Obama WH scrambled for story to smear Walpin

posted at 3:30 pm on November 23, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

When the White House fired Inspector General Gerald Walpin, the administration claimed that it acted on a number of complaints by the Corporation for National and Community Service’s board.  Documents uncovered by Republicans in the investigation into Walpin’s firing have shown this to be a lie.  The White House fired Walpin at the behest of the board’s chair, a big donor to Barack Obama’s campaign, but only contacted the board after the firing — and at first only to tell them to publicly support it:

Pressed for the reason Walpin was fired, Eisen told House and Senate aides that the White House conducted an “extensive review” of complaints about Walpin’s performance before deciding to dismiss him. According to the new report, Eisen told Congress that “his investigation into the merits of removing Gerald Walpin involved contacting members of the Corporation for National and Community Service [CNCS] board to confirm the existence of a ‘consensus’ in favor of removal.” But Republican investigators later discovered that during that “extensive review,” the White House did not even seek the views of the corporation’s board — the very people whose “consensus” purportedly led to Walpin’s firing.

Other than board chairman Alan Solomont, the Democratic mega-donor and Obama supporter who originally told the White House of his dissatisfaction with Walpin, “no member of the CNCS board had any substantive input about whether the removal of Gerald Walpin was appropriate,” according to the report. Only one other board member, vice-chairman Stephen Goldsmith, was even called by the White House, and that was on June 10, a few hours before Walpin was fired. According to the report, Goldsmith told investigators that “the White House had already decided to remove Walpin and wanted to confirm [Goldsmith's] support for the action.”

The new documents show the White House scrambling, in the days after the controversy erupted, to put together a public explanation for the firing. On June 11, less than 24 hours after Walpin received the call from Eisen, the board held a conference call. The next day, Ranit Schmelzer, who is part of the corporation’s press office, sent an email to board members giving them talking points to use if contacted by reporters seeking information about the matter.

“Indicate that you support the president’s decision to remove IG Walpin,” was Schmelzer’s first instruction to the board. Then: “If asked why he was removed, indicate that the president lost confidence in Mr. Walpin.” And then: “If the reporter continues to press, say that you can’t get into details on a personnel matter, but you understand there were some performance-based issues.” Finally, Schmelzer advised the board to avoid “getting into any specifics about IG Walpin’s performance-based issues. The WH has stayed away from this and has counseled us to do the same.”

Will the national media finally take some interest in the story now?  The White House not only deliberately misled Congress on Walpin’s firing, they also withheld these new documents until after Grassley and Issa made their initial report on the investigation on Friday.  As Byron York notes, that takes the traditional Friday-night document dump to a whole new level.  It also completely refutes any claim on transparency and openness from this administration.

The new information shows that Obama fired Walpin for political purposes, not for cause.  The White House also broke the law, at least initially, by not giving Congress the proper notification before terminating Walpin (they adhered to the regulation after being called on this violation by postponing Walpin’s termination date).  The firing appears to have been motivated to protect an Obama ally (Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson) from having allegations of using federal funds to pay off employees and avoid sexual harassment charges exposed.  The White House essentially smeared Walpin with completely unsubstantiated allegations of senility to undermine his credibility, once Walpin went public.  One might think that the national media would take an interest in this, but as York also notes, their interest has never been very intense at all.

Inspectors general exist to check abuses of power and corruption, regardless of the party in power.  An attack on them, especially one so nakedly political and potentially corrupt as Walpin’s firing, is an attack on accountability and citizen government.  This case should be headlining major media outlets — and if the current president was a Republican, it no doubt would be.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2

I would challenge that. Bush got by with quite a lot, actually.

AnninCA on November 23, 2009 at 4:18 PM

Such as? Name one thing Bush did that was illegal.

MarkTheGreat on November 23, 2009 at 4:44 PM

I was just thinking about this story the other evo.

Gosh, there are just so many Obamarages to remember…

Gob on November 23, 2009 at 4:46 PM

If I understand this story correctly, it may be the most clearly impeachable offense of this administration.

mikeyboss on November 23, 2009 at 4:35 PM

It’s the most impeachable offense since Watergate, hands down.

MarkTheGreat on November 23, 2009 at 4:46 PM

Such as? Name one thing Bush did that was illegal.

MarkTheGreat on November 23, 2009 at 4:44 PM

Bush lied. People died!

/sarc

mwdiver on November 23, 2009 at 4:47 PM

mikeyboss on November 23, 2009 at 4:35 PM

Impeachment didn’t work out so well last time for us. Instead, suppose we take all the evidence of Obama’s incompetence, corruption and political extremism, and use it to win back the House, and maybe even win back the Senate, then every time little Barry asks for one of his pet obaminations, we laugh at him and remind him: It’s the economy, stupid!

Loxodonta on November 23, 2009 at 4:47 PM

I just love that sound, don’t you?

Loxodonta on November 23, 2009 at 4:38 PM

From some people here, yes. From the MSM, no, but we know they only get excited when there is an R after the person’s name.

mwdiver on November 23, 2009 at 4:48 PM

I would challenge that. Bush got by with quite a lot, actually.

AnninCA on November 23, 2009 at 4:18 PM

Yeah, I second with Mark. NAME ‘EM!

Puh-lease. Libs wish all the anger they ramped up on Bush was REAL. Trouble was, they desired effect was accomplished even though 90% of the things they accused him of was horse crap…and I’m being LIBERAL with the 90%.

