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Democrat Proposes Secret Iraq Pull Out Date

Senator Mark Pryor (D-AR) wants to make the date of withdrawal from Iraq secret so as not to tip off the enemy. That means keeping it secret from the American people, too.

In one of the more unusual proposals to emerge in the Senate debate on Iraq withdrawal, Sen. Mark Pryor wants to keep any plans for bringing troops home a secret.


The Arkansas Democrat is a key holdout on his party's proposal to approve $122 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan while setting a goal of March 31, 2008, for winding up military operations in Iraq. Unlike the plan's Republican opponents, Pryor wants a withdrawal deadline of some kind. He just doesn't want anyone outside the White House, Congress and the Iraqi government to know what it is.

"My strong preference would be to have a classified plan and a classified timetable that should be shared with Congress," Pryor said yesterday. A public deadline would tip off the enemy, "who might just bide their time and wait for us to leave," he said. "Then you'd have chaos and mayhem and instability."

Pryor said a classified plan would be provided by the president, shepherded by Senate committees and ultimately shared with Congress and Iraqi leaders. He is confident that the plan would remain secret, because Congress is entrusted with secrets "all the time."

What if the president's withdrawal plan didn't include a deadline? Or what if it leaked, through leaders in Iraq, to insurgents?

All worth considering, Pryor said. But in the meantime, "at least you'd have a plan."

Pryor and Sen. Ben Nelson (Neb.) broke with fellow Democrats earlier this month to oppose a nonbinding Senate resolution to withdraw from Iraq. Nelson has since fallen in line on the war funding bill, after nonbinding benchmarks for the Iraqi government were added.

Senator Pryor is still missing the point. We should not pull out of Iraq until events on the ground dictate that it's wise to do so. An arbitrary date, although secret, is still arbitrary.

Update: Bryan at Hot Air received an email from a soldier in Iraq who explains why the surge is working. (hat tip: Heralder)

My thoughts are many and varied on the current state of things in Baghdad, but let me tell you that the BSP is working.


Deaths are down from EJKs, the people who are trying to emplace EFPs are being killed, we are receiving tips from locals which has led to us finding one EFP recently, the people are friendlier to us now that they see us out walking around on the streets (absolute key is to get people out of their trucks and meeting people on the ground) and the Ministry of Health is cooperating with CF. Why? Because we are making the effort. Insha'allah, there will be joint missions between the IA, the MOH, and CF in the next few weeks. What a break through! And yet we want timelines? We are just getting started after three years of stalling!

Bryan also outlined the military speak: BSP=the surge and the shift in tactics to more foot patrols. EJKs=extra-judicial killings, or the actions of Iraqi sectarian death squads. IA=Iraqi army. CF=coalition force.

As I said in the above post, the Democrats can't be happy about this news. The surge is working, which spells big political trouble for them since they completely invested themselves in our defeat. Their only option is to squash this war, an effort that will surely fail. President Bush will veto any emergency supplemental bill that comes to his desk with an artificial time line.


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Comments (29)

I'm sure they'll never noti... (Below threshold)

I'm sure they'll never notice our patrols missing from Baghdad, etc. Maybe we could leave some cardboard cutouts behind a la Blazing Saddles. That'll fool 'em. They'll just stop killing women and children indefinitely, fooled by our 'secret pullout' and the cardboard cutouts 'standing up' so we can 'stand down'. Brilliant idea.

....He is confiden... (Below threshold)
Old Coot:
....He is confident that the plan would remain secret, because Congress is entrusted with secrets "all the time."

Kim: Please tell me you grabbed this from Scrappleface or The Onion. Please?

Mark Pryor is only getting ... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

Mark Pryor is only getting part of the issue. It's not just broadcasting the date, but setting a firm date that's a problem.

When I painted my apartment, I didn't give myself four hours to complete the job, and then quit when the four hours were up with my walls only half painted.

I kept going until they were done.

Buyer's remorse from anothe... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

Buyer's remorse from another Democrat who is beginning to realize that pretending there's an off-switch to our effort there is going to backfire.

