Envoy’s Letter Counters Bush on Dismantling of Iraq Army
WASHINGTON, Sept. 3 — A previously undisclosed exchange of letters shows that President Bush was told in advance by his top Iraq envoy in May 2003 of a plan to “dissolve Saddam’s military and intelligence structures,” a plan that the envoy, L. Paul Bremer, said referred to dismantling the Iraqi Army.
Mr. Bremer provided the letters to The New York Times on Monday after reading that Mr. Bush was quoted in a new book as saying that American policy had been “to keep the army intact” but that it “didn’t happen.”
The dismantling of the Iraqi Army in the aftermath of the American invasion is now widely regarded as a mistake that stoked rebellion among hundreds of thousands of former Iraqi soldiers and made it more difficult to reduce sectarian bloodshed and attacks by insurgents. In releasing the letters, Mr. Bremer said he wanted to refute the suggestion in Mr. Bush’s comment that Mr. Bremer had acted to disband the army without the knowledge and concurrence of the White House.
Ah, the rats are bailing down the rat-lines as this administration not only gets abandoned by its closest advisors, but gets ‘clarification’ on what the boss did and didn’t know.
Of course Bremer would have to assume Bush actually read his letter. And, if so, that he understood it without referring it to Cheney of Rumsfeld for their (quite possibly different) clarification.
Anyway, it’s nice to see L.Paul running for cover on possibly the worst and most deadly decision of the aftermath. Guess he’s getting tired of taking hits. That’s what happens, L. Paul, when you make schoolyard decisions without asking anyone who actually knows something about the Middle East.