Funny thing though…everything the accused Bush of was ACTUALLY DONE by Putin.

Gob on November 23, 2009 at 4:50 PM

I would challenge that. Bush got by with quite a lot, actually.

AnninCA on November 23, 2009 at 4:18 PM

Yes. Like this unforgivable event that Obama would never do.

Loxodonta on November 23, 2009 at 4:51 PM

Totally different, I think. Americans still poll strongly that the Clinton story was overblown, which is why Clinton still ranks as one of the most popular presidents in recent history.

They were a lot more sick of the GOP by the end of that deal than of Clinton.

AnninCA on November 23, 2009 at 3:48 PM

1. The Clinton-loving media did all they could to cover up the Lewinsky story-they only “reported” it after someone else outside of their echo chamber beat them to it.

2. The way they “reported” the story, and the way they “polled” the public about it, guaranteed Clinton a sympathetic audience.

When they asked their poll questions for example, I never once saw a poll question like this:

“Do you condone a sitting President of the United States engaging in an adulterous sexual relationship with a workplace subordinate, in the workplace, and then asking her to lie about it under oath?”

2, As for Clinton being “one of the most popular Presidents in history”, that depends on what poll you check.

According to Gallup, Chimpy Bush is #1, as he had the highest-ever job approval rating, 90%, followed by Pappy Bush with 89%, Harry Truman with 87%, FDR with 84% and JFK with 82%. In the Gallup Top 10, in fact, Clinton brings up the rear at #10. Best he could manage was 69%. Even Gerald Ford did better (71%).

In polls of Presidential scholars, Clinton never gets above #15.

Any recent poll is suspect, due to the fact that most of those polled have no experience with any Presidents before Clinton and the Bushes. Not to mention the IQs of those being polled, and the way the questions are asked (see my comment about the question never asked by the pollsters about Clinton).

3. As for your point about the GOP, a lot of those poll results were also artificially generated by the pro-Clinton media doing those polls. The media weren’t interested in the actual legal merits of the case against Clinton (which in case you have forgotten was Felony perjury, for which normal people get 3 years in Federal Prison).

The media constantly spun the GOP as the Bad Guys during the Impeachment, while ignoring that Clinton did break the law-a law that he had previously has his Justice Department use to prosecute a female Federal employee for lying under oath about sex.

In addition, the GOP’s low polling then was also abetted by that idiot Newt Gingrich having an affair of his own at the same time. The media had a field day with that one.

“Most popular President” is an illusion. And has no reflection on whether anyone was a good President or not.
It’s a celebrity thing.

By the way, 2 separate polls taken at the time Clinton left office (but buried by the media) both found that by a wide margin (71 to 74%) of Americans said that Clinton’s Presidency would only be remembered for scandal, not for anything he actually “accomplished” while in office.

Del Dolemonte on November 23, 2009 at 4:55 PM

Yes. Like this unforgivable event that Obama would never do.

Loxodonta on November 23, 2009 at 4:51 PM

Yes. Like him or not, and there was a lot that I didn’t like about him (Can you say spending? Immigration?), he had more class in his little finger than this bunch of loons we have now, combined. The LibTards will dispute, that, however.

mwdiver on November 23, 2009 at 4:56 PM

Will the national media finally take some interest in the story now?

Maybe if Walpin would change his name to Wilson or Plame they would show an interest.

Baxter Greene on November 23, 2009 at 4:58 PM

Totally different, I think. Americans still poll strongly that the Clinton story was overblown, which is why Clinton still ranks as one of the most popular presidents in recent history.

They were a lot more sick of the GOP by the end of that deal than of Clinton.

AnninCA on November 23, 2009 at 3:48 PM

This is typical ‘Ann in Lithium” crap” factually inaccurate, superficial, lame, spaced-out, and Overall Crap

Some of you give this ‘woman’ ( possibly Allah’s sock puppet / Inner Demon ) some recent credit for being less of a thread-hijacking turd-ette than she/it previously was, but a Troll is always a troll and never really changes its stripes

Janos Hunyadi on November 23, 2009 at 4:59 PM

he had more class in his little finger than this bunch of loons we have now

mwdiver on November 23, 2009 at 4:56 PM

I too am quite willing to criticize W for many policy choices that I believe were incorrect. But for honor, service, duty and class, you are so correct. I blame Laura.

Loxodonta on November 23, 2009 at 5:03 PM

San FranAnninCA is at it again

rjoco1 on November 23, 2009 at 5:05 PM

Outrageous, of course. It seemed suspicious from the very start and that it was a firing for political purposes seemed MORE than likely out of the gate.

The MSM LSM is a disgrace. Something we already knew, too.

Come on GOP, stand up for this guy. Grab the megaphone.

KittyLowrey on November 23, 2009 at 5:06 PM

Janos Hunyadi on November 23, 2009 at 4:59 PM

+1

LASue on November 23, 2009 at 5:11 PM

Two suggestions regarding the wrongful termination of Mr. Walpin:

1) Have Sarah Palin cover it on her Facebook page, like she did with the “Death Panels” discussion.

2) Since Mr. Walpin is an American citizen, he is entitled to the same protections under the law that KSM and his four murdering cronies will have in Manhattan. Let Mr. Walpin have his “day in court” in Manhattan as well. Oh, that’s not where the “alleged crime” occurred? Okay, make it Washington DC, then.

