I seriously hope he at least gets a star out of this:
President Bush tapped Army Lt. Gen. Douglas E. Lute yesterday to serve as a new White House “war czar” overseeing the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, choosing a low-key soldier who privately expressed skepticism about sending more troops to Iraq during last winter’s strategy review.
In the newly created position, Lute will coordinate often disjointed military and civilian operations and manage the Washington side of the same troop increase he resisted before Bush announced the plan in January. Bush hopes an empowered aide working in the White House and answering directly to him will be able to cut through bureaucracy that has hindered efforts in Iraq.
Imagine someone begs you to take the helm of the Titantic as it is halfway under, and you get an idea of what this guy has in store for him.
W. read 104 books last year.
No wonder he doesn’t have time to run a war.
Maybe they have pictures of him with Jeff Gannon.
Interesting. Lute strikes me as being a complete wild card, given what he’s said in the past. He seems to believe that political solutions rather than military solutions are the answer, and that the military side has been mismanaged from on high. I wonder what he thinks he can do to improve things.
By the way, thanks for the “Edward John Smith” reference. I didn’t know the name.
Doh! It’s the bureaucracy, stupid! That’s what’s been holding GW back.
Meaningful in more ways than you imagine. The Titanic would not have sunk if it had hit the iceberg square. Instead, they turned, and the scraped the side along the iceberg and doom the ship.
Will the drawdown be quick, and accept the hit to our pride, or will the ego and fear result in the process being dragged on for as long as possible and maximize the damage?
Either the General understands this, or he is the biggest fool in the world.
Zombie Santa Claus
That’s why we have to stay the course in Iraq. To do otherwise would be to sink this nation- and, more importantly, this Administration.
There’s just no way this flies. A civilian MUST be at the helm of the military. It’s the way the gov’t was designed. You cannot have a military guy running the military, and apparently, this new guy will direct/command the SecDef.
The chain-of-command issues are ridiculous. If Gates wants out of Iraq, suddenly now he must report to Lute? Can Lute overrule Bush? Is Lute’s position a Cabinet position?
I really don’t think the Democrats should cooperate in letting Bush have another uniform to hide behind. The last thing I want to do is spend my summer hearing about how traitorous we are for not giving the war czar’s plan a chance to work.
Yeah, I hope he at least gets his fourth star for this too. Becoming another buffer for the gutless bastard in his never ending quest to shirk responsibility and accountability.
My guess is the Bush/Cheney couple went looking for a “war czar” also as a way to bypass Gates to some degree. I think the brat got out-thought and out-maneuvered (like that’s a difficult task) by daddy into dumping Rummy and installing Gates. Daddy was looking to bring some sanity/competence to this FUBAR because his idiot son’s performance reflects on the Bush brand. Good luck with that.
Good point. First of all we have a “war czar” already, he’s supposedly the “Commander In Chief” also known as the president. This is a very very bad thing to have happen, having a uniformed military person directing the diplomacy (state department) wing and the military wing is not good at all, no matter what this guy has said about the glorious surge.
Oh and John, what’s your take on Comey’s testimony yesterday?
The chain of command is the same as it ever was. The Decider decides,
servantsmembers of the administration who disagree are accused of wanting a terrist under every American’s bed and shoved out. People who go along better be ready to either carry a shitload o’ blame if things go wrong or watch a smirking bastard take all of the credit.
This gig must come with a sweet benefits package.
Thank God we are finally going to get a Commander in Chief.
Lord knows, we have needed one, and He has answered our prayers. At last, somebody who knows what the fuck he is doing. And only 6.5 years into the administration!
Heckuva job, Georgie.
By the way, we might need to conteplate this story. It seems that the potatoheads are trying really hard to fuck up the country at the same time they are trying really hard to fuck up the rest of the world.
Again, the Shepherd looks out for us :)
Couldn’t Bush appoint, say, a photo-op czar to take his place at boy scout rallies, so he can concentrate on the failed military adventures he started?
Seems only fair.
Hasn’t Bush pretty much admitted he’s not doing his job by appointing this guy? I don’t get how this even begins to fly.
The program they wouldn’t sign off on almost caused the resignation of AG Ashcroft, acting-AG Comey and FBI Director Mueller. So, what exactly was the program?
It was [one of] the [alleged] NSA spying program[s].
