Pentagon Openly Disobeys President Obama

  • Bob Fertik's picture
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On TV, President Obama declared:

Let me say this as plainly as I can: by August 31, 2010, our combat mission in Iraq will end... Through this period of transition, we will carry out further redeployments. And under the Status of Forces Agreement with the Iraqi government, I intend to remove all U.S. troops from Iraq by the end of 2011.

President Obama may "intend" to order the removal of all U.S. troops," but the Pentagon has does not "intend" to follow their Commander-in-Chief's order.

NBC's Pentagon correspondent Jim Miklaszeswki (left - watch video) broke the news to David Gregory 5 minutes before President Obama's Iraq speech, and even Gregory was shocked:

Miklaszeswki: Secretary Gates, as early as 18 months to 2 years ago, was saying "look, everyone understands that we're going to have to start withdrawing from Iraq." But at the same time, Gates adds this caveat that he believes significant numbers of troops will remain in Iraq for years to come.

And in fact military commanders, despite this Status of Forces Agreement with the Iraqi government that all US forces would be out by the end of 2011, are already making plans for a significant number of American troops to remain in Iraq beyond that 2011 deadline, assuming that Status of Forces Agreement would be renegotiated.

And one senior military commander told us that he expects large numbers of American troops to be in Iraq for the next 15 to 20 years, David.

Gregory: 15 to 20 years, I think that takes a moment to really sink in. With a mission that is primarily what over that kind of time horizon, Mik?

Miklaszeswki: Again it would evolve from a day-to-day combat mission, to more of an oversight mission. We mustn't forget the US is providing nearly 100% of all combat air support over Iraq, and the Iraqi military is not going to be ready to assume that mission within the next 18 months to 2 years, it's going to be impossible.

And there are some discussions, I know Richard Engel mentioned the area of Kirkuk up in the north recently, there are some discussions among Iraqis and I know some military commanders to establish what could end up as a permanent air base, US air base, in Kirkuk.

Gregory: Striking

Striking indeed - and the exact opposite of everything Barack Obama said 5 minutes later. It's also the exact opposite of everything George Bush said when he signed the Iraq Withdrawal Agreement. 

So who's the Commander-in-Chief - President Obama or the Pentagon brass?

The Armed Services Committees of the Senate and House need to hold hearings immediately on whether the Pentagon plans to disobey President Obama's decision to "remove all U.S. troops from Iraq by the end of 2011."

And if so, some Generals need to be fired for insubordination before they launch a military coup like the Business Plot against FDR.

Update 1: Cernig says US credibility is at stake:

whether the US' word, as set down in the SOFA agreement with Iraq, is worth the paper it's printed on. There's a considerable body of opinion in military and neo-whatever circles that says it isn't.

Cernik links to Marc Lynch who reminds us the Iraqi people will have their say in July:

"Iraqis will be watching carefully to see whether the United States honors its commitments" in the months leading up to an Iraqi referendum on the SOFA agreement on July 31st and that if they don't see the right answer then the referendum will be a resounding "no" - at which point the US will have only 12 months to get everyone out of Iraq or occupy the country illegally again.

It could be a very hot summer in Iraq...

Update 2: Tom Ricks seconds Miklaszeswki:

I think Obama is listening to the military. Partly because this plan for this post-occupation force, down to 35,000 or 50,000, that's something the military has been talking about for over a year. It's right at the end of my book, reported in Baghdad last summer. I wouldn't pay too much attention to the Status of Forces Agreement. That was a bit of window dressing drawn to give [Iraqi Prime Minister] Maliki cover in Iraqi politics because it was necessary to take the divisive issue of the American forces off the table. It can always be renegotiated. I think we're there for many years to come—Gen. Odierno says he'd like to see 30,000 troops there in maybe 2015, well into Obama's second term, and I think that's probably a pretty accurate view.

Update 3: Gen. Odierno promised Kirkuk a permanent base:

Jala Naftji, a Turkmen member of the Kirkuk governing council, told Al-Zaman that he had been afraid of an increasing security vacuum in the province, but has been reassured since Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki sent an Iraqi Army unit up. He also expected that an enduring US base would be established in the city of Kirkuk. He said that in the last meeting of the governing council with Gen. Ray Odierno, the latter had pledged that the US would not give up the security mission before the Kirkuk issue was resolved.