Sweet_Thang on November 23, 2009 at 5:17 PM

Del Dolemonte on November 23, 2009 at 4:55 PM

Awesome! Even when I couldn’t post you were one of my favourites!

Gob on November 23, 2009 at 5:18 PM

Del Dolemonte on November 23, 2009 at 4:55 PM

Your points are great.

I would like to add though:

If Clinton came out so wonderful after lying to America and the public was so sick of the GOP after this, how is it that
the Republican Bush won the Presidency???…..

……twice.

The actions on the ground don’t match AnninCa’s rhetoric.

Also,
If popularity is so important,why is Obama failing miserably domestically and internationally.

Obama came into office with a huge popularity swell and the media totally attached to his butt and all that has happened is that the public is quickly seeing that they have been sold a naive,arrogant,corrupt,empty suit that has no idea what he is doing.

Bush was not perfect (like every President) but withstood the hatred and bigotry of liberals for 8 years and the press that pushed the bogus scandals and lies that were slandered against him on a daily basis.

The bogus “Bush lied” to the “War for Oil” nonsense that liberals pushed were all found not to be true and Bush came out on top after every investigation from the 9/11 commission all the way to the 2008 Senate Intelligence reports.

Obama could only hope to have a record like Bush’s:

Fact Sheet: President Bush: Farewell Address to the Nation

http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/news/releases/2009/01/print/20090115-16.html

In Focus: Bush Record

President Bush Transformed Our Approach To Combating Terrorism After The 9/11 Attacks
President Bush: “As the years passed, most Americans were able to return to life much as it had been before 9/11. But I never did. Every morning, I received a briefing on the threats to our Nation. And I vowed to do everything in my power to keep us safe.”

Consolidated 22 agencies and 180,000 employees under one agency, the Department of Homeland Security, to foster a comprehensive, coordinated approach to protecting our country.

Provided our military with the tools, equipment, and resources to combat terrorism and other emerging threats and started moving American forces from Cold War garrisons in Europe and Asia so they can deploy more quickly to any region of the world.

Established a unified, collaborative intelligence community, led by the DNI, to ensure information is shared among all intelligence and law enforcement professionals so they have the information they need to protect the American people.

Combined the counterterrorism, counterintelligence, and intelligence elements of the FBI under the leadership of a senior FBI official.

Advocated for and signed the Patriot Act, the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act, and a modernization of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

Arrested and convicted more than two dozen terrorists and their supporters in America since 9/11. Froze the financial assets in the United States of hundreds of individuals and entities linked to terrorism.

Disrupted terrorist plots and built a coalition of more than 90 nations to fight terrorism. Partnered with nations in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and Latin America on intelligence sharing and law enforcement coordination to break up terrorist networks and bring terrorists to justice.
Removed the Taliban from power and brought freedom to the people of Afghanistan. Supported the creation of an Afghan government that is elected by its people, respects the rule of law, and guarantees women the right to vote. More than six million children, approximately two million of whom are girls, are now in Afghan schools, compared to fewer than one million in 2001.

Freed Iraqis from the rule of Saddam Hussein, a dictator who murdered his own people, invaded his neighbors, and repeatedly defied United Nations resolutions. Supported the creation of a democratic Iraqi government that is operating under one of the most progressive constitutions in the Arab world, and helped train and equip more than half a million Iraqi Army and police forces.

Successfully negotiated a Strategic Framework Agreement and a Security Agreement with Iraq, which will further strengthen the relationship between our nations, provide the United States with vital protections and authorities to continue our mission to help stabilize Iraq, and establish a path for U.S. forces to reduce their presence in Iraq and return home on success.

President Bush Strengthened Support for Dissidents and Democracy Activists And Helped Millions Of People Around The World Through A New Approach To Development
President Bush: “When people live in freedom, they do not willingly choose leaders who pursue campaigns of terror. When people have hope in the future, they will not cede their lives to violence and extremism. So around the world, America is promoting human liberty, human rights, and human dignity.”

Met with activists from more than 35 countries and helped unify democracy advocates and boost the international standing of the opposition in countries run by totalitarian and oppressive regimes.

Supported life-saving treatment for more than 2.1 million people and care for more than 10 million people (including more than four million orphans and vulnerable children) around the world through the President’s Emergency Plan.
Committed $1.2 billion in funding through the President’s Malaria Initiative over a five-year period, which is on track to help reduce malaria deaths by 50 percent in 15 targeted countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.

President Bush’s Domestic Policy Achievements Built A More Hopeful America

President Bush: “For eight years, we have also strived to expand opportunity and hope here at home.”
Held public schools accountable, through the No Child Left Behind Act, for producing results for all students and required highly-qualified teachers in every classroom. Since No Child Left Behind took effect, test scores have risen, accountability has increased, and we have begun to close the achievement gap between white and minority students. Helped African-American and Hispanic students post all-time highs in several categories on national assessments.

Provided more than 40 million Americans with better access to prescription drugs through the market-based Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit.

Provided tax relief to every American who pays income taxes, which helped fuel six years of uninterrupted economic growth and 52 consecutive months of job growth. Reduced individual income tax rates, doubled the child tax credit, created a new 10 percent bracket rate, provided marriage penalty relief, eliminated income taxes for 13 million American taxpayers, and began a phase-out of the estate tax.

