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Four Color Politics

Mainly the Quotes of the Morning, with occasional Other Crap.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Quotes of the Morning: Pentagoing, Going, Gone

“Days before The Iraq Study Group submits its report on Iraq policy, a call for change has been made from an unlikely source — Donald Rumsfeld.
Just a day before the November election, the then-defense secretary sent a note to the president acknowledging problems and slow progress in Iraq and saying it was ‘time for a major adjustment’ of U.S. strategy.
In the classified Nov. 6 memo, which was obtained by The New York Times and confirmed by the Pentagon, Rumsfeld admitted that ‘what U.S. forces are currently doing in Iraq is not working well enough or fast enough.’
Rumsfeld then listed 15 possible actions — including, as many Democrats have suggested, a modest withdrawal of U.S. forces, and ‘taking your hand off the bicycle seat’ so the Iraqis know they have to ‘pull up their socks, step up and take responsibility for their country.’
That may fly in the face of what the president has been espousing as recently as last Thursday.
"We're going to stay in Iraq to get the job done, so long as the government wants us there," Bush said during a trip this past week to Jordan.
Today, White House officials seemed to downplay the idea of a disconnect, saying the Rumsfeld memo is merely part of a larger internal review of Iraq policy.”
-ABC News, December 3, 2006

“President George W. Bush is considering a ‘laundry list’ of options for Iraq that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld suggested before resigning and agrees progress has been too slow, a senior White House official said on Sunday. Rumsfeld told the White House in a classified memo last month, two days before he resigned, that the U.S. military's role in Iraq was not working well and it was ‘time for a major adjustment,’ including possible troop reductions.”
-Washington Post, December 3, 2006

“Huh.. So, just a few days before the Iraq Study Group releases its report a different call for change comes out.. this time by Donald Rumsfeld, written just a couple of days before he stepped down. So now if Fearless Leader makes some changes it will be because The Don, his right hand man, made the recommendations, not because some bipartisan group did. Just a coincidence I’m sure.
Still, it will be nice to have The Don out. He spent far too much time trying to make the Pentagon say exactly what he wanted it to by tweaking the intelligence reports. Having some fresh blood working there will be a relief.”

“Shortly after Ronald Reagan was reelected president, the CIA forwarded a controversial intelligence report on the 1981 assassination attempt against Pope John Paul II to the White House. It suggested the Soviets were involved in the plot.

Inside the agency, many analysts considered the intelligence estimate flawed. In the words of one CIA branch chief, the assertion lacked ‘common sense’ and was, at best, conjecture.
The contention later was proved false. But there was one person who did see a Soviet hand at play in the plot, and that was the man who mattered at the time: CIA Deputy Director Robert M. Gates, who personally handed the report up to the White House.
But Gates appears to some an odd choice, given the Pentagon's rocky and occasionally divisive atmosphere under Rumsfeld. For much of Gates' career, critics and even some admirers have likened him to the imperious Rumsfeld and his close administration ally, Vice President Dick Cheney.
‘Gates was making it clear to analysts what intelligence they were to produce,’ said Thomas Blanton, director of the National Security Archive, a nonprofit institute that gathers and analyzes declassified documents. ‘It's a chilling record, because you have two main themes of the Iraq war present in Robert Gates' career at CIA: the arrogance and bullying of a Rumsfeld and the intelligence cherry-picking of a Cheney.’"
-LA Times, December 4, 2006

“WMD reports are old and busted. The new hotness is saying that the Soviets were trying to assassinate the pope. You really have to give it to Fearless Leader. At least he is consistent. He will always hire the guy most likely to say what the Decider wants to be said.”


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