Sunday, June 25, 2006

Did Cheney Know Of Casey's Redeployment Plan When He Said Democrats' Redeployment Plan Was "Worst Possible Thing?"

Vice President Dick Cheney, in a Thursday interview, told CNN's John King that the Democrats' plans for troop redeployment were "the worst possible thing we could do."

"No matter how you carve it -- you can call it anything you want -- but basically, it is packing it in, going home, persuading and convincing and validating the theory that the Americans don't have the stomach for this fight," Cheney said.

At about the same time, Senate Republicans -- following the administration's wishes -- led an effort to kill a proposal by Sens. Carl Levin (D-MI) and Jack Reed (D-RI) that would have required a redeployment to begin by the end of the year but not set a timetable for a complete withdrawal. (Note: A second proposal calling for a near-complete withdrawal by next year, from Sens. John Kerry (D-MA) and Russ Feingold (D-WI) was overwhelmingly defeated.)

A clear statement by the Bush Administration, right?

But, as we now know, the top American commander in Iraq, Gen. George Casey, has also drafted a plan to reduce U.S. troops in Iraq, with the first cuts perhaps coming by September, and much deeper cuts coming in 2007.

Now, of course, the administration may reject the plan, but assuming it doesn't, it's fair to say that what Casey is reportedly planning and what Levin and Reed proposed is conceptually similar. Specific details may vary -- no two proposals are going to be identical -- but the idea is that the U.S. begin withdrawing troops gradually, in keeping with Bush's frequent statements that as the Iraqi troops "step up," the U.S.-led coalition will "step down."

Something tells me that the Republicans who denounced Democrats aren't going to turn around and denounce Casey.


Here's a question I'd like to see answered: Did Cheney know about Casey's gameplan when he denounced Levin and Reed's similar proposal?

It's doubtful that the multitudes of Republicans who denounced the Democrats' proposal -- some blasting it as a "cut and run" policy -- were aware of Casey's classified briefing.

However, it's not nearly as hard to believe one well-placed Republican -- Cheney -- was aware of Casey's briefing when he denounced the Democrats.

On Fox News Sunday, Levin told host Chris Wallace that "General Casey at the Pentagon a few days ago said he believes there will be fairly substantial troop reductions this year." The New York Times reported on Saturday that Casey "met this week" with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

In other words, Rumsfeld and Pace were aware of Casey's briefing days before Cheney and various Congressional Republicans made their denouncements.

Should we assume that Cheney -- by various accounts a hands-on player since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and noted to be one of the architects of the Iraq War -- was not in the loop about Casey's briefing to Rumsfeld and Pace? It's extremely far-fetched.

The only other excuse is extreme naivete -- the assumption that Casey's plan would not be known by the public for several months, or after the Republicans had successfully linked the idea of "Democrats = white flag" in the minds of voters.


If true, it would be the latest example of Cheney putting partisan politics above Iraq War policy.

Last week, Cheney either lied or showed unconscionable ignorance when he suggested no one "anticipated the level of violence" from an Iraqi insurgency. And he played Americans for fools when he redefined his infamous "last throes" comment of a year ago.

Someone who so brazenly plays with the facts could certainly be capable of denouncing the Democrats' plan, while simultaneously being aware of Casey's similar plan, right?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems to me that Cheney, Rummy, Rove and Pace are well aware of what Casey is saying, and Rove may very well have told him to come out with the plans for troop reductions - it lets them strut around some more, while Casey blunts criticism by letting people believe that there really will be a reduction...
Of course, we have heard all of this before, many times... from these master manipulators, and the corporate media is all to willing to parrot the propaganda.
Meanwhile, Baghdad is under Red Alert and martial law because the situation is so desperate there.
Does anyone really believe that Dr Death is going to walk away from the enormous new embassy and army bases the US is building, while utilities, security and the government is in shambles...?
Yes, gay marriage and flag burning are MUCH more important...

12:34 AM  
Anonymous alias: "cutiepie" johnson said...

Granted this is speculation, but the reality is that Cheney has long since given up his right to benefit of the doubt.