Through the Faith-Based and Community Initiative, helped millions in need by expanding partnerships with nonprofits and leveling the playing field for faith-based and community organizations. These partnerships helped provide care for more than ten million people affected by HIV/AIDS, supported the recovery of more than 260,000 addicts, and matched mentors with more than 100,000 children of prisoners.

Outlawed partial birth abortion, ensured that every infant born alive is protected, established consequences for violence toward unborn children, and took steps to protect the rights of health care providers to act according to their conscience. Provided government funding for stem cell research while refusing to sanction the destruction of human life.

Increased total funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs more than 98 percent since 2001 and helped millions of veterans receive expedited and improved care.

Instituted policies that helped reduce air pollution by 12 percent from 2001 to 2007 and adopted new policies that will produce even deeper reductions. Improved and protected the health of more than 27 million acres of Federal forest and grasslands and protected, restored, and improved more than three million acres of wetlands. Provided the highest recognition and protection to nearly 335,000 square miles as marine national monuments, the largest marine area in history.

Appointed Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, Associate Justice Samuel Alito, and more than one-third of all active Federal judges, who will not legislate from the bench.

Addressed the weakness in the economy early in 2008 by leading the bipartisan passage of an economic growth package that boosted consumer spending and encouraged businesses to expand. Responded with bold action when the financial crisis intensified by leading the passage and implementation of a rescue plan that helped address the root of the financial crisis, protected the deposits of individuals and small businesses, and helped ensure credit would remain available to individuals and families. Had the President not acted, the toll would be far worse on hardworking American families.

Obama and Clinton records combined pale in comparison to Bush’s record.

That is why liberals hate him so much.

Baxter Greene on November 23, 2009 at 5:19 PM

There’s only one question in my mind about this whole thing. Should we consider this a high crime or a misdemeanor? Oh wait a minute two questions. Should the charges be brought just after the 2010 elections or just after the new group actually gets seated?

Oldnuke on November 23, 2009 at 5:22 PM

These kinds of actions by the WH may not constitute impeachable offenses, but they at the very least hint at a disregard for the rule of law (nevermind the question of “what is ethical”). The MSM would be doing the President a very big favor now if they would actually do some investigative journalism and press (pun intended) the President on these, uh, “lapses in judgment.” I have seen parents who, because they ignored the “small” infractions of their little darlings, only encourage them to bigger and greater violations until it was impossible to ignore. Quite often their problems then became serious legal problems. The MSM is playing the role of an over-indulgent parent right now, and the longer they continue in this role the more likely it will be that the WH will go too far for even the MSM to ignore. Unfortunately, by then, the matter could very well be out of their hands. Although I am very much opposed to nearly all of the policies of this Administration, an impeachment would be worse in my judgment. Nevertheless, if the MSM doesn’t start doing its job by holding this WH to account for these very brazen abuses, it won’t be long before they will cross a very dangerous line. This is not meant to be a judgment of this Administration, but it is merely an observation based on human behavior.

Harrell on November 23, 2009 at 5:24 PM

Nixonian….isn’t it…actually Dick was a piker compared to these commies

JJKRN on November 23, 2009 at 3:33 PM

Could not agree more, but something else occurs to me (wanted to do a strike through the words “Nixonian” and “Dick” and substitute “Clintonian” and “Bill,” but resisted the temptation).
V-I-N-C-E F-O-S-T-E-R. Just sayin’ The whole ball of yarn is beginning to unwind, and desperate people…as the saying goes.

Chewy the Lab on November 23, 2009 at 5:26 PM

Del Dolemonte on November 23, 2009 at 4:55 PM

Good post…but too add to the post, I think the most outrageous act was not Lewinski, but the Billy Dale fiasco.
That was both Clinton’s, in a very clandestine act to destroy an innocent man, a very innocent man, for their cronies.
I still think that is one of the most obvious examples of a leader in America destroying an innocent victim…it set up the Joe the plumber, etc. attacks.
Destroy the opponent at all costs, and a certain number of supporters will always support you…no matter how egregious.

right2bright on November 23, 2009 at 5:27 PM

BUT….they all do it.

AnninCA on November 23, 2009 at 4:10 PM

So thats just peachy! Right, Ann?

katy the mean old lady on November 23, 2009 at 5:32 PM

right2bright on November 23, 2009 at 5:27 PM

GREAT POINT! Now of course, the same peeps who slam Sarah Palin who has only helped get rid of Gov’t corruption love the dirty Clintons up and down. Most of ‘em don’t even know who Bill Dale is. Disgrazia!

Gob on November 23, 2009 at 5:34 PM

Del Dolemonte on November 23, 2009 at 4:55 PM

Would like to add these facts to your on target post also.

Bush accomplished more than anyone thought possible concerning the Iraqi war.

With democrats fighting for surrender (Senate majority leader Harry Reid’s famous “the war is lost” idiocy),Bush stayed strong,worked with the military,did not govern by the polls,instituted the surge and brought success where the super smart liberals (that voted for the war) said it could not be done.

Watching Obama procrastinate and look for the exit in Afghanistan,it is obvious he will not have the success that Bush did in Iraq even after spending the last 2 years telling America how much smarter he was,that he had a better plan,and that he would kill Osama,and eliminate the Taliban/al-qaeda threat in the Afghan/Pakistan theater.


