Bush Moves To Push Petraeus From Spotlight

The Skinny: White House Wants U.S. General To Testify Privately On Success Of Troop Surge

After months of asking Americans to suspend judgment on the troop surge until hearing a progress report from Gen. David Petraeus next month, the White House proposed keeping the general's report behind closed doors, the Washington Post reports.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Joseph Biden (D-Del.) told the White House that Bush's plan was "unacceptable." The legislation demanding the report requires that Petraeus and Crocker "will be made available to testify in open and closed sessions before relevant committees of the Congress" before the delivery of the report. "Several Republicans have hinted that their support will depend on a credible presentation by Petraeus," the Post reports.


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How's G.W. gonna spin this with Rove packing up for the long ride back to Texas????

...but in reading the actual Washington Post article - that's not my understanding of what transpired.

from the original article:

By Jonathan Weisman and Karen DeYoung
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, August 16, 2007; Page A01

Senior congressional aides said yesterday that the White House has proposed limiting the much-anticipated appearance on Capitol Hill next month of Gen. David H. Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker to a private congressional briefing, suggesting instead that the Bush administration's progress report on the Iraq war should be delivered to Congress by the secretaries of state and defense.

White House officials did not deny making the proposal in informal talks with Congress, but they said yesterday that they will not shield the commanding general in Iraq and the senior U.S. diplomat there from public congressional testimony required by the war-funding legislation President Bush signed in May. "The administration plans to follow the requirements of the legislation," National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe said in response to questions yesterday."

The White House suggested that the progress report should be delivered by the secretaries of state and defense. This doesn't seem unreasonable, on the face...

But the next statement says they "...will not shield the commanding gneral in Iraq and the senior U.S. diplomat there from public congressional testimony required by the war-funding legislation President Bush signed in May."

So the White House floated an idea in an informal discussion with some in Congress...and the idea is going nowhere. I'm sure Congress has never floated an idea and then rejected it, either.

I really don't see anything to this...but I'm sure others will see all kinds of conspiracy and bad intent.

Much has been made to find those responsible for problems in Iraq. Rumsfeld, Pace, and others have been pushed out of their jobs either other positions or out of the door altogether because of taking the blame for problems.

I think this was Bush's way of accepting more accountability for Iraq and keeping the heat off of Petraeus. After all regardless what happens in Iraq Bush will be out of office in less than six months. However Petraeus will still be serving. Why let Petraeus take the fall when there's someone more senior who can accept the responsibility?



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