It wouldn't surprise me at all if this was dead-on accurate, and that Cheney was putting partisanship above national security policy.

1:28 AM  
Blogger ptboya said...

There should be no surprise here. The playbook Rove has written calls on Republicans to aim withering fire at any Democrat who advocates beginning withdrawal, while secretly planning to begin drawing down some troops during the election season starting this Sept. This strategy, they hope, will allow Bush to take credit for starting the withdrawal on his own terms and not because his hand was forced by Democrats. If Dems are able to take credit for the beginning of the end, voters will reward them, because they've already decided the war in Iraq was a big mistake. This is simple politics and, so far, Democrats are walking into the trap. They need to establish, as a unified opposition, that they stand for ending the fiasco in Iraq and push this story from now through Nov. Final point: Bush & co. have no intention of actually ending the occupation. The start of withdrawal will be only enough to score political points. His successor will have to pick up the pieces. This ploy is intended solely to retain control of both houses of Congress, so no hearings can reveal the extent of their duplicity on the the war, the torture gulag, the outing of Plame, the domestic spying, etc., etc.

7:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

par for the course

8:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, no, no, silly people. This is just another matter of them thinking we're too stupid to realize their duplicity...they thought we wouldn't put one and one together and get two. They allowed the sham in the Senate to go on and even reinforced it to ensure votes (?) in the fall, right? And figured that no one would even catch the fact that Casey was planning practically the exact same thing the Levin bill outlined. Hope more people (as in the media...joke!) hold their feet to the fire on this one. Overall, it's just another day in this once noble democratic nation that is now a facist colony brought to us by:
o The same people who give themselves healthy raises for working less than half of the year refusing to raise the minimum wage...

o The same people who tell us "if we fight them there we won't have to fight them here" is a good thing also showing us how they're here as if that's a good thing...

o The same people hellbent on protecting Iraq from Iran leaving our own borders and ports unprotected...

o The same people who use the press to deliver their truth lambasting the press for delivering the truth...

o The same people who have us fighting to preserve Iraq's soverign rights and borders forming a North American Union...

o The same people who refuse to let Americans see a soldier's coffin or dead body plastering a terrorists dead face across the skies...

There's more, I know, but I tire easily these days. :)

9:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Republicans can't "cut and run."

They're incapable of cutting deficits or running the country.

10:14 AM  
Blogger Maezeppa said...

Look, I'm a lefty lib but you have to admit that there's gamesmanship on the Dem side of this, too -- to try to make a proposal to suggest a direction that they know the Repubicans are already going in so they look prescient. Everybody knows there will be some kind of a drawdown by November elections so Dems want some currency and Cheney doesn't want to give it to them.

10:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I realize that the public has a short memory, but when they hear today that Gen. Casey has the same plan for troop withdrawal that the Dems were offering just a few days ago, I just don't believe that they're going to miss seeing the screeching u-turn that the Republicans AND the White House have to take just to refrain from accusing Casey of "cutting and running".

Once and for all, Rove is not a god. He isn't in control here. He wishes he were and he tried to be, but it's beyond his ability now. And, this just simply is not a turn of events that bolsters the Republicans' hopes for holding onto control of Congress in November. Rove's direction to the Republicans to take the Iraq issue head-on was not so much clever machination as it was a matter of having run out of options. By the end of the week, that tactic was already failing to give them the momentum shift they were hoping for. There are a lot of Republicans up for re-election who don't want this fight and don't think they can win it with their constituents. If Rove had anything to do with Casey's plans getting out, it was an admission of failure on his original plan to confront the Dems on the war. If anything, he's now trying to defuse the confrontation he created. That's IF he's still directing the show.

Rove has screwed up a lot of things in Bush's second term. This is one of the biggest.

10:55 AM  
Anonymous rob of wilmington, del. said...

In the same Fox News interview, Levin said that it's one of the worst-kept secrets in Washington that the Bush Administration wanted redeployment before the 2008 presidential election.

But rumors are not the same thing as policy. The Democrats pushing to hold the administration accountable to some sort of realistic redeployment is sound policy. Any political benefit is just gravy.

