and decide what to do and let’s do it. As it is we are on the road to failure.

  3. VietnamVet

    Nice rebuttal Klaus! Saves me the time of having to post one myself. Any way its spun, the report is going to be a rosy, everythings going just fine, we need to stay, report. We’ve been hearing it for several YEARS now. Be prepared to stay until the decider leaves office, period!

  4. Klaus Hergeschimmer

    Your citing information we already know. Even with these mandated benchmark assesments, there is nothing in this mandate that holds Bush to anything, and of course the Democratic congress is to blame for its spinelessness for its weak non-binding measures. No, can’t argue with you on Democratic enabling of the Chimp.

    Your contention the Dems are betting their careers on the failure of Iraq? I’m not so sure about that when Dems have a lot of defense industry investments such as Harry Reid, Carl Levin, Diane Feinstein’s war profiteer husband, and many other Dems.

    Please, there is no overwhelming evidence the surge is working! The levels of attacks on our troops are not falling, the attacks per day are getting worse commensurately with the increase of troops for the surge.

    Petraeus and Crocker will testify in public and who cares! Petraeus has already blown a large measure of his credibility by losing track of over a hundred thousand AK-47’S for the Iraqi government which he has no idea what happened to them and admits that insurgents most likely have them now.

    So what if the surge is working or not, oil production is still below pre-war levels, clean drinking water is non-existent. Nouri al-Maliki can not get the Sunnis or Muqtada al Sadar onboard with his coalition government.
    Most of the Democratic candidates are saying they support some sort of American presence to protect American assets meaning the McSuper McEmbassy, the oil of course, and more contracts for McHallibuton. Nothing is happening in Iraq to create stability.

    Even Thomas Friedman the Pulitzer winner and writer of the book ‘From Beirut to Jerusalem’ who was all for the invasion of Iraq is saying it is a fantasy of having a reduced presence in Iraq with a smaller military presence at roughly half the number or less than there is now. With the state of the Iraqi goverment in paralysis, the security situation would be nothing short of perilous for US forces remaining in Iraq.

    The surge is irrelevant, there is no stability of the al-Maliki regime so our troops are treading water for nothing.
    They are dying for nothing.

    If I wanted a recitation of the limp Benchmarks for success in Iraq, I would have bought a parrot.

  5. Amy Proctor

    Is anyone paying attention here?

    1) CONGRESS MANDATED that the White House write the report with consultation of the Generals and staff. This is not Bush’s idea; Congress legislated it. If you don’t like that the White House is writing the report (Bush IS commander in chief), blame the Democratic Congress.

    2) Both GEN Petraeus and Crocker will testify IN PUBLIC.

    Harry Reid et all are relying on the fact that the American public is mostly ignorant on these issues and lying may ensure some burst of public support against the upcoming report. The surge is successful and even many Democrats visiting Iraq are saying we should not pull out yet but allow the surge more time to work. That’s a Reid/Pelosi nightmare, which is why they’re lying about this. They’ve based their political careers on the failure of Iraq so they can say they were right about the war in opposition of a Republican President. They are petty, lying and manipulative.

    Here is the Congressional directive:
    http://www.rules.house.gov/110/special_rules/hr2206_senate/hr2206_amnd2_senate.pdf
    Amendment 2 to the Senate Amendment to H.R. 2206

    “B) The President shall submit reports to Congress on how the sovereign Government of Iraq is, or is not, achieving progress towards accomplishing the aforementioned benchmarks, and shall advise the Congress on how that assessment requires, or does not require, changes to the strategy announced on January 10, 2007.

    (2) REPORTS REQUIRED.
    (A) The President shall submit an initial report, in classified and unclassified format, to the Congress, not later than July 15, 2007, assessing the status of each of the specific benchmarks established above, and declaring, in his judgment, whether satisfactory progress toward meeting these benchmarks is, or is not, being achieved.

    (B) The President, having consulted with the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, the Commander, Multi-National Forces Iraq, the United States Ambassador to Iraq, and the Commander of U.S. Central Command, will prepare the report and submit the report to Congress.

    (C) If the President’s assessment of any of the specific benchmarks established above is unsatisfactory, the President shall include in that report a description of such revisions to the political, economic, regional, and military components of the strategy, as announced by the President on January 10, 2007. In addition, the President shall include in the report, the advisability of implementing such aspects of the bipartisan Iraq Study Group, as he deems appropriate.

    (D) The President shall submit a second report to the Congress, not later than September 15, 2007, following the same procedures and criteria outlined above.”

    Is that clear enough?

  6. Carl Nemo

    Yo Vietnam Vet…

    Possibly gene was mixing too much Ativan with Jack… :))
    I read it twice and in a way it conveys precisely the mess we find ourselves in at this point. Kay in Maine hosts a site called “White Noise Insanity” and somehow gene’s post personifies the frustration associated with the collective white noise b.s. generated by our pols, the MSM, special interests, even “we the people”;ie., everyone pulling in different directions motivated by their grand and not so grand schemes all driven by self-interest.

    We are headed for very bad times due to dwindling natural resources especially “cheap” energy. Resource wars are on the horizon. The worlds consumeristic paradigm is going to fail and to fail miserably. The people that will do best are those that are still living in neolithic or modern day primitive societies because they know how to survive on very little. So-called civilized people will not be demonstrating their “finest hour” when it gets to scrapping for a few gallons of gas at $10 per gallon after waiting in line several hours. When the cost of commonly imported items that they now rely heavily upon costs “mucho bucks” because the value of the USD has imploded and is on a par with the Mexican, the Philippine peso, or some other backwater currency then they’l realize something truly nasty has happened to them. They’ve played with their endless stream of electronic toys and other material acquisitions while their elected reps were selling them and their nation out both financially and in principals. America and the world is in harms way and the nuclear holocaust clock is now in a “countdown” function;ie., 59 seconds to midnight!

    Russian long-range bombers are back in the air flying long range missions and soon Putin will retarget Europe with nukes. This time the Ruskies, awash in oil and gas revenues have the dough to maintain a viable military while the U.S. is dead broke…! We can thank the PNAC, neocon “Vulcans” for getting the U.S. and the free world into this mess. Overly-educated, scheming, money-grubbing “idiots” will have destroyed the world.

    Carl Nemo **==

  7. VietnamVet

    RE: Submitted by gene on August 18, 2007 – 7:02am.

    If anyone out there can decipher this post, please clue me in! After reading it two or three times, I still don’t know what the poster is trying to say!

  8. gene

    Hump!!..Hah!!!!…bullshit~~now reality. Its a f**king circus but this circus is not to entertain you its to screw you. Always have your (KY) ready or you may end up with a very raw ass.

    Repubs, Dems, Aliens,freaks, psychos and the best of the best…politicians. Little is left that is sensible or sane anymore so (WHY?) belabor this point of true reference. Unless its just to flap that trap you call a mouth. Please don’t be offend (Mr. reader). Its already gone to hell and back and what has return is a mess beyond repair, sensible repair, psychotic repair yes, thats always possible and is what we now experience as reality.

    Where and when will all this end? Our lifetime, mabe. Whats your age? It (this universal human mess) created by that nasty creature God made will end, but in the mean time watch it (this mess) grow much, much worse.

    I do wish their was a (sensible) and real solution other than nuking the whole dam planet and starting over again with a “brandnew” sensible species able to sustain a nature that would generate honesty, caring, love, compassion…you know those values and character traits long sence dead and (unlikely) ever to return in this reality.

    Hump!!…Hah!!….bullshit mixed with lies and self-interest equals one big f**king mess.