Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairman Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., says he supports the idea of appointing a senior-level official in the Bush administration to manage operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, adding that his committee might be able to play "a constructive role" in creating the new post.
"I like the idea," Lieberman told CongressDaily in an interview Thursday.....
Have you started a recall effort to get this guy out of the Senate? Aren't you embarrassed to have President Bush's second biggest cheerleader (John McCain is #1) as your U.S. Senator?
Raw Story is also reporting that General David Petraeus was recently surprised-----
The timing of the announcement raising the standard length of active Army Iraq deployments to 15 months took the U.S. commanding general in Iraq by surprise, according to a senior U.S. military official here.
Army Gen. David Petraeus, commander of the U.S. military operation in Iraq, learned of the change in policy during a briefing from his staff the morning after the Defense Department announcement, according to the senior military official....
While the Republicans keep attacking Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi's recent trip to Syria, they have failed to mention the Republican delegations that also visited Syria just before and immediately after Pelosi. I think Nancy Pelosi is doing a great job. Why do the Republicans continue to insult her? Do they hate women in leadership?
*****I was listening to a recent the White House press briefing. Here is part of the transcript from 4/12/07:
(I've highlight some words/phrases.)
Q Senator Reid says the President needed to come to the Hill because what he's being told here is what he wants to hear, and not what he needs to hear.
MS. PERINO: The President has -- hears from a lot of different people. You all have covered all the different people that he hears from. The President extended an invitation to Senator Reid and the rest of the bicameral, bipartisan leadership. We are glad that they took us up on the offer. We need to get the money to the troops. And I think the tit-for-tat is just something I'm not going to get into.
Q Dana, on the supplemental, on Tuesday the President said that because the Democrats have not gotten this in yet -- "The failure to fund our troops will mean some of our military families could wait longer for their loved ones to return from the front lines, others could see their loved ones headed back to war sooner." Why did the President mention -- this is a day before his own Pentagon is going to announce that, actually, those loved ones are going to stay in harm's way longer. And he clearly had to know that this policy was going to take place, that the deployments were going to be stretched from 12 months to 15 months. So why did he tell the American Legion that people would be staying in Iraq longer because of the Democrats, when his own Pentagon, 24 hours later, was going to keep people there longer?
MS. PERINO: Well, one, I don't know if the President knew about the -- the meeting -- remember, yesterday morning is when Secretary Gates came and talked to the President. But also, Secretary Gates was talking about a longer-term policy, to make sure that the dwell times are going to be long enough so that we can keep our troops refreshed and get them time with their family. The long-term goal, ultimate goal is to have for active duty one year deployed with two years off, and then for reservists, one year on and five years off.
We have never said that if we got the money immediately tomorrow, that folks would be able to have just a 12-year [sic] deployment and a 12-year [sic] dwell time.*** Every day that we don't get the money is one that, as Secretary Gates and General Pace have said, creates problems in terms of the training. And so by piecemeal, you see some troops have been there for 16 months, and that's what we're trying to avoid.
Q Is that really the first time the President -- it's a pretty big policy, to keep people in Iraq three months longer --
MS. PERINO: No, I think that we've known for a while --
Q -- he just heard about it yesterday morning?
MS. PERINO: I think we've known for a while that Secretary Gates was trying to figure out a way to make sure that we can alleviate this problem of having longer deployments, or troops being deployed for a longer period of time. And one of the things that he did yesterday was to say that we need more certainty for the troops. And I talked to the President about that this morning, that having more certainty for a military family to plan ahead is something that is probably priceless. I can't imagine what it's like for a youngster, when three months seems like five years, that their parent isn't going to be home.
So the point was that the end strength of the Army and of the Marines is going to be expanded. But until we get there, there are going to be these 15 -- what Secretary Gates wanted to do was give people more time to plan, because what's been happening is that you have people out there for 12 months, and then you extend them by another month, and another month, and another month. And that's quite disruptive to the troops and their families.
Q But if the President really wants certainty for the families, he had an opportunity before the American Legion, a highly respected veterans organization, to say, you know what, for certainty's sake for these families, tomorrow we're going to announce a pretty big change. They're going to stay in harm's way longer. Why wasn't he straightforward with the American Legion about his own policy?
MS. PERINO: I think the President was absolutely straightforward. And remember, I don't -- I know that Secretary Gates came and talked to the President yesterday morning, so that speech you're talking about was last Tuesday. We've known for a while that we're going to have to --
Q Two days ago, the speech.
MS. PERINO: Yes, two days ago, right.
Q And so the President didn't know about his own policy until Wednesday?
MS. PERINO: I'm not aware that the President knew that there was going to be -- that Secretary Gates had come to any decisions. But we did know that people, one, needed more certainty, because that had been a complaint and that's one that we had heard about; and two, we need to make sure that we can get the money for the troops so that the readiness issue, the training issue -- because if the troops here can't be trained, which is one of the issues that Gates and Pace said is a problem of not having the money now -- if they can't be trained, then you can't get the fresh troops out in the field. And that means that the people who are there have to stay longer.....