Except he's just trying to put a little time between when we leave and things go to crap so they can wiggle out of blame with their buddies in the media.

Keeping the pull-out date a... (Below threshold)
langtry:

Keeping the pull-out date a "secret" also means that the public need not know who made the decision to pull out at that particular time. Keeping the date a "secret" allows Democrats the wiggle room to claim that, should the pull-out go awry for the US and/or the Iraqis, the decision as to timing was made by the Republicans. In so doing, any adverse result is due to somesuch bad deicison on the part of Bush.

Instant plausible denial!

So how's this supposed to w... (Below threshold)
Gizmo:

So how's this supposed to work? The Iraqis are going to just wake up some morning a year or so from now and say "Hey, where'd all the Americans go?!?!?!"

(rhetorical question) Why i... (Below threshold)
GeminiChuck:

(rhetorical question) Why is it that a plan is not a real plan unless it includes a withdrawal (surrender)? The lib/dems wont recognize anything else as a plan even thou the administration has had many plans (good and poor perhaps), but they are plans! gc

Keep it secret?? Is this a ... (Below threshold)
metprof:

Keep it secret?? Is this a joke?

You'd best plug your ears as the speed at which this would be leaked by a democrat staffer to the NYT would break the sound barrier.

Also, please don't tell Senator Leahy. Everytime he leaks classified info people seem to die.

Heralder,So you ad... (Below threshold)
Sheik Yur Bouty:

Heralder,

So you admit that painting your apartment was a quagmire that you didn't adequately plan for!

Unfortunately Sheik, due to... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

Unfortunately Sheik, due to my poor foresight and my disbanding of the weekend plans, the girlfriend insurgency hampered my progress and I found that the operation would take longer than anticipated.

It's not yet a quagmire, that happens when I spill the paint.

Oh please. This falls into ... (Below threshold)
Ragnar Danneskjold:

Oh please. This falls into the "don't punish us next election for being treasonous America and military hating fools" category.

Big time political back pedaling.

Asses.

Man did he mess up, he real... (Below threshold)
Veeshir:

Man did he mess up, he really needs Dean Wormer to explain, "Double secret probation".
It doesn't work if you tell them they're on it even if you don't tell them when it ends.

Sheesh.

I don't know what the big "... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

I don't know what the big "story" is supposed to be here. The dems are going to go along letting Bush own the war, pork and pretend-resistance notwithstanding. They don't REALLY want to get out of Iraq, and the leadership will even help Bush going IN to Iran.

They can share in any good developements, and the expected bad developements will fall to the Commander-in-Chief.

This frees the news cycles for committee hearings and scandals du jour. Elementary stuff.

Senator Mark Pryor (D-AR... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

Senator Mark Pryor (D-AR) wants to make the date of withdrawal from Iraq secret so as not to tip off the enemy.

LOL. He's GOT to be kidding, right?

(in my best Elmer Fudd voice, with apologies to Mel Blance): "Be wery, wery quiet...I'm weavin' out da back door to hunt wabbits! Shhhhhhh..."

Heralder,Don't you... (Below threshold)
Sheik Yur Bouty:

Heralder,

Don't you see that you are in the middle of a civil war between the paint and the wallpaper?

It's useless.

You simply must establish a date to withdraw from your apartment before before you waste any more innocent paint!

Unless of course, you have already established a secret date to withdraw, unbeknownst to me. You sneaky devil!

I give it 6 hours from the ... (Below threshold)
hermie:

I give it 6 hours from the time the date is decided, until the NYT and the WP have it plastered on the front pages.

2 hours if Leahy or Rockefeller hear it first.


Bryan at HotAir posted this... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

Bryan at HotAir posted this email he got from a soldier in Bagdhad:

My thoughts are many and varied on the current state of things in Baghdad, but let me tell you that the BSP is working. Deaths are down from EJKs, the people who are trying to emplace EFPs are being killed, we are receiving tips from locals which has led to us finding one EFP recently, the people are friendlier to us now that they see us out walking around on the streets (absolute key is to get people out of their trucks and meeting people on the ground) and the Ministry of Health is cooperating with CF. Why? Because we are making the effort. Insha'allah, there will be joint missions between the IA, the MOH, and CF in the next few weeks. What a break through! And yet we want timelines? We are just getting started after three years of stalling!

