Tuesday, October 5

Strange winds Blowing

Thanks to eschatonian Holden (also of First-Draft), The Washington post publishes something I did not think I would see, An administration admission of conflict. What with this following on the heals of several recent statements by Pro Consul Bremer regarding a lack of necessary forces during the early days of the post conflict occupation. Then Rummy is Yammering on and contradicting Cheney's continued assertions of a link between Saddam and Al Quaeda, and then complaining he had been missunderstood. So where to begin, Oh yes the admission, that Bremer did ask for more troops.
By Robin Wright and Thomas E. Ricks
Washington Post Staff Writers
Tuesday, October 5, 2004; 2:24 PM

President Bush's campaign, reacting today to a report that the former U.S. official who governed Iraq after the invasion said more troops had been needed to subdue the country, today acknowledged that L. Paul Bremer had clashed with military leaders over troop levels.

In an unusual public acknowledgment of internal dissent, campaign spokesman Brian Jones said, "Ambassador Bremer differed with the commanders in the field. That is his right, but the president has always said that he will listen to his commanders on the ground and give them the support they need for victory."
Unusual to say the least, followed by the oft spoken platitudes that Bush "listens" "to" "his" "commanders" "on the ground".The following suggests fairly strongly one of two options, someone is lying, or someone is talking out of their ass, either way its not pretty and demonstrates a rift in the unified message management campaign.
The campaign statement contradicted a senior defense official who, speaking on the condition of anonymity, yesterday denied that Bremer has asked for more troops.
Next up Rummy V. Rummy. We'll start with Rummy1
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said on Monday he knew of no "strong, hard evidence" linking Saddam Hussein's Iraq and Al-Qaeda, despite describing extensive contacts between the two before the Iraq invasion.

Rumsfeld, during a question-and-answer session before the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, was asked to explain the connection between Saddam and Osama bin Laden's Al-Qaeda network, blamed for the Sept 11, 2001, attacks on America.

"I have seen the answer to that question migrate in the intelligence community over a period of a year in the most amazing way. Second, there are differences in the intelligence community as to what the relationship was," Rumsfeld said.

"To my knowledge, I have not seen any strong, hard evidence that links the two," Rumsfeld added.

Okie Dokey, thats pretty clear. Now on to Rummy2.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said Tuesday he was misunderstood when he stated hours earlier that he knew of no "strong, hard evidence" linking Saddam Hussein's Iraq and al-Qaeda.

"I have acknowledged since September 2002 that there were ties between al-Qaeda and Iraq," Rumsfeld said in a Web site statement issued following remarks he made to the Council on Foreign Relations in New York Monday. "Today at the Council, I even noted that 'when I'm in Washington, I pull out a piece of paper and say "I don't know, because I'm not in that business, but I'll tell you what the CIA thinks" and I read it'."

In the new statement, issued on the Pentagon Web site, Rumsfeld listed what he said were arguments for suggesting links between al-Qaeda and Iraq under Saddam, including what the CIA regarded as "credible evidence" that al-Qaeda leaders had sought contacts in Iraq who could help them acquire weapons of mass destruction.

Oh and by the way, the contacts Rumsfeld speaks of were low level and rebuffed, by the secular Saddam, who prior to the invasion was involved in a mutual lack of admiration society with the fundimentalist Bin Laden. But hey, in the Cover your Assministration, the fact that a couple of people had a conversation that went no where can become a full blown connection. It's pretty amazing how many different sides the mouths of Administration officials have.