Comments

It is scary

  • AnnetteS's picture
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Tom Ricks was talking to Gregory, Todd and some other guy while waiting for the President to speak today and they were talking this very thing. I finally turned it off and went to CSpan so I wouldn't have to listen to them.

Ricks has been pushing this 10 to 15 years thing for over 3 weeks that I know of... he has been on every TeeVee show that I can think of talking it up. Saying how the surge didn't work, (which we knew that) and there was no advances made like we had been told, that all this so called peace we were hearing about was a lie, and several other things that was really counter to everything I have ever heard.

He was on with Rachel Maddow, Keith Olbermann, Chris Matthews and I think he was on Meet The Press. I am sure he was on CNN and several others too. I know the transcripts and the videos should be available at the web site.

Thanks for posting about this. I think it is something that needs to be pushed back on. I support what the President said today. He has the information I don't have and he makes the decisions based on that. I can't and won't second guess him.

He has always said his decision would be based on conditions and the advice of the boots on the ground and he has shown that. God bless him and our Military.

thanks!

  • Bob Fertik's picture
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Ricks has a blog
http://ricks.foreignpolicy.com
but I didn't see anything on this in a quick scan while juggling many things. Do you have time to search the MSNBC transcripts?
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3719710/

About the treaty

  • davidswanson's picture
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To take nothing away from the point that the military appears to be disobeying the commander, which is deadly serious, it is Obama whom they are assuming, rightly or wrongly, will create a new treaty, and these treaties truly are worthless, because they are created by a single individual without the consent of Congress or the American people. We let Bush get away with that, while peace groups were afraid to say a word and Rep Lee could only find 6 cosponsors to challenge it because everybody supposed that anything the Senate approved would be worse. But worse than worthless does not exist. What is to stop Obama or the presidents who come after him from instituting more worhtless treaties in Afghanistan and other places without the consent of Congress? And then extending them with new ones? Maybe the peace movement should talk to native Americans about treaties sometime.

Author of the upcoming book "Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union" by Seven Stories Press.

it would be great

  • Bob Fertik's picture
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if Barbara Lee held hearings on Iraq. it would be great if *any* Dems in the Senate or House held hearings on Iraq.

how can Obama say one thing while the Pentagon says exactly the opposite? does anyone in Congress care?

Biden was on this while in the Senate

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Now he's just in charge of the Senate so it's off his radar

Waters has drawn a firm line in the sand: she'd like the continued occupation to not be "too much" or to last "too long."

Author of the upcoming book "Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union" by Seven Stories Press.

When mommy and daddy say opposite things

  • davidswanson's picture
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a child may go with the preferable one and leave the other one alone

which may be how congress critters feel about obama and the pentagon

Author of the upcoming book "Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union" by Seven Stories Press.

Well, I can tell you a few things that I know!

  • tahoebasha1's picture
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Take Gen. Patraeus -- he publicized three different literal dates of withdrawal that Obama had supposedly set down. It turned out that that was a blatant lie from Gen. Patraeus. Obama had expressed some openness, but gave NO dates.

Another incident involves a document sent by the attorney for Binyam Mohamed from Reprieve requesting certain documentation. The letter had an attachment which listed all the forms of torture that Mohamed had suffered, but the text on that page was completely blacked out and that is what Obama received. It had been stamped by the Department of Defense.

If those two incidents are any indication, I think it quite possible that the military is calling the shots behind Obama's back. Gen. Patraeus is going to be running on the Republican ticket for President in 2012.

Gates, Patraeus and 51 AG's in the DoJ are huge mistakes -- they need to go!

I can dig up the information,

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if need be!

please

  • Bob Fertik's picture
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dig up whatever you can :)

reporter by Gareth Porter and posted on

  • davidswanson's picture
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afterdowningstreet.org

Author of the upcoming book "Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union" by Seven Stories Press.

Alright, I have the information for you!

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David Swanson has named Porter Gareth's article in re Gen. Patraeus, and he is correct.

I had posted the article here.

Here is an actual (PDF) of the letter Obama received with the attachment redacted. Reprieve letter to President Obama (dated February 9, 2009). That document is from an essay by Valtin, here.

