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Four Color Politics

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

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Quotes of the Morning: A Lot On Their Mind

“In testimony to the House of Representatives Budget Committee, Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England said U.S. military commanders in Iraq were requesting varying numbers of support troops to augment the additional 21,500 soldiers Bush has ordered into combat.
‘At this point, our expectation is the number of ... troops could go above 21,500 by about 4,000, maybe as many as 7,000,’ England said.
The estimate of 4,000 to 7,000 new support troops needed for Iraq contrasts with a February 6 forecast by Defense Secretary Robert Gates that as many as 3,000 would be needed.
The higher estimate could raise the projected $5.6 billion price tag of the troop surge by about $1 billion, if about 4,000 support troops are needed, England said.”
-Reuters, March 6, 2007

“Funny how they didn’t talk about that before. It’s like they didn’t know that they would need support troops. Probably just an oversight.”

“Over the past few years , DoD’s practice has been to deploy a total of about 9,500 personnel per combat brigade to the Iraq theater, including about 4,000 combat troops and about 5,500 supporting troops.
DoD has not yet indicated which support units will be deployed along with the added combat forces, or how many additional troops will be involved. Army and DoD officials have indicated that it will be both possible and desirable to deploy fewer additional support units than historical practice would indicate. CBO expects that, even if the additional brigades required fewer support units than historical practice suggests, those units would still represent a significant additional number of military personnel.
To reflect some of the uncertainty about the number of support troops, CBO developed its estimates on the basis of two alternative assumptions. In one scenario, CBO assumed that additional support troops would be deployed in the same proportion to combat troops that currently exists in Iraq. That approach would require about 28,000 support troops in addition to the 20,000 combat troops—a total of 48,000. CBO also presents an alternative scenario that would include a smaller number of support personnel—about 3,000 per combat brigade—totaling about 15,000 support personnel and bringing the total additional forces to about 35,000.”
-Congressional Budget Office Report, February 1, 2007

“I can’t wait to see if the Pentagon’s estimate keeps going up to closer to the 15,000 that the CBO is predicting. It’s understood that the Pentagon forgot though… I mean, the Administration has a lot on their mind right now.”

“Obviously, we have a verdict from the jury in the Scooter Libby trial. Let me start off by saying that the President was informed by -- he was in the Oval Office. He saw the verdict read on television. Chief of Staff Josh Bolten and Counselor Dan Bartlett were with him.
He said that he respected the jury's verdict, that he was saddened for Scooter Libby and his family, and that the White House direction from here on out -- and I know that there's going to be a lot of disappointment with this, but there is an ongoing criminal proceeding.”
-White House Press Briefing with Dana Perino, February 6, 2007

“Saddened for Scooter Libby? They just found the man guilty of obstructing justice in a federal trial. Usually Fearless Leader would execute people, or at least lock them up in a secret prison, for that kind of thing.”

“Q You mentioned a moment ago how the President expects everyone to uphold the highest ethical standards. Have the White House or the President in any way commented on the ethics involved in this? I think in the beginning, he said he takes this seriously, and he changed the ground rules for dismissal. Why hasn't he ever commented on --
MS. PERINO: I think the President has had a very principled and responsible stand to not comment on the ongoing criminal matter in any way, shape, or form, and that has been his position. It's been the -- it's a responsible one, it's a principled one, and that's what he's done.
Q He hasn't commented on the ethical conduct --
MS. PERINO: Well, again, I appreciate how people want to try to get us to comment on the trial in any way, shape, or form, and we're just -- we're not going to do it. “
-White House Press Briefing with Dana Perino, February 6, 2007

“Hmm.. If they commented on ethical standards then one word would probably come up: Rove. No, they aren’t going to talk about it. Onto the next topic, the attorney general purge.”

“Q And six of the eight people who were fired said today that their thoughts would be welcomed by the Justice Department and they could be freely and openly debated, but that that's not the case. Is the administration trying to stifle dissent from these people?
MS. PERINO: I would refer you to Justice Department for the merits of their decision. But what I can tell you is that the Justice Department did, as with any agency that wants to make a change in a political appointee status, let the White House know that they were thinking of making a change of these political appointees and asking them to resign. The White House -- it would have been unusual if they hadn't told the White House about it. We did not disagree with their recommendations, and the Justice Department moved forward to implement their plan.
Q When you say you didn't disagree, who was that? Was that --
MS. PERINO: The Counsel's Office.
Q -- at the President's level or --
MS. PERINO: For sure, Counsel's Office. I did check with Chief of Staff Josh Bolten; he does not recall if he was briefed on it or not.
Q How about Karl Rove's office? Do you know if he was involved?
MS. PERINO: I don't believe so. “
-White House Press Briefing with Dana Perino, February 6, 2007

“Doh! He came up anyway. Sneaky reporters.”


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