President Bush Discusses Global War on Terror
The Pentagon

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2008/03/20080319-2.html

We appreciate the fine civilians from many departments who serve alongside you. Many of you served in Iraq and Afghanistan — and some have been on these fronts several times. You will never forget the people who fought at your side. You will always remember the comrades who served with you in combat [but] did not make the journey home. America remembers them as well. More than 4,400 men and women have given their lives in the war on terror. We’ll pray for their families. We’ll always honor their memory.

The best way we can honor them is by making sure that their sacrifice was not in vain. Five years ago tonight, I promised the American people that in the struggle ahead “we will accept no outcome but victory.” Today, standing before men and women who helped liberate a nation, I reaffirm the commitment. The battle in Iraq is noble, it is necessary, and it is just. And with your courage, the battle in Iraq will end in victory. God bless. (Applause.)


Fact Sheet: Five Years Later: New Strategy Improving Security In Iraq

Today, President Bush spoke at the Pentagon to mark the fifth anniversary of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The past five years have been a critical time in history. U.S. troops should be proud of their partnership with Iraqis and the progress in Iraq.

The battle in Iraq is noble, necessary, and just.
Defeating the enemy in Iraq will make it less likely we will face this enemy here at home. The terrorists who murder the innocent in the streets of Baghdad also want to murder the innocent in the streets of American cities.
Because we acted against Saddam Hussein, the world is better and America is safer. Because we acted, Saddam Hussein no longer fills fields with the remains of innocent men, women, and children, invades his neighbors, pays the families of suicide bombers, or defies the will of the United Nations. Saddam’s torture chambers, rape rooms, and children’s prisons have been closed for good.

The “Surge” Strategy Has Produced Dramatic Results In Iraq
The U.S. is carrying out a new strategy in Iraq based on providing population security. In late 2006, the U.S. reviewed its strategy and gave our troops a new mission under General Petraeus’ command centered on:


Working with Iraq’s security forces to protect the Iraqi people.


Pursuing the enemy in its strongholds.


Denying sanctuary to the terrorists.


The surge is working. Since all the surge forces began operating in mid-2007:


Overall violence in Iraq is significantly down.


Civilian deaths are down.

Sectarian killings are down.

Attacks on American forces are down.


Coalition forces have captured or killed thousands of extremists in Iraq, including hundreds of key al Qaeda leaders and operatives.


We have begun bringing some of our troops home as a “return on success.”

More than 90,000 concerned local citizens are now helping to protect their communities from terrorists, insurgents, and extremists. The “Awakening” movement began in Anbar in 2006, when Sunni tribal leaders grew tired of al Qaeda’s brutality and started a popular uprising. As this effort succeeded, it inspired other Iraqis to take up the fight.
To take advantage of this opportunity, we sent 4,000 additional Marines to help these brave Iraqis drive al Qaeda from the province.

The government in Baghdad has stepped forward with a surge of its own by adding more than 100,000 new Iraqi soldiers and police during the past year. Iraqi troops have fought bravely, and thousands have given their lives in this struggle.

As we have fought al Qaeda, Coalition and Iraqi forces have also taken the fight to Shia extremist groups – many of them backed, financed, and armed by Iran. A year ago these groups were on the rise. Today, these groups are increasingly isolated, and Iraqis of all faiths are putting their lives on the line to stop these extremists from hijacking Iraq’s democracy.

The U.S. has doubled the number of provincial reconstruction teams in Iraq. Teams of civilian experts are serving in all 18 Iraqi provinces, and they are helping to strengthen responsible leaders, build up local economies, and bring Iraqis together so that reconciliation can happen from the ground up.

The Stakes In Iraq Are Great

The surge has opened the door to a major strategic victory in the broader war on terror. In Iraq, we are witnessing the first large-scale Arab uprising against Osama bin Laden, his grim ideology, and his terror network.
The terrorist movement feeds on the appearance of inevitability and claims to rise on the tide of history, but the accomplishments of the surge are exposing this myth.

Defeating al Qaeda in Iraq will show that men and women who love liberty can defeat the terrorists.

Al Qaeda terrorists in Mosul will suffer the same fate al Qaeda did elsewhere in Iraq. American and Iraqi forces have driven the terrorists from many of the sanctuaries they once held and will relentlessly pursue those who have now gathered in and around Mosul.

The challenge in the period ahead is to consolidate the gains we have made and seal the extremists’ defeat.
Over the last five years, we have learned what happens when we pull our forces back too fast: terrorists and extremists step in, and establish safe havens where they can spread chaos and carnage.


General Petraeus has warned that too fast a drawdown could result in such an unraveling again.

Any further drawdown will be based on conditions on the ground and the recommendations of our commanders and must not jeopardize the hard-fought gains our troops and civilians have made over the past year.

While no one would argue that this war has not come at a high cost in lives and treasure, those costs are necessary when we consider the cost of a strategic victory for our enemies in Iraq.


Allowing our enemies to prevail in Iraq could lead to chaos.
Al Qaeda would regain its lost sanctuaries and establish new ones – fomenting violence and terror that could spread beyond Iraq’s borders.
An emboldened al Qaeda with access to Iraq’s oil resources could pursue its ambitions to acquire weapons of mass destruction to attack America and other free nations.

