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(From left to right, clockwise:  President George W. Bush; Stephen Hadley, National Security Advisor; Michael Chertoff, Director of Homeland Security; Vice President Dick Cheney — on screen, presumably from some secure location; Senior Advisor to the Secretary of State on Iraq David Satterfield, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Gen. John Abizaid and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Peter Pace.  AP Photo/The White House, Eric Draper.)

Let's play a little game this morning.  In the above photo, spot the person who has been selected to participate in the meeting because he provides an opposing viewpoint that allows President Bush to stretch his opinions and contemplate the possibility of change or failure of policy or anything at all that smacks of holding him accountable for poor decisionmaking.

Anyone?  Yeah, I thought not.  What a media farce. 

Our soldiers on the ground and their commanding officers, who are working tirelessly to keep casualties and injuries to a minimum while dealing with equipment and manpower shortages, deserve a helluva lot better than this.  America deserves better than staged election-year photo opportunity for a room full of sycophants who have already made up their minds to tell King Georgie what he wants to hear rather than risk their careers on his petulant refusal to actually listen to truth and counter-argument.

It is well past time for some accountability — on Iraq and everything else.  Since the rubber stamp Republican Congress has failed to do any of that for the last five years, it is time for some big changes — and a whole lot of votes for Democrats.  Had enough?

(For more, see this from the WaPo, and this entitled "Bush And Rumsfeld Defend Strategy in Iraq" (oh yeah, lots of honesty in the above room, I tell ya…) and this on the meeting itself; here is the President's radio address from this morning; and this from Condi via ReutersUK saying there won't be any changes in policy.  So…um…photo-op, anyone?)

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Dinesh D'Souza would be right at home with these guys.

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com