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The Bait-and-Switch Administration

bushplanforvictory.jpg(Remember this trip down memory lane, from almost two years ago?)

So, it turns out that the much-hyped “Petraeus report” in September is turning out to be synonymous with Lewis Carroll’s Cheshire cat, as the Washington Post tells us today:

Senior congressional aides said yesterday that the White House has proposed limiting the much-anticipated appearance on Capitol Hill next month of Gen. David H. Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker to a private congressional briefing, suggesting instead that the Bush administration’s progress report on the Iraq war should be delivered to Congress by the secretaries of state and defense.

. . . With the report due by Sept. 15, officials at the White House, in Congress and in Baghdad said that no decisions have been made on where, when or how Petraeus and Crocker will appear before Congress. Lawmakers from both parties are growing worried that the report — far from clarifying the United States’ future in Iraq — will only harden the political battle lines around the war.

. . . Those positions only hardened yesterday with reports that the document would not be written by the Army general but instead would come from the White House, with input from Petraeus, Crocker and other administration officials.

Atrios and at MissLaura at DailyKos both picked up on the three words that need to be hammered into the public’s consciousness about what the Orwell Bush administration is attempting here: Bait and switch. As Senate majority leader Harry Reid just noted in a statement, it’s not like they don’t have a history of this sort of thing:

From the very beginning of this war, the Bush Administration has refused to level with the American people about its flawed policy. It has instead done everything in its power to escape accountability and mislead us about the reality on the ground.

But that’s far too polite, and not nearly as effective as reminding people of the details. One of Reid’s staffers should have invoked the Trebek clause (“more specific, please”) and had him say something like this:

First, the president told us Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. It didn’t. Then, he told us the “mission was accomplished.” It wasn’t. Then, he told us that as the Iraqis stood up, our troops would stand down. They didn’t. Then he toured the country, saying he had a “plan for victory.” He didn’t. Now we learn that the objective report from our top general on whether our latest tactics are failing won’t be objective.

How long does this have to go on before we finally say, “Enough”?

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Swopa has been sharing prescient, if somewhat anal-retentive, analysis and garden-variety mockery with Internet readers since 1995 or so, when he began debunking the fantasies of Clinton-scandal aficionados on Usenet. He is currently esconced as the primary poster at Needlenose (