Tuesday, December 07, 2004

The First Casualty

The Moose avers that truth is to this Administration what garlic is to a vampire.

Mendacity has become mundane in the Bush Administration. From the cost of the Medicare drug bill to the cost of the war, the Bushies are averse to the truth. Since the obscenely triumphalist landing on the Lincoln in the "Mission Accomplished" photo op, the Administration has rarely uttered an accurate comment about the situation on the ground in Iraq.

This morning, we learn from another CIA leak to the New York Times, that the assessments from agency operatives in Iraq do not exactly square with what we're hearing from Administration mouthpieces,

"Together, the appraisals, which follow several other such warnings from officials in Washington and in the field, were much more pessimistic than the public picture being offered by the Bush administration before the elections scheduled for Iraq next month, the officials said. The cable was sent to C.I.A. headquarters after American forces completed what military commanders have described as a significant victory, with the retaking of Falluja, a principal base of the Iraqi insurgency, in mid-November."

These assessments follow a National Intelligence Estimate from the summer which warned of a possible civil war. At that time, the President dismissed this finding as a wild "guess." Now, the notion of a civil war is rapidly becoming conventional wisdom among even backers of the war such as Charles Krauthammer.

Meanwhile, Rummy remains in deep denial about his role in the miscaculation in Iraq. In another piece in today's Times,

"He [Rumsfeld] remained defiant in the face of critics who say the United States failed to send enough troops to Iraq initially to handle postwar security and, now, to combat the insurgents.
He contended that the decision on troop levels was largely "out of my control," since he was following the advice and requests of his regional commanders, first Gen. Tommy R. Franks and now Gen. John P. Abizaid and Gen. George W. Casey Jr."

The Times then helpfully points out,

"While that may be technically true, Mr. Rumsfeld approves all decisions on troop levels in Iraq, and his commanders and top civilian aides have indicated that he routinely demands detailed explanations for troop increases and movements."

Can someone please get Secretary Rumsfeld the number of Dr. Phil? This man is incapable of confronting his own errors and taking responsibility for his behavior. If he is going to remain as SECDEF for the foreseeable future, at least someone can get him professional help so that he can address some serious issues.

Since the G.O.P. completely controls Washington and executive branch oversight is nonexistent, we need Republican truth tellers now more than ever. We live at a time when charlatans can slander a war hero's record of thirty years ago, but we cannot learn the truth about a war our troops are fighting at this very moment.

The Moose believes that we cannot afford to lose in Iraq. But he also suggests that victory will prove impossible if the public is not given the hard truth about this war.
-- Posted at 8:37 AM | Link to this post | Email this post