Thursday, January 06, 2005
There is rising concern amongst senior officials that President Bush does not grasp the increasingly grim reality of the security situation in Iraq because he refuses to listen to that type of information. Our sources say that attempts to brief Bush on various grim realities have been personally rebuffed by the President, who actually says that he does not want to hear bad news.Meanwhile in Iraq, the reality gets dimmer. According to today's WaPo, three-star Lt. Gen. James R. "Ron" Helmly is the most recent senior army official to show outrage over the state of affairs in Iraq:
Rather, Bush makes clear that all he wants are progress reports, where they exist, and those facts which seem to support his declared mission in Iraq...building democracy. That's all he wants to hear about, we have been told. So in are the latest totals on school openings, and out are reports from senior US military commanders (and those intelligence experts still on the job) that they see an insurgency becoming increasingly effective, and their projection that it will just get worse.
Our sources are firm in that they conclude this good news only directive comes from Bush himself; that is, it is not a trap or cocoon thrown around the President by National Security Advisor Rice, Vice President Cheney, and DOD Secretary Rumsfeld. In any event, whether self-imposed, or due to manipulation by irresponsible subordinates, the information/intelligence vacuum at the highest levels of the White House increasingly frightens those officials interested in objective assessment, and not just selling a political message.
We, the people of the reality based community, have been saying this for almost years. It's not a matter of political strategy, rather this man and his followers are blindfolding themselves with this bankrupt ideology because they truly believe in the validity of their position. Conviction is one thing, but complete lack of foresight and reasoning is something to be worried about.
(Via Oliver Willis)
The head of the Army Reserve has sent a sharply worded memo to other military leaders expressing "deepening concern" about the continued readiness of his troops, who have been used heavily in Iraq and Afghanistan, and warning that his branch of 200,000 soldiers "is rapidly degenerating into a 'broken' force."
In the memo, dated Dec. 20, Lt. Gen. James R. "Ron" Helmly lashed out at what he said were outdated and "dysfunctional" policies on mobilizing and managing the force. He complained that his repeated requests to adjust the policies to current realities have been rebuffed by Pentagon authorities.
"By consistently underestimating the number of troops necessary for the successful occupation of Iraq, the administration has placed a tremendous burden on the Army Reserve and created this crisis," Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.), a member of the Armed Services Committee, said in a statement.
"The memo presents more questions than answers," said Rep. Victor F. Snyder (D-Ark.), who deals with reservist issues in the House. "I think he's really making a plea to the Pentagon to change some of their practices or let him do some things he wants to do."
You can be sure this memo didn't make it to the oval office.
LEAHY: "Does U.S. law allow for torture, in your opinion?"
GONZALES: "Bush has already said there won't be any torture."
LEAHY: "That's not what I asked. In your opinion, does U.S. law allow for torture?"
GONZALES: "That's a hypothetical question that I won't answer."
LEAHY: "U.S. law. Torture."
GONZALES: "That involves a lot of complex law that I don't know."