Analysis by Gareth Porter
WASHINGTON, Feb 9 (IPS)
The political maneuvering between President Barack Obama and his top field commanders over withdrawal from Iraq has taken a sudden new turn with the leak by CENTCOM commander Gen. David Petraeus – and a firm denial by a White House official – of an account of the Jan. 21 White House meeting suggesting that Obama had requested three different combat troop withdrawal plans with their respective associated risks, including one of 23 months.
The Petraeus account, reported by McClatchy newspapers Feb. 5 and then by the Associated Press the following day, appears to indicate that Obama is moving away from the 16-month plan he had vowed during the campaign to implement if elected. But on closer examination, it doesn’t necessarily refer to any action by Obama or to anything that happened at the Jan. 21 meeting.
The real story of the leak by Petraeus is that the most powerful figure in the U.S. military has tried to shape the media coverage of Obama and combat troop withdrawal from Iraq to advance his policy agenda – and, very likely, his personal political interests as well.
This writer became aware of Petraeus’s effort to influence the coverage of Obama’s unfolding policy on troop withdrawal when a military source close to the general, who insisted on anonymity, offered the Petraeus account on Feb. 4. The military officer was responding to the IPS story ‘Generals Seek to Reverse Obama Withdrawal Decision’ published two days earlier [link below].
Afshin Rattansi & Gareth Porter on the war between Obama & The Pentagon
Obama Vs. Generals Petraeus, Odierno & Keane and Robert Gates & Adm. MullenAfshin Rattansi talks to investigative journalist, Gareth Porter about President Obama losing to a cabal at the Pentagon as Obama continues to support Israel, bomb Afghanistan and Pakistan and shoot himself in the foot over Iran.
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