The Wa-Po editorial board calls this for what it is, blatant lawlessness by the administration. I can’t say I am suprised and that testimony yesterday could be the lynchpin.
I do wonder just how far admin defenders will follow these assholes as they descend into the Abyss.
Oh and wasn’t it the Republicans who gave us the “Drug Czar”? We see how well THAT worked (and is still working) out.
Another possibility is that this is just a coup. The Joint Chiefs thought Gates might help, gave him a few months, and then decided to put their guy in charge.
Now, I don’t think the JCS has those kinds of balls, but a War Czar just makes things more complicated – unless George and Dick are out of the picture.
What are the legal underpinnings of the “war czar” anyway? By law we have a chain of command that includes the commander guy, the SecDef, and the various generals in charge of troops. In addition we have the State department, the intelligence people, the National Security Advisor, and the White house janitors all in place by statute. Is there an over riding Constitutional privilege that allows the president to put these statutes aside?
Isn’t the president as commander-in-chief by definition the war czar? Just sayin…
No, but to their warped way of thinking Article two somehow permits everything…
This is called “frantically shoving warm bodies into the hole in the dike so when the dam finally goes we won’t be the guys blamed.”
Has Bush taken responsibility for ANYTHING in his weaselly little life?
Why would the FBI director threaten to resign over an NSA program?
This guy got the gig because he only took two steps backwards when Dubyah asked for volunteers…the rest of the guys flat-out dove off the freakin’ ship.
Uh, funny you should ask…I believe the answer to that is “NO”…don’t expect any change in that in the next year-and-a-half, either.
If you think only the NSA was using this program then here’s another wakeup moment. The FBI was also charged with “hunting terrorists” thing is they only operate on the home-front, not internationally. Not hard to connect the dots here, the FBI was allowed to spy on people as well…purely domestically.
You know…there are so many things wrong with that statement if taken out of context…
From what I’ve read/heard, Bush intends to put this 3-STAR general in place at the White House and thinks that he will have no trouble over-riding the Joint Chiefs, Central Command and Patreus – all of which are 4-STAR positions. Cheney said this will be fine because they want someone able to “run roughshod over bureaucracy at the Pentagon.”
Uh, yeah. Sure. That’s gonna work. A 3-star (which 4-stars don’t even have to listen to) is going to “run roughshod” over bureaucracy that is run by people who outrank him.
Sounds like the plan is not to make this guy the scapegoat, but to be able to blame it on the military itself for being “so bureaucratic.” It’s like something Rumsfeld would do.
Thankfully, the position requires Senate approval. Expect some interesting hearings. Personally, I think the Senate should refuse to confirm ANYONE to the position because the existing civilian/military command structure, headed by the Commander in Chief isn’t supposed to need a “czar.”
“We are winning the war against drugs.”
You need to stop thinking about Ann Coulter. It’s not healthy.
Who the hell takes this job without a 5th Star? Seriously–what could this position be other than what a 5 Star is supposed to be?
Wait…unless the point is to blame someone…
Oh god pass the bleach I need to wash my brain out. That’s the last person that came to mind…
O/T but looks like shit just might hit the fan:
take this for what it’s worth
I hope the Senate flat out refuses to confirm anybody to this position.
Bush can’t make a recess appointment to a position that heretofore does not exist… can he?
Sure he can, haven’t you read Article 2 of the Constitution?
Quoted below so you don’t need to look it up.
“The…Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. …[A]nd, together with the Vice President…will…discharge the Powers…of…the Constitution of the United States”
“The President shall be Commander…of the United States. Power,…of the Senators…the Judges of the supreme Court,…the Congress…vest…in the President alone.”
“He shall from time to time…as he shall judge necessary and expedient…take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States.”
The President, Vice President…of the United States, …be…from…on…for and…of, …or other… .
One wouldn’t think so, but this IS the Administration of George W. Bush, after all: I’m sure that the White House has just the right
stooge flunky toadyloyal subordinate on hand to torture“creatively interrogate” the Constitution to make it so.
After all, what’s the Decider-in-Chief for, if not to, er, decide??
Indeed. See also Glenn Greenwald’s post on this one.
I don’t think that Lute was begged to take the job. He’s active duty. He was probably ordered to take it.
That was my thought as well. All the people they asked who could say “no”.. said “no”.
One word: Lutefisk.