Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
When the Neoconservatives began beating the drums for war with Iraq and fabricating intelligence claims of weapons of mass destruction that Saddam Hussein was prepared to use against the United States, every major news service in the country — including the Gray Lady New York Times – dutifully reported the Neoconservative propaganda unquestioningly as fact. The one rare exception was McClatchy News service which reported that the intelligence was questionable or wrong and the narrative for war with Iraq was not supported by the facts.
How times have changed. McClatchy now appears to have become a captive of the Pentagon propaganda mill as well.
Karoli reports at Crooks and Liars that:
Yet another unsourced rumor is leaked, this time to McClatchy, who dutifully reported it without so much as one single named source:
The Obama administration has decided to begin publicly walking away from what it once touted as key deadlines in the war in Afghanistan in an effort to de-emphasize President Barack Obama's pledge that he'd begin withdrawing U.S. forces in July 2011, administration and military officials have told McClatchy.
They will most certainly argue that having said unnamed military officials grouped with unnamed administration officials lends credibility, but it's worth noticing that they distinguished the "administration officials" apart from the White House.
A clue can be had later in the article, however:
The Pentagon also has decided not to announce specific dates for handing security responsibility for several Afghan provinces to local officials and instead intends to work out a more vague definition of transition when it meets with its NATO allies.
What a year ago had been touted as an extensive December review of the strategy now also will be less expansive and will offer no major changes in strategy, the officials told McClatchy. So far, the U.S. Central Command, the military division that oversees Afghanistan operations, hasn't submitted any kind of withdrawal order for forces for the July deadline, two of those officials told McClatchy.
The White House retorts after the article is published, with attribution, by the way:
The White House vehemently denies that there is any change in policy. "The president has been crystal clear that we will begin drawing down troops in July of 2011. There is absolutely no change to that policy," said Tommy Vietor, a White House spokesman.
Just another installment of the military and Department of Defense/CIA officials' push to keep the permanent, everlasting war going, brought to you courtesy of the generals and the brass in the Pentagon.
The Arizona Daily Star today published an edited version of this McClatchy News report which includes the above correction from the White House. 4 senators push Obama to drop 2011 Afghan pullout date.
The unedited version of the report is here McCain, Lieberman urge Obama to drop 2011 Afghan date | McClatchy (The "usual suspects": John McCain, Joe Lieberman and Lindsey Graham are traveling with New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand — who pointedly did not challenge the 2011 deadline):
In a story that appeared in Wednesday newspapers, McClatchy reported that the White House plans to de-emphasize the July 2011 date as the beginning of a U.S. withdrawal in hopes, in part, of persuading Pakistan's military that the U.S. will not soon abandon its fight against the Taliban.
* * *
On Wednesday, Tommy Vietor, a White House spokesman, said there's been no change in policy. "The president has been crystal clear that we will begin drawing down troops in July of 2011. There is absolutely no change to that policy," Vietor said in a statement.
It is not "news" when the Neocon Three Stooges advocate for unending war. It is what they do. (Lindsey Graham is wistfully dreaming of war with Iran and a confrontation with China. Republican Senator urges Obama to support war with Iran, ‘confrontation’ with China | Raw Story. You can bet his Neocon dream is shared by McCain and Lieberman.) The Neocon Three Stooges are a threat to the safety and national security of the United States. No one should be listening to them.
John McCain apparently is suffering from the delusion that he was elected president in 2008 and that he is commander-in-chief:
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said Obama was "wrong to set the date of July, mid-2011," to begin a phased withdrawal of roughly 100,000 U.S. troops. He said the president should unequivocally state that any U.S. pullback would be based on conditions in the country.
"He hasn't done that to my satisfaction," McCain said.
What is most telling about the edited version of this report published in the Arizona Daily Star today is the deleted analysis which shows that John McCain is clueless and doesn't know what the hell he is talking about, once again:
Private analysts, and even some U.S. officials, question the extent to which an influx of American troops in southern Helmand and Kandahar provinces, intensified air strikes and U.S. Special Forces raids have set back the Taliban-led insurgency.
These experts say that while the American offensive has had an impact on the Taliban, disrupting supply networks and money channels, for example, the impact could be fleeting.
Ahmed Rashid, a journalist and author of several books on Central Asia, said it remains to be seen whether the U.S. offensive is sustainable; whether Afghan security forces can eventually take over from U.S. ones; and whether the Taliban will simply melt away, only to return.
"These are unanswered questions," said Rashid, who was in Kabul to attend a U.N.-sponsored conference on reconciliation in Afghanistan.
McCain said that "a good part of Kandahar," Afghanistan's second-largest city, "has the luxury of people living in a secure environment."
But reports from the province say that the Taliban, pushed from rural areas by the U.S. offensive, have moved into the city itself and begun a campaign of targeted assassinations against officials of the U.S.-backed government.
Shades of John McCain doing his "Baghdad Bob" impression strolling through the "safe" streets of Baghdad — protected by 100 heavily armed troops and Apache attack helicopters overhead. When is the nightmare of McCain going to end?