Bryan also helpfully provided a key to the plethora of acronyms:

Milspeak code...BSP=the surge and the shift in tactics to more foot patrols. EJKs=extra-judicial killings, or the actions of Iraqi sectarian death squads. IA=Iraqi army. CF=coalition forces.

The Democrats have criticised the Administration's tactics from the onset (or rather from the moment things got complicated), and they've now changed. Perhaps it's time for the Democrats to make a change in their stance. It doesn't have to be hard set. Maybe they could just wait for 3 months before they propose another withdrawal plan to see how things are on the ground.

Sheik,There ... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

Sheik,

There is no wallpaper in my apartment. Either you had flawed intelligence or you outright lied.

I think perhaps you're right, enough dropcloths have been dirtied, countless paintbrushes frayed, and too many paint-rollers dried to thier pans.

I'm sure when I leave, this whole mess will just sort itself out.

And no, I have not set a secret withdrawal date for Septmeber 6th of 2007....

shit.


Where's the edit function?

Heralder, it is always easi... (Below threshold)
Mikey60:

Heralder, it is always easier to get the painting in the apartment done if there is a coalition of willing partners who help. Your go-it-alone macho attitude has cost you standing in the girlfriend world that you will never be able to overcome. Perhaps if you had given your father more of a reason to do the job, he would have finished it for you, so it's really his fault for not finishing the job years ago.

And you should have known and planned for the girlfriend insurgency, now that she is directing the job from her mother's place. I don't think having her come back would help in any way to rectify the situation either, best to just attack it now and be done with it. Perhaps then the nosy neighbors won't keep commenting on how bad you screwed it up, and that you should get out now.

I say finish the job and move on!

For those of you just joini... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

For those of you just joining us, we're in the middle of a simple analogy gone terribly awry.


Thanks for the entertainment Sheik and Mikey!

No, thank you!I ca... (Below threshold)
Sheik Yur Bouty:

No, thank you!

I can't stop giggling now!

In all due fairness, Sen. P... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

In all due fairness, Sen. Pyor had just finished reading "Alice in Wonderland" when he came up with this brillant idea.

Secret date when the milita... (Below threshold)
914:

Secret date when the military will be leaving?

It already is a secret since there is no announced date!

You moron Pryor!

Actually,I give Pr... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

Actually,

I give Pryor some credit because it at least shows he was trying by suggesting something slightly different, even if he didn't entirely understand.

"We are just getting starte... (Below threshold)

"We are just getting started after three years of stalling!"

And if it weren't for the "we want to lose or else" portion of left, the Dems would be able to declare that Bush has *finally* listened about needing more troops and spin it so that they get credit for finally turning things around and getting some real progress.

OMG, Mike Dukakus is back, ... (Below threshold)
Upset Old Guy:

OMG, Mike Dukakus is back, and he's given the Ds a plan:
"Shsssh! Be vewey, vewey quiet. We're weaving. Hahahahaaa!"

<a href="http://ww... (Below threshold)
Brian:
"He said our president (doesn't) have a plan. I think he's got one, but he's not going to tell everybody in the world," Burns added. "If you want to go out and spar for a fight, are you going to tell your enemy what your plan is? I don't think so."

Burns later said: "There is a plan. We're not going to tell you, Jon."

...

Burn's spokesman Jason Klindt said the senator is adamant that details of a plan to win should not be released, including any deadline for troop withdrawal.

"My strong preference wo... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

"My strong preference would be to have a classified plan and a classified timetable that should be shared with Congress," Pryor said yesterday.

Classified ? like the SWIFT program ?

Let's see...There ... (Below threshold)
Joe:

Let's see...

There is a bill in the public record that says its sponsors want us out by March 31, 2008. But the Honorable Senator from Arkansas thinks the date should be a secret.

So, does his amendment change the "drop dead" date to March 30, or (more appropriately) April 1? That should really fool them!




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