Washington Post obtains copy of secret Bremer speech. Timed for the debate? - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-04-2004, 10:30 PM Thread Starter
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Washington Post obtains copy of secret Bremer speech. Timed for the debate?

Will Edwards use leaked Bremer speech on Cheney?

This is explosive stuff. This WP article posted on Sludge Report, details a secret speech the WP obtained by Paul Bremer, in which he initially says what Kerry said in the debate - we lost the peace in Iraq due to incredibly poor planning and because they did not take the recommendations of General Shinseki seriously. Do you think Cheney can handle these startling new revelations about Iraq War mismanagement? Do you think the WP timed it for this debate? Man, talk about opening your big mouth.


Bremer Criticizes Troop Levels
Ex-Overseer of Iraq Says U.S. Effort Was Hampered Early On

By Robin Wright and Thomas E. Ricks
Washington Post Staff Writers
Tuesday, October 5, 2004; Page A01


The former U.S. official who governed Iraq after the invasion said yesterday that the United States made two major mistakes: not deploying enough troops in Iraq and then not containing the violence and looting immediately after the ouster of Saddam Hussein.

Ambassador L. Paul Bremer, administrator for the U.S.-led occupation government until the handover of political power on June 28, said he still supports the decision to intervene in Iraq but said a lack of adequate forces hampered the occupation and efforts to end the looting early on.


"We paid a big price for not stopping it because it established an atmosphere of lawlessness," he said yesterday in a speech at an insurance conference in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va. "We never had enough troops on the ground."

Bremer's comments were striking because they echoed contentions of many administration critics, including Democratic presidential nominee John F. Kerry, who argue that the U.S. government failed to plan adequately to maintain security in Iraq after the invasion. Bremer has generally defended the U.S. approach in Iraq but in recent weeks has begun to criticize the administration for tactical and policy shortfalls.

In a Sept. 17 speech at DePauw University, Bremer said he frequently raised the issue within the administration and "should have been even more insistent" when his advice was spurned because the situation in Iraq might be different today. "The single most important change -- the one thing that would have improved the situation -- would have been having more troops in Iraq at the beginning and throughout" the occupation, Bremer said, according to the Banner-Graphic in Greencastle, Ind.

A Bremer aide said that his speeches were intended for private audiences and were supposed to have been off the record. Yesterday, however, excerpts of his remarks -- given at the Greenbrier resort at an annual meeting sponsored by the Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers -- were distributed in a news release by the conference organizers.

In a statement late last night, Bremer stressed that he fully supports the administration's plan for training Iraqi security forces as well as its overall strategy for Iraq.

"I believe that we currently have sufficient troop levels in Iraq," he said in an e-mailed statement. He said all references in recent speeches to troop levels related to the situation when he arrived in Baghdad in May 2003 -- "and when I believed we needed either more coalition troops or Iraqi security forces to address the looting."

He said that, to address the problem, the occupation government developed a plan that is still in place under the new interim Iraqi government.

Bremer also said he believes winning the war in Iraq is an "integral part of fighting this war on terror." He added that he "strongly supports" President Bush's reelection.

The argument over whether the United States committed enough troops to the mission in Iraq began even before the March 2003 invasion.

Prior to the war, the Army chief of staff, Gen. Eric K. Shinseki, said publicly that he thought the invasion plan lacked sufficient manpower, and he was slapped down by the Pentagon's civilian leadership for saying so. During the war, concerns about troop strength expressed by retired generals also provoked angry denunciations by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and Gen. Richard B. Myers, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

In April 2003, for example, Rumsfeld commented, "People were saying that the plan was terrible and there weren't enough people and . . . there were going to be, you know, tens of thousands of casualties, and it was going to take forever." After Baghdad fell, Rumsfeld dismissed reports of widespread looting and chaos as "untidy" signs of newfound freedom that were exaggerated by the media. Rumsfeld and Bush resisted calls for more troops, saying that what was going on in Iraq was not a war but simply the desperate actions of Baathist loyalists.

In yesterday's speech, Bremer told the insurance agents that U.S. plans for the postwar period erred in projecting what would happen after Hussein's demise, focusing on preparing for humanitarian relief and widespread refugee problems rather than a bloody insurgency now being waged by at least four well-armed factions.

"There was planning, but planning for a situation that didn't arise," he said.

A senior defense official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said yesterday that Bremer never asked for more troops when he was the administrator in Iraq -- except for two weeks before he left, when he requested forces to help secure Iraq's borders.

Bremer said in his speech that the administration was clearly right to invade Iraq. Though no weapons of mass destruction have been found, he said, the United States faced "the real possibility" that Hussein would someday give such weapons to terrorists.

"The status quo was simply untenable," he said. "I am more than ever convinced that regime change was the right thing to do."

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http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A7053-2004Oct4.html
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-05-2004, 12:09 AM
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RE: Washington Post obtains copy of secret Bremer speech. Timed for the debate?

yeah, but he also says this:


U.S. National - AP
AP
Bremer Says Not Enough U.S. Troops in Iraq



WASHINGTON - The United States didn't have enough troops in Iraq (news - web sites) immediately following the ouster of Saddam Hussein (news - web sites) and "paid a big price" for it, the former head of the U.S. occupation there said Monday.

L. Paul Bremer said he arrived in Iraq on May 6, 2003 to find "horrid" looting and a very unstable situation.

"We paid a big price for not stopping it because it established an atmosphere of lawlessness," Bremer said during an address Monday in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va., to an insurance group, which reported his comments. "We never had enough troops on the ground."