Political Progress Is Taking Place In Iraq

Millions of Iraqis have risked their lives to secure a democratic future for their nation, and America will not abandon them in their time of need. The vast majority of Iraq’s citizens want to live in peace, and they are showing their courage every day.


In October 2005, Iraqi voters approved a new permanent constitution.


In December 2005, nearly 12 million Iraqis braved car bombers and assassins to choose a permanent government in free elections under the new constitution.


On February 3, 2008, Iraq’s Presidency Council issued the Accountability and Justice Law, which will allow thousands of former Ba’athists to return to government jobs.


On February 13, 2008, the Council of Representatives passed two key pieces of legislation.

Amnesty Law:

The Government of Iraq’s General Amnesty Law represents a benchmark in facilitating political reconciliation and the rule of law in Iraq. The General Amnesty Law addresses the scope of eligibility for amnesty for Iraqis in Iraqi detention facilities, whether they have been brought to trial or not. The law exempts from this amnesty those who have committed specific serious crimes, such as premeditated murder or kidnapping, and those who are subject to the death penalty.

Fiscal Budget:

The $48 billion Iraqi budget represents a 17 percent increase in spending over last year’s budget, with a 23 percent increase in security expenditures. Capital funds allocated to the 15 provinces will increase over 50 percent, from $2.1 billion to $3.3 billion, reflecting the improved budget execution performance by provinces in 2007.
The Iraqi government passed a pension law in late 2007.
The central government of Iraq continues to distribute oil revenue to provinces, even though the proposed oil law is still being negotiated.

The central government of Iraq reached its 2007 target of $30.2 billion in budget revenue one month before the end of the year.

The Government of Iraq recently completed early repayment of its outstanding obligations to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and reached a new Stand-By Arrangement with the IMF.

 Iraq’s presidential council signed off Wednesday on a measure paving the way for provincial elections by the fall, a major step toward easing sectarian rifts as the nation marks the fifth anniversary of the war.
March 19,2008


Fact Sheet: Achieving Political and Economic Progress in Iraq

Civil Society Is Beginning To Grow In Iraq

The surge is yielding major changes in Iraqi political life. With security improving, local citizens have restarted the political process in neighborhoods, cities, and provinces. Grassroots movements have sprung up all around the country. These groups of citizens are determined to protect their communities, they are determined to fight extremism, and they increasingly participate in civic life.
Today, some 90,000 Iraqis belong to local citizens group bearing the name “Sons of Iraq.” The Iraqi Government has pledged to incorporate about 20 to 30 percent of these “Sons of Iraq” into the Iraqi army and police forces.
Leaders in Baghdad are responding and the legislative achievements in Baghdad over the past four months have been remarkable.


In December, the government enacted a pension law that will allow tens of thousands of Sunnis to collect the retirement benefits they were promised.

In January, leaders enacted a de-Ba’athification law that allows mid-level Baath party members to re-enter political and civic life.


In February, leaders enacted a budget that increases spending on security capital reconstruction projects and provincial governments.


The same day in February, leaders enacted an amnesty law to resolves the status of many Iraqis held in Iraqi custody.
Last week, leaders reached agreement on a provincial powers law that helps define Iraqi federalism, and sets the stage for provincial elections later this year. That is an important piece of legislation because it will give Iraqis who boycotted the last provincial elections – such as Sunnis in Anbar or Ninewa provinces – a chance to go to the polls and have a voice in their future.


The U.S. more than doubled the number of Provincial Reconstruction Teams. Karbala PRT helped local residents establish a women’s center to provide education and promote equality.

With support of PRTs, Ramadi now has a fully-staffed mayor’s office and neighborhood councils have formed. Judges are presiding over courts and restoring the rule of law.


Iraq Has Great Economic Potential

The improvements in security resulting from the surge are enabling Iraqis to make progress on their economy. Since the surge began:


Business registrations have increased by more than nine percent;


Total inflation has fallen by more than 60 percentage points;


Investment in energy and telecom industries has increased;
Oil production is up, particularly north of Baghdad;


The national government has announced a plan to reform the food rationing system; and
Economic growth is projected to be a robust seven percent this year.


Iraqis still have work to do in their economy. The reforms needed to transition from a command-and-control economy to a modern market-based system are complex and will take more time. Centralized electricity generation is now above pre-war levels, but it is not sufficient to meet the needs of Iraq’s growing demand. Other key infrastructure needs to be upgraded, especially energy pipelines and storage facilities. Unemployment is too high, and corruption remains a challenge.


Iraq’s Government Has Stepped Forward To Meet More Of Its Own Expenses

Early in the war, the U.S. funded most of the large-scale reconstruction projects in Iraq. Now the U.S. is focusing on encouraging entrepreneurship. The Iraqi government is stepping up on reconstruction projects. They have outspent the U.S. in recent budget 11 to one, and soon we expect the Iraqis will cover 100 percent of these expenses.

Initially, the U.S. paid for most of the costs of training and equipping the Iraqi Security Forces. Now Iraq’s budget covers three-quarters of the cost of its security forces, which is a total of more than $9 billion in 2008. Soon, we expect Iraq to shoulder the full burden of their security forces.

The national government has now committed $196 million to fund jobs programs so that brave Iraqis who stand up to the extremists and the murders and the criminals can learn the skills they need to help build a free and prosperous nation.

