Monday, July 26

WikiLeak Afghan War Papers: Pity the White House spin machine

Well, here it is 3:30 AM in Washington, DC. Nobody in this town who has to render an opinion for a living is getting any sleep. Me, I'm awake only because I'm suffering from irrational exuberance since seeing the New York Times headline last night about the leaked papers: Pakistan Aids Insurgency in Afghanistan, Reports Assert. Finally a report about the White House mollycoddling of Pakistan that the TV and cable networks can't bury.

But consider the plight of the White House. They're already dizzy trying to strike just the right tone about the papers, and it's not even been eight hours since the story broke. At this rate they'll need to mainline Dramamine by noon.

Obama is "furious" the papers were leaked. However, the White House also wants us to know the information in the leaked logs shows it's good thing he took so long to decide about the troop surge. But then there is Pakistan's regime to consider:
White House National Security Advisor James Jones issued a statement to reporters shortly before the documents were posted online, saying the leaks were “irresponsible” but would not impact US strategy in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

“The United States strongly condemns the disclosure of classified information by individuals and organizations which could put the lives of Americans and our partners at risk, and threaten our national security,” Jones said in his statement.

“These irresponsible leaks will not impact our ongoing commitment to deepen our partnerships with Afghanistan and Pakistan; to defeat our common enemies; and to support the aspirations of the Afghan and Pakistani people.”
Jeepers, has Jones read some of the stuff in those papers? And reporters are just getting started on plowing through the 90,000 or so pages of the logs.

Senator John Kerry -- a dyed in the wool Democrat and Obama supporter -- took one look at a few of the revelations in the papers and came out with his own statement:
“However illegally these documents came to light, they raise serious questions about the reality of America’s policy toward Pakistan and Afghanistan. Those policies are at a critical stage and these documents may very well underscore the stakes and make the calibrations needed to get the policy right more urgent.”
They'll have to do a lot of calibrating to explain to the American public how come the White House allowed Pakistan's ISI/ military to help kill and maim American troops, then sent Hillary Clinton to Pakistan with 500 million bucks in aid and the pledge of BFF.

Trying to blame all this on Bush isn't going to work because of the large number of American casualties in Afghanistan since Obama took office. So if Obama knew what was going on, which he admitted he did by saying the problem with Pakistan was just why he took so long to decide on a troop surge last year, then what's the excuse? 'We had to let the Pakistan military help the Taliban blow up our boys because we needed to truck NATO supplies through their country?'

So you see the difficulties with hitting just the right note for tonight's newscasts. Like trying to play 3-D chess in the middle of a six-lane highway at rush hour.