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Boehner Caught Shifting His Own Benchmarks On Escalation

On Jan. 23, 2007, just weeks after President Bush announced his escalation plan in Iraq, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) said on CNN that we would know if the troop increase would “work” within “60 to 90 days”:

Q: How long can you and your membership give the president and give the Iraqi military, before you say, you know what, you’re not doing your job?

BOEHNER: I think it will be rather clear in the next 60 to 90 days as to whether this plan is going to work. And, again, that’s why we need to have close oversight, so that we just don’t look up 60 or 90 days from now and realize that — that this plan is not working. We need to know, as we — as we’re — we move through these benchmarks, that the Iraqis are doing what they have to do.

Ninety days passed, violence levels remained high, yet Boehner refused put his words into action. Over the course of the seven months since Boehner first offered his original deadline, the GAO reports that violence “remained unchanged.”

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Now it appears Boehner has completely forgotten his earlier pledge. Yesterday, he claimed that the escalation has been in effect “only for a couple of months”:

The GAO report really amounts to asking someone to kick an 80-yard field goal and criticizing them when they came up 20 or 25 yards short. Rather than weighing whether or not Iraqis are making progress toward meeting goals, it asked whether or not they’ve met them — even though Operation Phantom Thunder has been underway for only a couple months. That’s an unfair way to judge our troops’ progress, and the report was designed to guarantee an unsatisfactory result.

After admitting the escalation began in January, Boehner is now moving the goalposts in order to stay the course in Iraq.

Digg It!UPDATE: Atrios has more.