Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Letting the generals decide

President Bush on who gets to decide troop levels in Iraq:

April 6, 2006
Appearance of the president at Central Piedmont Community College Charlotte, North Carolina

    There's a debate going on in Washington, D.C., which it should, and it's an important debate about our troop levels. Here's my answer to you: I'm not going to make decisions based upon polls and focus groups. I'm going to make my decisions based upon the recommendations of our generals on the ground. They're the ones who decide how to achieve the victory I just described. They're the ones who give me the information.
December 21, 2006
The Washington Post

    By yesterday, however, Bush indicated that he will not necessarily let military leaders decide, ducking a question about whether he would overrule them. "The opinion of my commanders is very important," he said. "They are bright, capable, smart people whose opinion matters to me a lot." He added: "I agree with them that there's got to be a specific mission that can be accomplished with the addition of more troops before I agree on that strategy."

    A senior aide said later that Bush would not let the military decide the matter. "He's never left the decision to commanders," said the aide, who spoke on the condition of anonymity so Bush's comments would be the only ones on the record.
That blather about letting the generals decide troop levels was never anything more than a dodge to avoid answering questions about troop levels.

In other words, it was a lie.