I agree with anonymous above -- the American people can plainly see that the Republicans are about to u-turn. Even if they weren't paying close attention last week, they're about to be hit with a barrage of news coverage, Jon Stewart bits, and Jay Leno/David Letterman jokes. I have no doubt it will sink into the national conscience.

11:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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1:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't help wonder if this cycle will repeat years from now. You know; we win back the government, empty our pockets to refill the Treasury, rebuild the nation at a large cost, pay off the debt, and about 12 years after we have all knuckled under to do this like we did in the 90's.... The nation becomes prosperous for about a year or two...

Then the republicans come back AGAIN and steal the treasury empty, run us into debt, lay off everyone, steal every dime they can lay their hands on from retirement accounts to every program they can glom onto.

And we go back into poverty again.

THAT is what we are going through today.

I can't believe we have allowed this pack of hyenas to steal it ALL without a peep... They are not only LIARS they are THIEVES OF THE HIGHEST DEGREE.

PAY ATTENTION: They are stealing pensions and they are about to pull ANOTHER FINANCIAL DEBAUCHLE (END RUN)... they are about to steal all the funding from all the pensions and bankrupt the pension guarantee corporation, a Federal program designed to back up bankrupted pensions..... That will allow them to get their sticky fingers on the Pension Guarantee fund and STEAL THAT TOO!!!

Of course, since the rich don't pay taxes, this will put us into a complete DEPRESSION.... We have no way of paying it off or building nest eggs for our own future for generations.

What is wrong with our nation? We honor beauty and youth and NEVER EVER LISTEN TO OUR ELDERS. THEY LEARNED THESE LESSONS IN THE EARLY 20TH Century and build a lot of wealth into their individual lives, and built quite a nation to boot.... why can't we copy their model instead of chasing pills and plastic surgeons?

With stupid young people like that, our nation is doomed.

1:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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1:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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1:28 PM  
Blogger mikeinwaco said...

Would any intelligent American who's even vaguely aware of current events and the Iraq debate expect anything other than subterfuge and crass political maneuvering from this group of incompetents, liars, and misguided syncophants? No matter how loudly anti-war voices scream, will the average American realize that the President has once again acted in a blatantly inconsistent way with his own statements which continue to ring in our ears after speech upon speech: "The U.S. will stand down when the Iraqis stand up"? Gen. Casey made his announcement about withdrawals during a very violent week which included a failed curfew in Baghdad and the torturing and murdering of two American soldiers. Where's the president's and the Pentagon's justification for such an announcement based on their own oft-repeated promises?

2:34 PM  
Anonymous Craig R. Harmon said...

Yes, I think it’s fair to say that the politicians have been playing politics again. However, as you say, the administration may reject or amend Casey’s plan also, but since they’ve been saying all along that they’ll follow the advice of the generals on the ground in Iraq as to required troop strenth, rejecting Casey’s plan will be tough to do. On the other hand, since they’ve said all along that they’ll follow the advice of the generals on the ground in Iraq, rejecting a plan by a Congressperson in the opposition while accepting a similar plan by the general on the ground would not even be hypocrisy; just doing what they’ve said all along. Since the two plans, while similar, are not the same, they can always explain rejecting the Democrats’ plans by highlighting the differences between the plans and explaining why Casey’s is so much better.

I don’t mean to defend politics as usual but do you really expect Republicans to acquiesce to the plans of the Democrats who’ve been saying they (the Democrats who voted for the Iraq war and indeed the nation) were mislead into supporting the wrong war at the wrong time in the wrong place? I’m not pointing fingers or apportioning blame for the partisanship in Washington. That’s not my point. My point is, they’re pols acting like pols. Color me unsurprised.

3:53 PM  
Blogger Kris Schultz said...

Have you heard about the Akaka primary Hawaii? It's a reverse Lieberman situation, where anti-war Akaka is being challenged by Bush sympathizing Case. Akaka is one of 13 Senators to vote for a firm timetable of withdrawl of U.S. troops from Iraq, while Case rubberstamped Bush's war in a house vote the week before. I just wrote a big blog posting about it that I thought you might be interested in. Akaka needs as much support as we can give him.

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