The SanityPrompt

This blog represents some small and occasional efforts to add a note of sanity to discussions of politics and policy. This blog best viewed with Internet Explorer @ 1024x768

Monday, August 01, 2005

President Cheney

A few weeks ago, this passage in an article about the death of an American soldier in Iraq caught my eye.

The New Yorker: THE HOME FRONT - A soldier’s father wrestles with the ambiguities of Iraq. by GEORGE PACKER:

"When Bush's first chief of the postwar operation, the retired general Jay Garner, was replaced by L. Paul Bremer III and recalled from Iraq, in May, 2003, he was taken by Rumsfeld to the White House for a farewell meeting with the President. The conversation lasted forty-five minutes, he told me, with Vice-President Dick Cheney and Rice sitting in for the second half, and yet the President did not take the chance to ask Garner what it was really like in Iraq, to find out what problems lay ahead. When Garner had come back from northern Iraq in 1991, after leading the effort to save Kurdish refugees following the Gulf War, he had answered questions for four or five days.

Bush thanked Garner for his excellent service. Garner told Bush, "You made a great choice in Bremer." Garner's end-of-duty report had assured the President that most services in Iraq would be restored within a few weeks. Anyone listening to the conversation could only conclude that Operation Iraqi Freedom was a triumph.

"You want to do Iran for the next one?" the President joshed as the meeting came to an end.

"No, sir, me and the boys are holding out for Cuba," Garner said.

Bush laughed and promised Garner and the boys Cuba.

Garner shook hands with the President, then with the Vice-President, who had said nothing the whole time. He told me that he caught Cheney's "wicked little smile" on his way out, adding, "I think the President only knows what Cheney lets in there.""

I can't say I am surprised by any of this.


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