Reality, Schmality. Let's write it ourselves.
The lies and double-dealing is so common as to almost be boring anymore, but in the latest bit of pure BS from the White House, the long awaited and much ballyhooed "Petraeus Report" is about to be issued as promised.
General Petraeus you'll recall is the guy held up by both sides of the aisle as a man beyond reproach, a stand-up guy, a gifted military leader, who, if anyone could, could finally get things together in Iraq.
He was pointed to over and over and over by the White House as essentially the guy running the "surge". Bush referred to him countless times, sometimes daily, as the guy in charge, the guy he was relying on in Iraq, making it clear that this was going to be Gen. Petraeus' report. He clearly gave the impression that he, Bush, had almost nothing to do with it.
As the Los Angeles Times, which broke the story today, suggests, this revelation is at odds with "Bush's repeated statements that the report will reflect evaluations by Petraeus and Ryan Crocker." In other words, the White House has repeatedly said that this report will represent the Gospel According To Petraeus -- except, of course, that it won't. At the White House gaggle today, deputy press secretary Dana Perino was asked to confirm or deny this -- and she dodged the question.
IN trying to sell his doomed surge idea, he'd throw Petraeus' name out like some sort of magic incantation to prove that it was a smart and needed thing to do. To critics, the White House would insist that this was Petraeus' plan, not Bush's, and that he should be given a complete chance to succeed.
And above all, Bush AND congressional members of both parties, relied on hiding behind Petraeus for cover and to avoid having to make any judgement on Iraq at all.
They were all waiting until September, we were told repeatedly, until Gen. Petraeus would give the report on the progress or lack thereof in Iraq, as congress had mandated.
As a matter of fact, that was the entire crutch that congress had hung it's approval of yet more hundreds of millions for the surge. "We'll see how it goes and get a report in September", was the political cover adopted nearly across the board.
Well, now the day is drawing near and we learn that the critical report, the one analysis that literally the future of our involvement in Iraq is supposedly hinging on, the vaunted Petreaous report so often and loudly referred to by George W. Bush, isn't going to be a report by Gen. Petreaus at all.
It's going to be written by the White House itself.
OH. I see.
It won't be known how much, if any, of General Petraous' observations or analysis will even be included.
So now, after the lives of hundreds of troops have been ended forever, their families devastated, and millions upon millions expended in Iraq since this "surge" was announced, after Bush and so many politicians hid behind Petraeus as the person who would give it a shot and then give an honest, unvarnished assessment of our course in Iraq and the success or failure of the surge, the White House tells us now that THEY'LL handle the "Petraeus" report, thank you very much.
The White House spokesbot tried to defend this saying that Congress ordered the White House to give the report, not General Petraeus.
But anyone who has watched TV or had the stomach to listen to Commander McFlightsuit and his mouthpieces in and out of congreass in the past few months has clearly seen and heard how Bush has made it appear that the report was going to be by and from General Petraeus himself, the guy who he's esssentially hidden behind for months now.
What does it say when such blatant bullshit and deception by this administration (in this instance in the cause of keeping the war going, no matter what) is so widespread and common that what would have been an absolutel national outrage a decade ago is now hardly noticed?
And what does it say when the fact that this won't be the Petraeus Report at all, but what it looks like once the White House gets done with it isn't mentioned in reporting on this story until near the bottom of the second page of the piece? Including the fact that (duh) people in the White House want to outright lie about so-called "progress" in Iraq?
From the LA Times:
Despite Bush's repeated statements that the report will reflect evaluations by Petraeus and Ryan Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, administration officials said it would actually be written by the White House, with inputs from officials throughout the government.
And though Petraeus and Crocker will present their recommendations on Capitol Hill, legislation passed by Congress leaves it to the president to decide how to interpret the report's data.
The senior administration official said the process had created "uncomfortable positions" for the White House because of debates over what constitutes "satisfactory progress."
During internal White House discussion of a July interim report, some officials urged the administration to claim progress in policy areas such as legislation to divvy up Iraq's oil revenue, even though no final agreement had been reached. Others argued that such assertions would be disingenuous.
"There were some in the drafting of the report that said, 'Well, we can claim progress,' " the administration official said. "There were others who said: 'Wait a second. Sure we can claim progress, but it's not credible to . . . just neglect the fact that it's had no effect on the ground.' "