The PoliBlog

The Collective
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
By Dr. Steven Taylor

The LAT has a rather remarkable bit of news on the upcoming and much anticipated report by General Petraeus, which is that Petraeus won’t be writing it, rather, folks in the White House will (Top general may propose pullbacks ):

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.

Given that the public stance of the administration and it backers has been that we needed to wait and let Petraeus do his magic in Iraq and then have him tell us how it is going, the notion that the report will be written by White House officials with input from “throughout the government” is rather stunning (although, not actually surprising).

The fact that we are now going to get a clearly politically slanted and motivated report rather than what was supposed to be a real report from The Expert on this situation underscores why I was highly skeptical about the messianic mantle that had been placed on Petraeus’ shoulders earlier in the summer (see here, here and here, as well as James Joyner and Andrew Sullivan on the same topic).

On today’s LAT report, see James Joyner and John Cole.

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Filed under: Iraq, US Politics | |

1 Comment

  1. Sadly, what will likely suffer the most from all of this is the reputation of General Petraeus. This is a disappointing turn of events (though we should wait and see what the product actually is before making too many judgements).

    Petraeus has, in my opinion, always been the best man for this job. He was so before he was considered for it, before we even invaded Iraq. He is an extremely talented commander and a brilliant individual.

    What I hope is remembered - whatever the outcome - is that the soldiers (Petraeus included) do not make policy. Elected leaders do that. Petraeus was handed a big, stinky pile of poo and told to polish it up into gold bullion in a few months. Because he is a loyal soldier, he followed his order and is doing his best.

    I fear that will be forgotten, and a brilliant career forever tarnished by an impossible situation.

    Comment by Captain D. — Wednesday, August 15, 2007 @ 3:51 pm

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