October 5, 2004, Bremer Renounces U.S. Citizenship, Seeks Asylum in France. Rumsfeld considers joining him
Speaking to a group of insurers at a meeting in West Virginia, former American Pro-consul to Iraq L. Paul "Jerry" Bremer announced that American troop presence in Iraq was wildly insufficient, and as a result, Americans (and Iraqis) paid a heavy price from the resultant lawlessness.
In this rather bizarre indictment of the President's flawless execution of the war (coming within the "red zone" of exactly four weeks until the election) Bremer quickly added that toppling the Saddam Hussein statute was certainly worth the cost of $200 billion and over 1,000 American lives, and counting. Speaking from the Air France terminal, in between bites of a croissant, Bremer added that he fully supported the President's policies toward Iraq on an ongoing basis, and urged Americans to vote against his new countryman, John Kerry. Bremer stated that he was most optimistic about Iraq, noting that just as current U.S. Ambassador John Negroponte had "turned things around in Honduras and Guatemala", he "expected Iraq to reach the heights of those two great nations".
In an almost equally bizarre outburst, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld confirmed that the intelligence showing that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction was wrong, and that there were no credible ties between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda. When questioned at length afterwards, Rumsfeld stated he was misquoted, and what he actually said was that Roger Clemens was pitching so well, that even with Andy Pettite injured, he believed this might be the year the 'Stros finally make it to the Big Dance.
Let's just say that I find it most unlikely that Senators Edwards and Kerry aren't listening to this, and calmly figuring out ways to incorporate all of this into their principal campaign meme, i.e., that George W. Bush and company are too dangerously incompetent to be trusted with four more years of leadership. This would appear to be a catastrophic breakdown of the usually flawless Republican spin machine. In particular, at tonight's vice-presidential debate in Cleveland, it might be, you know, FUN, to watch Senator Edwards confront Vice-President Cheney with some of Secretary Rumsfeld's statements (particularly given just how big a 'Stros fan the vice-president evidently is, and how big a supporter of the Atlanta Braves Senator Edwards is).
The younger challenger, Pretty Boy Edwards comes in with better reach and a whole array of punches. The battle-tested vice-president and belt-holder, Dirty Dick Cheney, has really not been tested in this weight class before (his bout against Joe "Wandering Jew" Lieberman was a walkaway). Tonight's "Swing State Swingin' Match" in Cleveland should be a gem folks.
"This would appear to be a catastrophic breakdown of the usually flawless Republican spin machine."
Definitely, I thought the same thing after reading about Bremer and Rumsfeld today. Usually one stays closer to the approved campaign message as the election draws near, instead of inadvertently admitting the truth.
Posted by Haggai at October 5, 2004 1:23 PM
Ah, well if the piece by "Anonymous" in today's Salon is right, the Neocons are already mounting attack on Bremer in effort to prevent him from being selected as Sec'y of State for Bush 2d term. Promoting Wolfie or, if he's too far-out, then Compliant Condi, instead. If Bremer figures that the job's lost anyway because of Neocon backstabbing, then he would want to preserve his credibility in searching for new employment--i.e., want to blame someone else for Iraq debacle.
Or, if one wants to be really cynical, one could speculate that he is trying to demonstrate the he would preserve the current State v. DOD antipathy, operating as a check on the Neocon dreams of World Domination, thus improving his chances of selection for Sec. of State. However, I think this second rationale is unlikely, since I think it is unlikely that Bush has sufficient analytical ability, given his dementia, to deliberately choose a policy counterweight to the Neocons, and Cheney doesn't want one. And, this time, Condi wouldn't be able to wishy-wash, since she wants the job.
As for Rumsfeld, he gets focused on policy and forgets about politics from time to time, and lets the truth slip out. It's amusing to watch.
Posted by mamayo at October 5, 2004 4:59 PM
I don't know; Bremer had apparently made these statements before-- our press only finds them interesting now that the big one is a horse race (again). I don't think Bremer would be positioning for much of anything in a Bush II Second Term unless he toed the party line to the letter-- he must know he's not going to be there (win or lose).
Rumsfeld, I get the feeling, is gone by January-- win or lose. He is a wild card, and a wild man: you never quite know what he'll say.
Certainly possible that both of these men see the handwriting on the wall, and want to be the first guys on the block to cover their own asses.
Posted by the talking dog at October 5, 2004 5:33 PM
Wow, insightful analyses. I need a beer. Ha Ha Ha!!
Posted by kim jong-illin at October 5, 2004 6:32 PM
Using the incredible powers of the Dark Side of the Force, I ignore Rumsfeld and Bremer. They will pay soon enough. (loud breathing behind Dark Helmet)
Posted by Dick Cheney at October 6, 2004 1:55 AM