But Bremer said he was "more convinced than ever that regime change was the right thing to do."

Despite the daily reports of violence, "I am optimistic about the future in Iraq," he added.

In a statement Monday night to The Washington Post, Bremer said fully supported the Bush administration's strategy in Iraq.

"I believe that we currently have sufficient troop levels in Iraq," he said in the e-mailed statement, according to Tuesday's edition of the Post. He said references to troops levels related to the situation when he first arrived in Baghdad "when I believed we needed either more coalition troops or Iraqi security forces to address the looting."

Bremer addressed the Insurance Leadership Forum, at The Greenbrier resort in West Virginia. Portions of the speech were made available Monday night through a press release from the Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers.

Bremer returned to the United States after Iraqi leaders re-took political control in June.

His comments raise eyebrows because they are similar in tone to criticism in March 2003 from then-Army chief of staff Gen. Eric Shinseki that the United States needed several hundred thousand troops to keep the peace in postwar Iraq. Shinseki's comments were rebuked by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and other Pentagon (news - web sites) superiors.

Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry (news - web sites), locked in tight race with President Bush (news - web sites), has fired similar criticism at the White House on th[\e campaign trail.

Since no U.N. weapons inspection team had been allowed in the country for almost four years, there was a "real possibility" that Saddam would provide weapons of mass destruction to new terrorist groups, Bremer told the insurance group.

He also disputed criticism that the Bush administration had no plans for post-war Iraq.

"There was planning, but planning for a situation that didn't arise," he said, including a large-scale humanitarian or refugee crisis. "Could it have been done better? Frankly, I didn't spend a lot of time looking back."

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmp...=519&ncid=1480



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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-05-2004, 01:02 AM Thread Starter
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RE: Washington Post obtains copy of secret Bremer speech. Timed for the debate?

Yeah, this is exploding all over the place. Apparently Mr. Bremer has decided to torpedo Bush. This is some of the most incredible stuff I have ever seen come out of the most secretive administration in history. This might be it for those guys. Very, very odd it comes the day before the debate, perfect ammo for Edwards to kick Cheney's ass with. Perhaps Kerry promised Bremer Sec Defense? Clinton had a Republican Def Sec. Whatever the story is, you can be sure Bush got absolutely blindsided by this.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-05-2004, 05:06 AM
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RE: Washington Post obtains copy of secret Bremer speech. Timed for the debate?

Oh turn it off will you! Anyone can copy and paste and use up excessive disk space.

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-05-2004, 07:32 AM Thread Starter
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RE: Washington Post obtains copy of secret Bremer speech. Timed for the debate?

Man, this one really hit the Repubs in the chops. I was watching CNN this morning and Bush spokesperson Mary Matlin was so flustered she looked like a kid trying to make up a story. Bremer has essentially said that what Bush's detractor's have said about the war all along, is in fact true. Is the Bush spin machine unspun? Combined with Rumsfeld flip-flopping on al-Queda, it looks like the Republican Party is eating itself alive this morning.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-05-2004, 08:11 AM
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RE: Washington Post obtains copy of secret Bremer speech. Timed for the debate?

Wow, the administration has a big job now - look at all the discrediting they've got to do. How will they discredit these people while still remaining optimistic? Of course, Rummy should've lost his job because of Abu-Graib, and now everytime he opens his mouth he puts his foot in it. Bush needs some shorter leashes!!

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-05-2004, 11:09 AM Thread Starter
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RE: Washington Post obtains copy of secret Bremer speech. Timed for the debate?

Another amazing thing about this story - if ever anyone needed confirmation on whether Fox News is indeed just GOP TV, check out how they are handling this story - TOTAL NEWS BLACKOUT. Not one word about it, while it is the top news story on every other news outlet. Go to their website - damned if I can find it.

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-05-2004, 11:37 AM
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RE: Washington Post obtains copy of secret Bremer speech. Timed for the debate?

Quote:
kvining - 10/5/2004 11:09 AM

Another amazing thing about this story - if ever anyone needed confirmation on whether Fox News is indeed just GOP TV, check out how they are handling this story - TOTAL NEWS BLACKOUT. Not one word about it, while it is the top news story on every other news outlet. Go to their website - damned if I can find it.
Not a thing on Faux News. I therefore doubt the veracity of the report. Or maybe they just missed it.


[:I]

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-05-2004, 12:01 PM
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RE: Washington Post obtains copy of secret Bremer speech. Timed for the debate?

it's all fake...[}:)]


btw, it don't think it's timed for the debate..it's just daily dose of shrubbery..[xx(]



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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-05-2004, 12:32 PM Thread Starter
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RE: Washington Post obtains copy of secret Bremer speech. Timed for the debate?

Quote:
old300D - 10/5/2004 1:37 PM

Quote:
kvining - 10/5/2004 11:09 AM

Another amazing thing about this story - if ever anyone needed confirmation on whether Fox News is indeed just GOP TV, check out how they are handling this story - TOTAL NEWS BLACKOUT. Not one word about it, while it is the top news story on every other news outlet. Go to their website - damned if I can find it.
Not a thing on Faux News. I therefore doubt the veracity of the report. Or maybe they just missed it.


[:I]
It finally popped up, in a little teeny-tiny line about mid screen. Not saying it was me, but I sent them an email asking if they were blacking out the story - I would assume others did as well. Maybe they decided they had hid from the top news story long enough.
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