Iraq Is Strengthening Its Relationship With Other Nations

Iraq wants to solidify its relationship with the United States. Last year, Iraqi leaders requested to form a long-term strategic partnership with the U.S. This partnership would help assure Iraqis that political and economic and security cooperation between the nations will endure. This partnership would also ensure protections for American troops when the U.N. mandate for Multi-National Forces in Iraq expires this December. This partnership would not bind future President’s to specific troop levels. This partnership would not establish permanent bases in Iraq.


The surge is helping give Iraq’s leaders the confidence to expand their international engagement.


Iraqi leaders are working hard to meet the criterion required to join the World Trade Organization, which would help its entrepreneurs benefit from the opportunities of a global economy.


Iraq has taken steps to attract foreign investment, including hosting its first “Business to Business” expo since the Gulf War.


The government is meeting its pledge to reform its economy in exchange for development assistance and debt relief through the International Compact for Iraq.


Much of the world is increasing its commitment to Iraq. The United Kingdom, Italy, and South Korea are leading PRTs in Iraq. The United Nations is playing an expanded role in Iraq, and will help prepare for this year’s provincial elections.


Next month, the third Expanded Neighbors Conference will meet in Kuwait City to discuss ways the region and the world can further support Iraq’s political, economic, and security progress. This is a key diplomatic initiative. It will include all of Iraq’s neighbors, as well as the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, the G-8, the Arab League, and the Organization of the Islamic Conference.


The Progress In Iraq Is Real, It’s Substantive, But It’s Reversible

Helping Iraqis defeat their enemies and build a free society would be a strategic victory that would resound far beyond Iraq’s borders. If al Qaeda is defeated in Iraq after all the resources it has poured into the battle there, it will be a powerful blow against the global terrorist movement. If Iran is turned back in its attempt to gain undue influence over Iraq, it will be a setback to its ambitions to dominate the region. If people across the Middle East see freedom prevail in multi-ethnic, multi-sectarian Iraq, it will mark a decisive break from the long reign of tyranny in that region. And if the Middle East grows in freedom and prosperity, the appeal of extremism will decline, the prospects of peace will advance, and the American people will be safer here at home.

Retreating from Iraq would carry enormous strategic costs for the United States. It would increase the likelihood that al Qaeda would gain safe havens that they could use to attack us here at home. It would be a propaganda victory of colossal proportions for the global terrorist movement, which would gain new funds, and find new recruits, and conclude that the way to defeat America is to bleed us into submission. It would signal to Iran that we were not serious about confronting its efforts to impose its will on the region. It would signal to people across the Middle East that the United States cannot be trusted to keep its word. A defeat in Iraq would have consequences far beyond that country – and they would be felt by Americans here at home

This is leadership….this is how to defeat today’s enemies.

But according to the super smart liberals,all of this was a big mistake.

A nation freed from genocide and tyranny is just one big mistake according to the “smart ones”.

I will take Freedom and real world results over style and popularity anytime.

Baxter Greene on November 23, 2009 at 5:41 PM

Some of you give this ‘woman’ ( possibly Allah’s sock puppet / Inner Demon ) some recent credit for being less of a thread-hijacking turd-ette than she/it previously was, but a Troll is always a troll and never really changes its stripes

Janos Hunyadi on November 23, 2009 at 4:59 PM

Thanks. The “Ann needs us” crowd have been making me nuts.

katy the mean old lady on November 23, 2009 at 5:43 PM

So when Nixon wanted the Saturday Night Massacre, all he had to do to be legit, was put prosecutors on paid leave pending temporary reassignment and eventual termination, instead of saying “You’re fired”???

Chris_Balsz on November 23, 2009 at 6:04 PM

Nevertheless, if the MSM doesn’t start doing its job by holding this WH to account for these very brazen abuses, it won’t be long before they will cross a very dangerous line. This is not meant to be a judgment of this Administration, but it is merely an observation based on human behavior.

Harrell on November 23, 2009 at 5:24 PM

Do you mean like, not obeying bankruptcy laws, taking over auto companies and the healthcare system…..in other words forcing socialism/communism on this country.

Johan Klaus on November 23, 2009 at 6:38 PM

The “Ann needs us” crowd have been making me nuts.

katy the mean old lady on November 23, 2009 at 5:43 PM

But Ann does need us: To correct her errors, to point out her omissions, to get us back on topic when she lays bait to steer the conversation in another direction, and for so many reasons.

See? She really does need us.

Loxodonta on November 23, 2009 at 6:46 PM

Thanks. The “Ann needs us” crowd have been making me nuts.

katy the mean old lady on November 23, 2009 at 5:43 PM

That goes along with the “you’re being mean to terryonline” crowd…arghhh!

lovingmyUSA on November 23, 2009 at 6:59 PM

Baxter Greene
I’m gonna need more memory on my computer thanks to you! :)

lovingmyUSA on November 23, 2009 at 7:00 PM

Amer-IG-ate
It’s got sex, a cover-up and a “IG” in the middle.

J_Crater on November 23, 2009 at 7:18 PM

That goes along with the “you’re being mean to terryonline” crowd…arghhh!

lovingmyUSA on November 23, 2009 at 6:59 PM

But I love beautiful young women who need a lot of help correcting their mistaken ideas. I admit that changing their minds is a lot of hard work, but it’s so rewarding to hear them agreeing with me, and exclaiming “yes” repeatedly, as I am pressing my point.

