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Confirmed: Obama Did Try to Postpone US-Iraq Agreement on Troop Draw-Down

The Prowler at the American Spectator has all the details on how Obama, in a closed door session with Iraqi officials, tried to persuade them to not negotiate a troop draw-down agreement with the US government until after Bush left the White House.

The Obama campaign spent more than five hours on Monday attempting to figure out the best refutation of the explosive New York Post report that quoted Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari as saying that Barack Obama during his July visit to Baghdad demanded that Iraq not negotiate with the Bush Administration on the withdrawal of American troops. Instead, he asked that they delay such negotiations until after the presidential handover at the end of January.

The three problems, according to campaign sources: The report was true, there were at least three other people in the room with Obama and Zebari to confirm the conversation, and there was concern that there were enough aggressive reporters based in Baghdad with the sources to confirm the conversation that to deny the comments would create a bigger problem.

Instead, Obama's national security spokeswoman Wendy Morigi told reporters that Obama told the Iraqis that they should not rush through what she termed a "Strategic Framework Agreement" governing the future of U.S. forces until after President Bush left office. In other words, the Iraqis should not negotiate an American troop withdrawal.

This is another example of a politician saying one thing in public (pull troops out of Iraq immediately) and another in private (don't draw down troops until Bush is out of office). Obama has a pattern of saying one thing in public and the opposite in private, something Governor Palin touched on in her speech at the RNC when she reminded Americans that Obama spoke out of one side of his face to voters in rural Pennsylvania just to denigrate them out of the other side of his face in private to another group in San Fransisco.

But the more important and outrageous issue at hand is that he tried to undercut negotiations between a sitting US president and a foreign government. That's simply breathtaking in its disrespect and disregard for the President of the United States. A senator running for president does not have to right to march into a meeting with officials from a foreign nation and tell them to disregard any negotiations from the sitting President of the United States. Hubris is not a strong enough word to describe what Obama tried to do.

The mainstream media will do what they can to bury this in order to protect their candidate, so the McCain/Palin campaign will need to make a statement denouncing Obama for his actions. Senator Obama needs to be held accountable but he won't be if the media deliberately ignores this story.

Lorie adds: Even if the McCain campaign is not making an issue of this yet, others are:

Vets for Freedom has an ad asking Obama to acknowledge that the surge has worked by supporting a Senate resolution to that effect.

Update: Pete Hegseth at National Review independently confirms that Obama tried to undermine US negotiations but a bigger concern to him is Obama's naivety on military and diplomatic issues:

Taheri's column comports with second-hand reports I've received from those with access to top U.S. decision-makers in Iraq. Rather than use his touch-down trip to Baghdad to fact-find and consult with senior Iraqi and American officials, Sen. Obama made a concerted effort to push his post-Bush administration agenda, undermining -- in word and deed -- current diplomatic efforts in Iraq. Tuesday, the Obama campaign essentially confirmed the details of Taheri's reporting.

Some will see this interference in foreign policy during a time of war and cry, "Treason!" While the episode truly is a scandal, I will check my emotions -- as I find the overabundance of outrage in our politics tiring and toxic. I believe, rather, that the underlying naivety of Obama's overtures is the more disturbing lesson to be distilled from this discovery.

It's not just that Sen. Obama doesn't believe in the mission in Iraq, it's that he still doesn't get it (to plagiarize from the senator himself). Fundamentally, he doesn't understand the mission in Iraq, what it takes to win a war, or the ramifications of the outcome of this war for the U.S.'s enduring national security. He just doesn't get it.

In Obama's world, foreign-policy contorts to meet domestic politics, and commanding generals accommodate arbitrary political timelines. From his perspective, facts on a foreign battlefield exist to the extent they comport with his judgment, rather than his judgment comporting to facts on a foreign battlefield.

Pete's article is a must read.

Update II: Amir Taheri has another column today in the Post where he goes after Obama's so called denial point by point:

The Obama campaign has objected. While its statement says my article was "filled with distortions," the rebuttal actually centers on a technical point: the differences between two Iraqi-US accords under negotiation - the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA, to set rules governing US military personnel in Iraq) and the Strategic Framework Agreement (SFA, to settle the legal basis for the US military presence in Iraq in the months and years ahead).

The Obama camp says I confused the two. It continues: "On the Status of Forces Agreement, Sen. Obama has always said he hoped that the US and Iraq would complete it - but if they did not, the option of extending the UN mandate should be considered.

