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Archive for May 3rd, 2008

McCain Goes Solo on Veep Selection

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 3rd, 2008 4:39 am by HL

McCain Goes Solo on Veep Selection
Sen. John McCain is heading up his own vice presidential selection efforts and that no other staff is involved, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Said adviser Charlie Black: “He’s the chairman of the selection committee. He is thinking about names. He’s not talking to any of us about that.”


SecDeaf

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 3rd, 2008 4:38 am by HL

SecDeaf
Did you know that Rummy had absolutely no idea that all of the Army’s reconstruction expertise was redeployed out of Iraq right after Mission Accomplished? It’s true!

Well, sort of. In his new memoir, General Ricardo Sanchez recounts his surreal 2006 exit interview, in which Rummy shares a memo…

Did you know that Rummy had absolutely no idea that all of the Army’s reconstruction expertise was redeployed out of Iraq right after Mission Accomplished? It’s true!

Well, sort of. In his new memoir, General Ricardo Sanchez recounts his surreal 2006 exit interview, in which Rummy shares a memo:

In the memo, Rumsfeld stated that one of the biggest strategic mistakes of the war was ordering the major redeployment of forces and allowing the departure of the CENTCOM and CFLCC staffs in May/June 2003.

“This left General Sanchez in charge of operations in Iraq with a staff that had been focused at the operational and tactical level, but was not trained to operate at the strategic/operational level.” He went on to write that neither he nor anyone higher in the Administration knew these orders had been issued, and that he was dumbfounded when he learned that… the forces would be drawn down to a level of about 30,000 by September….

(…)

“Mr. Secretary, when V Corps ramped up for the war, our entire focus was at the tactical level. The staff had neither the experience nor training to operate at the strategic level, much less as a joint/combined headquarters. All of CFLCC’s generals, whom we called the Dream Team, left the country in a mass exodus. The transfer of authority was totally inadequate, because CENTCOM’s focus was only on departing the theater and handing off the mission. There was no focus on postconflict operations. None! In their minds, the war was over and they were leaving. Everybody was executing these orders, and the services knew all about it.

…”Sir, I cannot believe that you didn’t know I was being left in charge in Iraq.”

“No! No!” he replied. “I was never told that the plan was for V Corps to assume the entire mission. I have to issue orders and approve force deployments into the theater, and they moved all these troops around without any orders or notification from me.

“Sir, I don’t … ”

“Why didn’t you tell anyone about this?” he asked, interrupting me in an angry tone.

Better yet was the outcome of the inquiry Rummy commissioned (and then buried) to look into how such an enormous move could have been made without his knowledge [eye roll]:

When I was on the ground in Iraq and saw what was going on, I assumed they had done zero Phase IV [“after combat action”] planning…. In fact, CENTCOM had originally called for twelve to eighteen months of Phase IV activity with active troop deployments. But then CENTCOM had completely walked away by simply stating that the war was over and Phase IV was not their job.

That decision set up the United States for a failed first year in Iraq…. And I was supposed to believe that neither the Secretary of Defense nor anybody above him knew anything about it? Impossible! Rumsfeld knew about it. Everybody on the NSC knew about it, including Condoleezza Rice, George Tenet, and Colin Powell. Vice President Cheney knew about it. And President Bush knew about it.

Sanchez does not speculate as to the why, and I have difficulty imagining what kind of upside BushCo. saw in proactively courting failure. Maybe they figured that if Iraq stabilized too quickly, Dubya wouldn’t be able to run as a Heroic War President in 2004? Not that there was ever any chance of that happening.

I am also struck by the unreality of Rummy’s steadfast denials that he had any idea what was going on, as if claiming to be completely detached and out-of-the-loop is some kind of brilliant defense. It’s reminiscent of AG2‘s claims that he didn’t know about the US Attorney firings, or Dubya’s claims that he didn’t know about the October ’07 Iran NIE or how the Iraqi Army was disbanded (“Again, Hadley’s got notes on all of this stuff”).

I guess incompetence is an excuse.

(Note: Sanchez is not exactly a good guy, so it’s probably best to take this all with a grain of salt. I don’t doubt that the Bushies deliberately blew off the post-invasion, though.)