Loxodonta on November 23, 2009 at 7:25 PM

There is one thing I am STILL trying to figure out about the Walpin firing. The White House never had any authority to fire him, so how did they manage to do it? In fact, as far as I know, the White House has no authority at all over the IG.

Perhaps the IG should open an investigation into the White House’s doings.

underdog on November 23, 2009 at 7:58 PM

Obongo is Bush’s legacy-rehab CEO. By the time he’s done, W will be riding a donkey on palm branches in the streets.

leftnomore on November 23, 2009 at 7:59 PM

Baxter Greene
I’m gonna need more memory on my computer thanks to you! :)

lovingmyUSA on November 23, 2009 at 7:00 PM

Hey..you know I would do anything for you!!!

Baxter Greene on November 23, 2009 at 8:01 PM

Will the national media finally take some interest in the story now?

I’m sure media outlets are even now preparing hard-hitting (hard enough to smush any mosquito in poor health) reports to air in breaking news during halftime shows this Thursday.

malclave on November 23, 2009 at 8:38 PM

Loxodonta on November 23, 2009 at 7:25 PM

Well, I guess that leaves out this cougar…

lovingmyUSA on November 23, 2009 at 9:14 PM

Baxter Greene on November 23, 2009 at 8:01 PM

Same here…

lovingmyUSA on November 23, 2009 at 9:15 PM

Hey get used to it, we’ve 3 more years to go of this, at the very minimum. And that’s if we get6 to hold free and fair elections in ’12!

I happen to side with Johnathon Fund on this one, the Dem’s are hell bent for leather to skew the system through election “reform” in their favor. The odds of having a level playing field in ’12 is between slim and none.

IT’S THE CHICAGO WAY!

Archimedes on November 23, 2009 at 9:26 PM

Crooked as Slick Willy’s willy (but not near as slick).

29Victor on November 23, 2009 at 10:06 PM

Del Dolemonte on November 23, 2009 at 4:55 PM
Good post…but too add to the post, I think the most outrageous act was not Lewinski, but the Billy Dale fiasco.
That was both Clinton’s, in a very clandestine act to destroy an innocent man, a very innocent man, for their cronies.
I still think that is one of the most obvious examples of a leader in America destroying an innocent victim…it set up the Joe the plumber, etc. attacks.
Destroy the opponent at all costs, and a certain number of supporters will always support you…no matter how egregious.

right2bright on November 23, 2009 at 5:27 PM

All good points on Clinton scandals but I point to the Riady/John Huang/Charlie Trie/etc/etc scandal as the biggest of them all and a serious, fact-oriented media (which we know we do not have) would have followed that obviously corrupt trail. Instead they framed it as “Republicans say” and delivered WH talking points as “news” reports.

As for Lewinsky, let us not forget she was given a job at the freaking Pentagon as a way to get her out of the WH. That alone speaks volumes about how national security was viewed and valued by that crew.

KittyLowrey on November 23, 2009 at 10:21 PM

Obama and Clinton records combined pale in comparison to Bush’s record.

That is why liberals hate him so much.

Baxter Greene on November 23, 2009 at 5:19 PM

Amen.

Thank you for posting all of that. I, for one, have never waivered in my support for GWB.

KittyLowrey on November 23, 2009 at 10:22 PM

How does this thread topic square with this >>

GOP Inquiry Fails To Show Obama’s Firing Of AmeriCorps IG Was Politicized

Bill Blizzard on November 24, 2009 at 12:35 AM

Blizzard – most of the best info wasn’t released by the administration until AFTER the first round of the Issa report was issued. It was another late-Friday-dump, the kind of thing this administration regards as SOP.

JEM on November 24, 2009 at 2:14 AM

How does this thread topic square with this >>

GOP Inquiry Fails To Show Obama’s Firing Of AmeriCorps IG Was Politicized

Bill Blizzard on November 24, 2009 at 12:35 AM

They don’t square because your source, TPM, is a far-left sack of dishonesty. The firing was political, and corrupt, and the process illegal, and the follow-up as sleazy and revolting as possible.

So of course Josh Marshall approves. Because he’s pond-scum.

Merovign on November 24, 2009 at 3:02 AM

Nothing impeachable here because there are no photos of Obamao standing over a pile of dead kindergateners with a smoking AK47 in is hands. Anything short of that, forget it. Democrats are absolutely corrupt and the Republicans are absolute cowards.

SKYFOX on November 24, 2009 at 9:21 AM

kindergarteners…sheesh!

SKYFOX on November 24, 2009 at 9:22 AM

How does this thread topic square with this >>

GOP Inquiry Fails To Show Obama’s Firing Of AmeriCorps IG Was Politicized

Bill Blizzard on November 24, 2009 at 12:35 AM

I followed your link and other TPM links.

Gee, the quarry of the IG didn’t like his style–”ad hominem attacks” and “straying off the issues”, so they “gave him a hearing” which they thought he botched–so they made some phone calls and BAM the sweep got the boot.

Nah, nothing politicized there!

Chris_Balsz on November 24, 2009 at 11:39 AM

Does anyone remember early when this story broke there was mention of Michelle Obama’s possible involvement in this? Something to do with an assistant in the White House who was moved to another position to keep an eye on this?

deedledee on November 24, 2009 at 11:41 AM

Comment pages: 1 2