From McClatchy’s Baghdad bureau: “The other kid that i can not forget was in Fallujah, he is laying down suffering bullets injuries and his father, mother and aunt were killed in the car behind him and he can not see them… he refused to let the ambulance take him to the hospital only if I swear to him that his family are alive… he pulled my shirt and said “don’t lie to me”.. I was looking at them all killed in front of me and he is laying down, an American sobbing soldier beside him was treating him till the ambulance arrived, and I had to swear to him that they were alive and he will find them in the hospital if he allowed the ambulance to take him, he and his one year old sister who were covered with here mother’s blood all over her body…”
“For the U.S. to get involved militarily in determining the outcome of the struggle over who’s going to govern in Iraq strikes me as a classic definition of a quagmire.” Cheney today: “I stand by what I said in ’91.“
“During an interview with the media a student interrupted to shout ‘No more Troops! Bring them home!’ to which Lieberman replied: ‘I got the message.’ … When asked if he understood a majority of the public didn’t support the troop increase Lieberman responded by saying, ‘Iraq is a bit more complicated.‘ … [Another student] said during his campaign Lieberman promised to bring the troops home as soon as possible and now he supports a plan to increase troop levels. ‘It doesn’t make sense,’” the student said.
Number of civilian contractors working under the Pentagon killed in the Iraq war. “If the contractor deaths were added to the Pentagon’s count of U.S. military casualties, the number of war dead would climb about 25 percent, from about 3,000 as of the end of 2006 to nearly 3,800.”
As Joe Lieberman continues to indicate that he spent his entire 2006 re-election campaign lying to the voters of Connecticut, the Democratic leadership needs to get its shit together. Lieberman switching would not change committee composition or “majority” status as explained here. What’s more, it would doom his re-election bid in 2012. The main downside is that it might flip control of the Senate to the GOP in the years 2009-12 or some subset thereof, if the precise correct election outcomes arise.
The upshot is that I don’t think there’s any good reason to appease Lieberman through measures like this one reported in Time:
Last month, after Lieberman told Reid he had stopped attending the weekly Democratic lunch because he didn’t feel comfortable discussing Iraq there, Reid offered to hold those discussions at another time. Lieberman has started attending again.
It sounds dumb, but that lunch is actually the only time large groups of Democratic Senators all get together to talk things through, so it’s a semi-crippling problem to not be able to discuss Iraq there. Meanwhile, Lieberman’s threat to switch parties is essentially empty. It’s not a great idea to switch from the majority party to the minority party, especially when the electoral map in 2008 favors the Democrats. If the GOP takes the majority in ’08 or 2010, then Lieberman might switch. If the ’08 or 2010 election results make Lieberman’s decision decisive, he might go GOP in exchange for some inducements. And if John McCain offers Lieberman a spot on the GOP ticket, Lieberman will presumably take it. Beyond that, switching would be irrational and also less damaging to the Democratic Party than being unable to discuss Iraq.
I don’t share Petey’s theological certainty that none of this would have happened if Ned Lamont hadn’t run against Lieberman. Nor do I share the netroots’ theological certainty that all this merely proves that had Lamont not run Lieberman would have defected. (I’m really puzzled as to how people have become so certain about a murky psychological counterfactual.) What it does show clearly is that the “Democratic establishment” erred by not seriously backing the election of the Democratic Party’s nominee, once Lamont had won the primary.
This morning, news outlets reported that former Secretary of State Powell told an audience at Purdue University yesterday that he “supported President Bush’s decision to send more U.S. troops to Iraq.” But ThinkProgress followed up with Powell’s office and confirmed that these reports were wrong. Powell has never indicated support for escalation.
Dan Shaw, who wrote the original story for the Lafayette (Ind.) Journal and Courier, has corrected his original story. Below, the original and corrected versions side-by-side:
Though the new article does not acknowledge the original error, the reporter says a correction will run in tomorrow’s paper.
In a recent interview, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) claimed that she knows of a secret plan by Iran to partition Iraq and turn half of the country into a “terrorist safe haven zone” called the “Iraq State of Islam.” Bachmann, who famously refused to let go of President Bush at the State of the Union, claimed there is “already an agreement made,” but she “did not say how she knew about this plan, nor with whom Iran has made this deal.”
ThinkProgress contacted Bachmann about her remarks, and received a statement from her office stating that coverage of her Iran statement was “misconstrued.” Bachmann claims she was actually talking about widely-discussed plans to partition Iraq among the Sunnis, Shiites, and Kurds, and her fear that Iran would overtake the Shiite region.
Bachmann is no stranger to conspiracy theories. She continues to insist that there is a link between the 9/11 terrorist attacks and Iraq, despite the 9/11 Commission’s conclusion that there was “no credible evidence” of any connection.
Read her radio transcript and full statement: Read more
Yesterday, for the first time, the Army criticized the Washington Post for its investigation into the gross neglect of wounded U.S. veterans at Walter Reed’s outpatient facilities. Lt. Gen. Kevin C. Kiley, chief of the Army Medical Command, called the Post’s reporting “one-sided” and questioned whether it was “an accurate representation.”
Moreover, he claimed the Army had already “fixed all of those problems” discussed in the article. (Reporter Dana Milbank noted, “Kiley might have had a stronger case if men wearing Tyvek hazmat suits and gas masks hadn’t walked through the lobby…or if he hadn’t acknowledged, moments later, that the entire building would have to be closed for a complete renovation.”)
But last night on the PBS Newshour, Lt. Brady Van Engelen — a former Walter Reed outpatient who has personal experience with the hospital’s failed bureaucracy — confirmed the Post’s reporting, and said the problems with America’s military health care system go well beyond Walter Reed. Watch it:
Engelen was shot in the head in Baghdad in April 2004, and had a large piece of his skull replaced with a titanium plate. Days after his surgery, he actually had to hail a cab to take him to the outpatient facility, because he didn’t feel well enough to walk there. “This stuff happens all across the country,” Van Engelen said. “I’ve spoken to soldiers that have told me just as much. It’s systemic. It’s not just moldy beds, walls, and hospital beds, you know, and the poor TV reception or anything else. It’s just the mentality, you know. The system just needs an overhaul.”
Later on the show, Rep. Bob Filner (D-CA), chairman of the Veterans Committee, said “the White House and [Kiley] are in denial about this whole thing.”
Transcript: Read more
U.S. Attorney Margaret Chiara of Michigan’s Western District appears to be the eighth prosecutor to have been fired by the administration in recent months.
Newsweek’s Holly Bailey, who is traveling with Dick Cheney, writes that the vice president has not allowed for any questions from the press pool so far. Bailey writes, “After nearly 27 hours of air travel over the last four days, reporters on the trip have laid eyes on Cheney for only the briefest snippets of time.” Bailey has become so frustrated that she put Cheney on the stopwatch — see her results.