"As to the Strategic Framework Agreement, Sen. Obama has consistently said that any security arrangements that outlast this administration should have the backing of the US Congress - especially given the fact that the Iraqi parliament will have the opportunity to vote on it."

If there is any confusion, it's in Obama's position - for the two agreements are interlinked: You can't have any US military presence under one agreement without having settled the other accord. (Thus, in US-Iraqi talks, the aim is a comprehensive agreement that covers both SOFA and SFA.)

Taheri also includes Obama's statements to NBC which refute what the Obama campaign is now saying.


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Comments (27)

The MSM has much more impor... (Below threshold)
hermie:

The MSM has much more important things to do.

Like doing in-depth reporting on Palin's church, or whether back in 1987 she gave a waitress a 15% tip when the waitress felt that she deserved at least 20%.

I would think that the MSM should be very concerned that if a backbench US Senator would try to undercut US foreign policy and the military in a time of war, what he would attempt to do if he was POTUS.

Ho! Ho! Ho! How's that secr... (Below threshold)
wbgonne:

Ho! Ho! Ho! How's that secret Michelle Obama tape coming along? P.S., The McCain Blackberry can do tape editing.

Well, I'll be an Obama's un... (Below threshold)
epador:

Well, I'll be an Obama's uncle, its a September surprise, not an October one. Still want to be careful of what gets published in a Post editorial, but this one stinks, and its not Taheri who is stinking, it is Barack Hussein Obama. He ost any support he might get from the troops AND veterans on this one.

Gee, the words TRAITOR and ... (Below threshold)
Mycroft:

Gee, the words TRAITOR and TREASON spring to mind. Are we officially at war? Cause if we are, then he can be shot.

wbgonne: oh, you mean Hill... (Below threshold)

wbgonne: oh, you mean Hillary supporter Larry Johnson's "whitey tape"? Does he have a blackberry too?

Expect this issue to come u... (Below threshold)
Roy:

Expect this issue to come up in one of the debates. I'm sure McCain is keeping his powder dry for then.

The McCain campaign should ... (Below threshold)
OLDPUPPYMAX:

The McCain campaign should push this issue until the MSM has no choice but to cover it. Unfortunately, it won't happen. Had the republican party enlisted a candidate with a brain, the election would be over. From drilling to this latest outrage he would have a 10-15 point poll lead, media or no media.

Thanks for that vital contr... (Below threshold)
Modean:

Thanks for that vital contribution wbgonne. Heh, at least we know how the kos kidz will react, blind panic and smears.

This is a real issue that won't go away and if McCain is smart he'll pounce on it, the RNC will run adds on it, and it'll become part of every stump speech Palin makes.

If the Republicans were smart GOP Senators and Representatives would be demanding congressional hearings to investigate a potential violation of the Logan Act. Not that they should hope to see it happen but just calling for the investigation is a twofer: one it gives McCain and second line of attack on Obama (Congress to investigate Obama), and two when Reid quashes the investigation it gives the GOP multiple lines of attack on the Dem Congress (corruption, cover-up, etc.)

Ho! Ho! Ho! How's ... (Below threshold)
rodney dill:
Ho! Ho! Ho! How's that secret Michelle Obama tape coming along?
Slowly, its hard to make a silk purse out of a sow's rear. Oops, did I just give away McCain's next line.
McCain and the Republicans ... (Below threshold)
jim2:

McCain and the Republicans would be better served, IMO, by this being followed up in the Senate. For example, the Ranking Member of the appropriate Committee could call for Obama to testify before it as to just what was said, with the possibility of sanctions (even DOJ investigation under Logan Act) if he refused. The Committee Chairman would be a Dem, of course, but that Dem would have a tough time dealing with it, especially if up for reelection his/herself.

Alternatively, maybe SoS Rice could ask for Obama to relate the full conversation, so that the Executive Branch would be better positioned to deal with Iraq between now and January.

McCain could stay in generalities but publicly express the expectation that Obama will brief President Bush soon, more fully, and in detail, and then also brief McCain and Palin after they sworn in.

No, the MSM, like Hermie st... (Below threshold)

No, the MSM, like Hermie stated, needs to investigate the citation Palin got, apparently as a teenager, for fishing without a license!!!!!!!