Obama’s O’Reilly Whines

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 3rd, 2008 4:37 am by HL

Obama’s O’Reilly Whines

Too funny. Keith “Obama’s O’Reilly” Olbermann goes to the Big Orange Satan’s site to whine that Clinton went on Fox. Apparently he missed his eternal love Barack Obama’s Fox News Sunday appearance. Paul Krugman did not.

Obama’s O’Reilly is now as big a joke as the original. Can we rule out the possibility that he will lead with the Kantor video story? Not entirely. And no, he will not accuse the Obama campaign of being behind it, as he would if the shoe was on the other foot. For the record, Obama was NOT behind it imo and it would be irresponsible for any journalist to even speculate about it. And yes, Olbermann is an irresponsible journalist who HAS speculated in irresponsible fashion in this way when it comes to Hillary Clinton. Remember PassportGate?

By Big Tent Democrat, speaking for me only.

Comments closed.


Morning Thread

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 3rd, 2008 4:36 am by HL

Morning Thread
Ever think that Charles Krauthammer read Billy Budd and rooted for Claggart?

Late Night
Rock on.


Experts: Clinton/McCain Gas Tax ‘Holiday’ a Joke

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 3rd, 2008 4:35 am by HL

Experts: Clinton/McCain Gas Tax ‘Holiday’ a Joke
It’s “so ridiculous … it takes your breath away.”

U.S. Death Toll in Iraq Hits 7-Month High
The killing of three U.S. soldiers in Baghdad raised the number killed in April to 47, reversing a trend towards lower American casualties.


Poll Measures Public Attitudes Towards Obama’s Denunciation Of Wright

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 3rd, 2008 4:34 am by HL

Poll Measures Public Attitudes Towards Obama’s Denunciation Of Wright
Rasmussen has just released a poll gauging public attitudes towards Obama’s recent break with Reverend Wright: A Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that just 30% of the nation’s Likely Voters believe Barack Obama denounced his former Pastor, Jeremiah Wright,…


Blackwater: Looking for A Few Good Hundred Million

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 3rd, 2008 4:33 am by HL

Blackwater: Looking for A Few Good Hundred Million
Earlier this week, ABC reported that the investment firm Cerberus Capital was in talks to buy Blackwater for around $200 million, but Cerberus, which had apparently been exploring the deal since the beginning of this year, got cold feet as…


Marijuana user denied transplant dies

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 3rd, 2008 4:32 am by HL

Marijuana user denied transplant dies
Denied spot on transplant list due to authorized medical marijuana usage.

Adobe opens up Flash on mobiles
Adobe has announced a plan to try to get its Flash player installed on more mobile devices and set-top boxes. Dubbed Open Screen the initiative lifts restrictions on how its multimedia handling software can be used. ..


McCain implies U.S. invaded Iraq for oil.

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 3rd, 2008 4:31 am by HL

McCain implies U.S. invaded Iraq for oil.
During a townhall event in Denver today, John McCain made this eye-opening observation: My friends, I will have an energy policy that we will be talking about, which will eliminate our dependence on oil from the Middle East that will — that will then prevent us — that will prevent us from having ever to send […]

During a townhall event in Denver today, John McCain made this eye-opening observation:

My friends, I will have an energy policy that we will be talking about, which will eliminate our dependence on oil from the Middle East that will — that will then prevent us — that will prevent us from having ever to send our young men and women into conflict again in the Middle East.

Watch it:

Screenshot

The comments echo the words of former Fed Chief Alan Greenspan, who wrote that he is “saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil.” Perhaps McCain truly is reading Greenspan’s book.


The Trail

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 3rd, 2008 4:30 am by HL

The Trail
Stung by the defection of a former chairman of the Democratic Party, Sen. Hillary Clinton’s campaign on Friday released a letter from a group of other former party chairs, who argue that she would have a better chance of defeating Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in the general election than would Sen….

For Bush in Last Year, It’s the Principle
After U.S. gasoline prices surged to a record high this week, President Bush strode into the Rose Garden to unveil his plans for coping with skyrocketing energy costs: drill for oil in Alaska, add U.S. refineries and build more nuclear plants.