A classic Barbara Streisand performance of “The Way We Were.” Like buttah. I tried to find the Bill Murray lounge singing parody from a classic SNL, but no luck…
The AP is taking Bush Administration dictation again, as Scarecrow detailed above. This is the same Eric Edelman who, as Cheney’s national security advisor, was told in no uncertain terms that the Niger uranium claims were bunk. The same Edelman whose outright lies to the Republican-controlled Senate Armed Services Committee had John Warners knickers in a twist. The same Eric Edelman who functioned as a part of Dick Cheney’s shadow national security staff for years. The same Eric Edelman who was speaking in irrelevant generalities all the way back in 2005 — and is doing so still — because his role is providing political cover, and not honest, candid policy assessment. (Warning: this transcript is hazardous to your blood pressure.)
I’m with Oliver on this one: perverting the defense department into an arm of the Republican Party is appalling enough. That we still don’t know whether any contingency planning has been done with regard to either a planned or precipitous retreat is even worse. My nightmares about Steve Gilliard’s fighting retreat scenario continue. Why, you may ask? Because of reports like this:
The 20 ground combat brigades deployed in Iraq would fill 10,000 flatbed trucks and take a year to move, logistics experts said. A full withdrawal, shipping home some 200,000 Americans and thousands of tons of equipment, dismantling dozens of American bases and disposing of tons of accumulated toxic waste, would take 20 months or longer, they estimate.
Yet the Bush administration, long intent on avoiding what it once called a “cut and run” retreat from Iraq, has done little to lay the groundwork for withdrawal, officials here said.
“We don’t have the plan in detail yet. We’re seriously engaged in trying to figure this out,” said Marine Brig. Gen. Gray Payne, director of the U.S. Central Command’s logistics operations center.
Even with the benefit of a detailed plan, Payne said, “this is going to be an enormous challenge.”…
A hastier departure could find military convoys stalled on roads cratered by roadside bombs, interrupted by blown bridges and clogged with fleeing refugees….
On Friday, two of the Senate’s most respected Republican authorities on international and military affairs, Richard Lugar of Indiana and John Warner of Virginia, introduced a measure to compel the Bush administration to “immediately initiate planning” for the next steps in Iraq, “including a drawdown or redeployment of troops.”…
A shortage of aircraft means the Defense Department would have to charter transports to move troops out of the region. Under current agreements, the Pentagon pays companies such as FedEx and UPS $627.80 for each soldier it flies home — for example, from Baghdad to Baltimore. For cargo, the Pentagon pays roughly $1.3 million for each cargo-loaded 747 aircraft flight….
Others doubt that all would go smoothly. A new report by the Government Accountability Office, the analysis agency of Congress, found severe problems in the U.S. Central Command logistics system, which would handle the withdrawal. The GAO found fragmented lines of authority, a shortage of skilled logisticians, and computer systems that can’t connect with each other.
One result, the GAO found this spring, is that one third of all the steel shipping containers in Iraq and Afghanistan — 54,390 containers — are lost. (emphasis mine)
In the Bush Administration, no matter how many times you get caught lying or over how many failures you preside over, there is no internal accountability. There is no other explanation for Edelman’s promotion to his spot at DoD beyond his unswerving loyalty to Dick Cheney and George Bush’s priorities, whatever their lack of relationship to realities on the ground and the facts, whatever the cost to our nation’s troops in the field. Once again, the Bush Administration calls out the political deflection squad when they get caught not doing their job. With folks like Eric Edelman still running the show, what could possibly go wrong?