This is a gross and severe violation of the Logan Act and B. Hussein Obama should be held accountable. The DOJ should immediately begin an investigation...they have their non-scandal in Alaska, we have a real one dealing with national security & treason!!!!

He has no shame whatsoever, he is rotten and putrid.

"Congressmen who willfully take action during wartime to undermine morale and undermine the military are sabateurs. And should be arrested, exiled or hanged."

ops, that's Abe Lincoln:</p... (Below threshold)

ops, that's Abe Lincoln:

"Congressmen who willfully take action during wartime to undermine morale and undermine the military are sabateurs. And should be arrested, exiled or hanged."

I wonder how much 'dancing'... (Below threshold)
rodney dill:

I wonder how much 'dancing' there will be around that Senator's are implicitly acting with the Authority of the US behind them.

Ultimately, the only party ... (Below threshold)

Ultimately, the only party line Senators support is their fellow Senators.

While I am encoura... (Below threshold)
Neo:
While I am encouraged by the senator's evolution, I must also appeal to him to issue a "cease and desist" plea to the battalions of his sympathizers - who have been threatening me with death and worse in the days since my article appeared.

Oh yeah .. those "brown shirts"

Reading Taheri's column I f... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Reading Taheri's column I find that, basically, electing Obama means four more years of Bush's policies in Iraq. Ok, that's a positive as far as I'm concerned, but I get the impression that's not going to go over so well with the lefty from whence Obama came.

I'm sure the MSM is in emergency cover-up mode as they know Obama's attempt to undermine the Bush administration's negotiations with Iraq will cost him support with independents and his continuation of Bush's politics in Iraq will cost him support with the left. Likely the MSM will focus heavily on Palin's troopergate issue to distract the public view away from Obama's Iraqgate issue.

Consider the time at which ... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

Consider the time at which this occurred... Obama was (in his own mind) President-elect (new Obama-ized Presidential seal, O-Force One, etc). The whole 'people voting' thing was just a matter of formality.

If so many of you think Oba... (Below threshold)
pope in a funny hat:

If so many of you think Obama has committed treason by this action, then what did our current President commit when he lied to get us to invade? Hint; Sedition.

Obama committed treason.<br... (Below threshold)

Obama committed treason.
Bush did his job.

You'd have to be really stupid to think otherwise.

Seems like I recall Reagan'... (Below threshold)
Charles:

Seems like I recall Reagan's people negotiating with Iran during the last days of the Carter administration a few years ago. What goes around comes around. It's hard to take your outrage seriously.

There were allegations of R... (Below threshold)
rodney dill:

There were allegations of Reagan's people negotiating with Iran, which Clinton chose not to pursue as Iran balked when asked to provide any hard evidence. As Iraq is on a more friendly stance with the US at the moment, as opposed to Iran then, it should be much easier to prove Obama's felonious act.

Why don't you hold your bre... (Below threshold)
Charles:

Why don't you hold your breath until that happens?

It's not hard to prove sinc... (Below threshold)
tminu:

It's not hard to prove since he said in JUNE on an NBC interview that he planned on pressuring the Iraqis to delay any withdrawal agreements. It's IN THE ARCHIVES. He just fulfilled his promise, and further, there were 3 other witnesses, not just "Wendi" his personal foreign policy adviser. Obama is not denying what he did, he's couching his intent, but even the intent was the same: DELAY WITHDRAWAL AGREEMENTS.

How would you know if I did... (Below threshold)
rodney dill:

How would you know if I did or didn't, unless your rectum is transparent.

My previous was meant for C... (Below threshold)

My previous was meant for Charles not you tminu, which I'm sure you realized.

...but, be careful tminu, 'cause Charles had a real witty reparte' telling you to hold your breath if you have that view you conveyed. (but just between you and me he wouldn't be able to tell if you did or didn't)

Even if all of this were tr... (Below threshold)
Charles:

Even if all of this were true. And if it were a crime as you claim. And if a real case could be built, which is doubtful. It doesn't matter. After 8 years of the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld/Gonzales regime, our justice system is so dysfunctional that nothing is going to come of it anyway. This discussion is a waste of time. Goodbye.

I know this only bounced ar... (Below threshold)
mantis:

I know this only bounced around the blogs and didn't get any traction because the eeeeeeeeevil em-ess-em is allied with Obama and terrorists and communists and Mexicans, but maybe you twits should hesitate a moment before you take the word of a known liar like Amir Tehari. Just a thought.




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