And Cheney living 10 minutes walking distance from the CIA headquarters. The stepped up activities at Guantanamo -- KBR still runs the place, I believe (this is despite what Holder said -- of course, they had plenty of time to clean up their "desk" before his arrival and I doubt the detainees stripped before him, so how would he know who had been beaten or not and the truly bad cases were probably hidden). Well, anyway, I do feel there are plenty of "shadow" forces still there and some not so shadowy. This is because, in my estimation, all of these persons/entities still feel empowered and entitled since nothing has ever happened to the high level officials in the Bush Administration. I feel that if we could conceivably just get investigations going, we would start seeing a curtailment of these hidden activities.

And Karl Roach was on Stepanopolis this morn

  • KimJones's picture
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I sent AG another letter about Roachster. He crawled out on the Sunday news circuit again, seeking sympathy points to keep from getting locked up. I told Holder it's time for some cuffs to stop the arrogance. If I would have disobeyed a supoena, a capus would have been enforced. If we can grab and lock up people that have to be proved innocent before a judge to be released, then the guilty and arrogant shouldn't be to hard to cuff.

I really think this message needs to be sent soon. Everytime I see that bald headed slug, I wanna smack my tv. Who would want to see his face after 8years of having to look at it. He is no longer a part of the clique, so Americans who pay for cable news want to know, why the hell we are paying to see "Le Turd Blossom" every Sunday. Let him spread his poison on LimBuckets radio show.

Jeesh, I thought we voted this spinster out with the Shrub!

mommapanther

lol!

  • Bob Fertik's picture
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love it momma - couldn't agree more

And,

  • tahoebasha1's picture
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you're welcome! :)

What a mockery Roach has made of the legal system,

  • tahoebasha1's picture
    tahoebasha1
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of Congress, well, actually, the whole government and the American people. You know what happens to me or you if we ignore a subpoena, don't you! What in the hell is wrong with Conyers? Why doesn't he use the inherent contempt and have this SOB picked up and jailed?

You're right, someone who has shown the world he has no respect for the laws should be disallowed from flaunting himself on TV.

Obama may have big trouble getting out

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Thomas E. Ricks author of "The Gamble" says that the war will not be over by 2010 and will probably last many more years than Obama promisses. He thinks that Obama was leaving the door open, in his speech to the troops today, for events to come that will cause us to stay much longer.

I believe that there are still many at the Pentagon and in the CIA and other places in and out of government, who still believe in the actual reason for invading Iraq. Unless the Obama administration can run them out of their "secret locations" and into the sunlight there is always the possibility that they could prevent Obama from pulling all of our troops out by the end of his 8 year term.

Bush told us that he wanted a series of military bases throughout Iraq. It is a militarily strategic location for anyone who wants control of the Middle East and Far East. [ and they are still sitting on our OIL ]

There is a very good short history of the creation of Iraq by Larry Everest explaining why and how it all came about. The creation of Iraq

I am suggesting that there are still Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld advisors hanging around in positions where they can cause very bad things to happen to extend the war. As long as there is money in oil I can't see the power brokers and their stooges giving that up.

"Each progressive spirit is opposed by a thousand mediocre minds appointed to guard the past.” - Maurice Maeterlinck

Thomas Ricks links..

  • AnnetteS's picture
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Here are some articles on Ricks that might need to be checked:

http://tinyurl.com/cqny4a

http://tinyurl.com/38zku8 This is a Q & A he did on WaPo with people just about a year ago.. His answers are total opposite of what he is saying now. I think it shows just how he is playing sides. Something just struck me as off the minute I saw him. Not sure what it was but it was just a weird disconnect.

I had the same vibe about going into Iraq in the first place, and that proved right. lol

I will find the link transcripts of his conversations with MSNBC. Post those later today.

It's snowing and there is nothing else I have to do...lol

Annette

Thanks AnnetteS

  • dinamic's picture
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Thanks for the interesting info on Ricks, AnnetteS. This snippet by Commander Jeff Huber, U.S. Navy (Retired) says a lot. Obviously the article was written by a competing author, but it rings true when you read the whole thing.

Eliot Cohen is a featured player in The Gamble, a key figure in the selling of the surge and, according to Ricks, the man who told Bush he should make Petraeus the top commander in Iraq. Not once does Ricks note that Cohen is a luminary in the neoconservative constellation and that, like Cheney and Rumsfeld, he was a founding member of the PNAC.

