Friday, August 31, 2007

Bush is writing the Petraeus Report!!

Remember a little while back when The liberal blogosphere was all up in arms that George Bush would write the Petraeus report!

In the comments section of a previous post I expressed skepticism of this based on how the news was "broke." A single line from a Los Angeles Times story about other aspects of the report states:

Despite Bush's repeated statements that the report will reflect evaluations by Petraeus and Ryan Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, administration officials said it would actually be written by the White House, with inputs from officials throughout the government.

Aaand the world came to an end.

For those interested in the truth of the matter, actual in-depth analysis of this showstopper can be found here:

The author outlines Public Law 110-28, "U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans’ Care, Katrina Recovery, and Iraq Accountability Appropriations Act, 2007" (isn't that a mouthful) which lays clear the responsibility and format that the September reports are to be delivered:

(A) The President shall submit an initial report, in classified and unclassified format, to the Congress, not later than July 15, 2007, assessing the status of each of the specific benchmarks established above, and declaring, in his judgment, whether satisfactory progress toward meeting these benchmarks is, or is not, being achieved.

(B) The President, having consulted with the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, the Commander, Multi-National Forces-Iraq, the United States Ambassador to Iraq, and the Commander of U.S. Central Command, will prepare the report and submit the report to Congress.

[...]

(D) The President shall submit a second report to the Congress, not later than September 15, 2007, following the same procedures and criteria outlined above.

(again thanks to Q and O for the quote.)

So the correct passage from the Times article should have read:

By law passed by the a majority Democrat congress in 2007, the President will prepare the report including evaluations by Petraeus and Ryan Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, the Secretary of State, and the Secretary of Defense.

Both Crocker and Petraeus will also be required by the same law to appear in both public and closed hearings before congress.

I assume that the reporter knew this but chose to omit these details on purpose, which is why the lack of follow through on the snippet either in this story or in a subsequent article.

And I don't blame x4mr, as he was not dealt with fairly by the original source.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank God for spell checkers, then.

Sirocco said...

Lets say it's one thing for the President to regularly describe it as "General Petreus' report", or similar terms, over the last few months, and that what will actually be provided is something entirely different.

Anonymous said...

The Betray Us Report

Framer said...

General Petraus will likely provide most of the workable information for the written report AND he will report in person to Congress.

This is hardly a "gotcha." Petraus is the centerpiece of the entire September presentation, so refering to him in connection with the report is not dishonest.

You have to admit that the Times reporter was being disingenuous, however, and got just the reaction he was looking for.

Anonymous said...

The entire Iraq enterprise is disingenuous. The Times included.

Sirocco said...

I agree the reporter was disingenuous . I saw a couple weeks ago it's required by the statute that the report come from the President, so one can't really complain about that.

Of course, the President has been portraying all year as the general's report, so we'll see how much ... uhm ... "clean up" and "tightening" and 'editing" gets done between what Petraeus submits and what gets spewed back out.

Petraeus is only testifying in person before Congress because Congress refused to agree to a proposal from the administration that Rice testify in his place. If the President had his way, Petraeus would not appear.

Anonymous said...

All of this is damned ugly propaganda, designed to legitimize the indefensible.

The Lancet report charting a million deaths linked to the occupation is probably the report that will be remembered by Iraqis and historians.

Bad ugliness is bad ugliness.

Liza said...

anonymous,
You have got to get a blogger name. You are TOO GOOD to be anonymous. We need to recognize you.

x4mr said...

I re-read my 8/8 story to see if it was particular misleading, and I don't think it is. I knew that the law required the report to proceed as you have accurately described here. My position at the time (and still) is SO WHAT?

My point was that the WH was spinning the situation, calling it the "Patraeus report" and referencing it in a misleading manner. My point was not that they were breaking or changing how it was supposed to happen. My point is that they were spinning to make it look like something it is not, which is a "pure" communication directly from the General.

I think the press picked up on that, and yes, omitting language about the details of the law might be shady.

To extent my story suggests something has "changed" perhaps I could have improved the language.

The key is WH was making statements suggesting the report would be something it is not.

My key assertion is that the WH is in denial about the reality on the ground over there, and the report will not change anything.

I won't cite it (yet), but evidence already exists of modifications "softening" the document.

x4mr said...

Whoops, make that 8/16 report.

Anonymous said...

General Petraeus never fought an insurgency before he was given the task by Wartime President Bush.

He wrote a dissertation regarding insurgency and now he has a lab to test his thesis.

Lucky Iraqis! They have the right conditions for being an experiment bigger than Biosphere 2. They should thank us for having the experts in charge.

Liza said...

Ha Ha. Good one, anonymous.

Yeah, the Iraqis really should thank us. And why are they being such piss ants about the oil? They should just sign the Oil Law and roll out the red carpets for Exxon, Chevron, Shell, and British Petroleum. Wouldn't you think they should just embrace the inevitable?

George, George, he's our man. If he can't get it, Hillary can!!!!

roger said...

I tend to agree with Liza that this is all about the oil and the worry that a regime close to Iraq would sell it to the Chinese instead of us.

Well...why didn't the moron think of that before they went in? My students figured out easily that destabiling the Sunni government (aligned with those in the middle east that are thought of as our allies...Saudis, Jordan, Egypt, etc) would leave the government of Iraq and its oil in the hands of the Shiites (aligned with Iran, Syria, Hezbolah, etc).

Pardon me Framer but this kind of stupidity reflects very poorly on the Neocons, but I will say it also reflect pretty poorly on our Generals.

This is the very reason why Petreus armed the Sunnis....you know...Hussein's people...the insurgents...our enemies.

This war is indefensible....period. Like Liza, the only thing that saddens me is that there are over a million dead Iraqis...and are likely to be more when we leave...that is what worries me a bit about redeployment...and gets me thinking about how to transition.

As it stands now, the US just wants to control the piggot of the oil...and I bet that there are some thinking that we would be better off it no one gets it than if the current and future government does.

Not much love for America over there, I can't imagine them selling us their oil afterward.