"Each progressive spirit is opposed by a thousand mediocre minds appointed to guard the past.” - Maurice Maeterlinck

MSNBC transcripts for Ricks

  • AnnetteS's picture
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MTP 02/08/09 http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29083534/page/4/

This was featured on Countdown but is from a WaPo article
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/14/AR200710...

Countdown 11/26/07 http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21991667/

Countdown 01/10/08 http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22609439/

Ok.. I will get more and post them in next.. that will get you started.

Annette

Interesting article in

  • AnnetteS's picture
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I am looking for another article

  • AnnetteS's picture
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I think I have it on my blog.. will look and see..but I think it has what we might need too.. It laid out the argument that they would do just exactly this. I will link to it also..

chocolates and gifts

  • dinamic's picture
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Inside the club Thursday night, U.S. soldiers of the 82nd Airborne Division ogled young Iraqi women who appeared to be prostitutes gyrating to Arabic pop music. A singer crooned soulfully through scratchy speakers to the raucous, pulsating beat -- an action that Islamic extremists have deemed punishable by beheading.

Twenty minutes later, several drunk men coaxed an American soldier to dance. He awkwardly shuffled his feet, wearing night-vision equipment and a radio, joining the women and boisterous young men in an Arabic chain dance around tables covered with empty beer bottles.

The soldiers on Abu Nawas Street said they were visiting the club to talk to the manager about security, but they were socializing publicly with Iraqis in a way that was unimaginable even a few months ago. The scene reflected the increasing sense of security in the capital and many parts of Iraq, but it was impossible to know how many U.S. soldiers in Baghdad have the opportunity or the inclination to drink a beer while on patrol, apparently in violation of rules banning alcohol consumption in combat zones.

A U.S. military spokesman, responding to a query about the soldiers, was incredulous. "Just so I understand this clearly, you saw U.S. soldiers at a nightclub in downtown Baghdad outside of the Green Zone in uniform drinking and dancing?" asked Tech. Sgt. Chris Stagner.

Club manager Salah Hassan said Thursday's visit was not exceptional. "The Americans come here four or five times a week," he said. "They buy drinks and pay for them."

Others at the club said the soldiers had been there more than once. "I love the Americans," said Amal Saad, a petite young woman with blue contact lenses and thick red lipstick. "I like it when they come here. I feel so safe."

"Many times, I went with them in their Humvees," she added. "They took me to shops and bought me chocolates and gifts."

http://tinyurl.com/d8jzv9

"Each progressive spirit is opposed by a thousand mediocre minds appointed to guard the past.” - Maurice Maeterlinck

Yes, I did...lol

  • AnnetteS's picture
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I am not home.. so I knew I didn't have my favorites available..I am house sitting for a friend.. but I had it on my blog list.. so that helped.

Here is one page from it:

http://www.consortiumnews.com/2009/022009.html

They have several articles up about different things that are very good. But this page in particular is wonderful.

It is not just on the Iraq situation. There is so many things they are throwing at him. The Santelli Rant is another. This is part of the same thing, just another branch of the tree. It is now being reported (of course not on the main stream media) that this is being pushed by Koch Industries. http://www.playboy.com/blog/2009/02/backstabber.html

According to this.. http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=45838 There is hope he is standing up to the generals in some instances. Let us hope he is ..
That is another good source of news that is not on the main but is a good place to read.

Hope these help and we can get some light shed on these things. I think it is the only way to get it done is by talking it up and getting it out there.

Thanks to all of you and to you Bob for all your hard work.

We have to stick together and help Pres. Obama and still hold him to the fire at the same time. It's like I heard I think it was Richard Wolfe say last night. We can't be like the rethugs were for the last 8 years and just rubber stamp everything the President wants to do, but we have to support his efforts where we can agree and question it too.

So, thanks everyone, for keeping him and us all honest, and above board.

Troop withdrawal in 2011

  • bremalik's picture
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Who do these people in the pentagon think they are? When Bush LIED to the American people about the reasons for being over there in the first place-why didn't they speak up then? Can these people get over themselves? We have a new Commander-in-Chief and He is responsible for what happens. How can they think that they can override an executive order? Where can we find out who they are specifically and see how they can be voted out of office?

Thanks for posting about

  • MikeT's picture
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Thanks for posting about this. I think it is something that needs to be pushed back on. I support what the President said today. He has the information I don't have and he makes the decisions based on that. I can't and won't second guess him.