NOT THE SHARPEST KNIFE IN THE DRAWER: In DC, Secret Is Just A Deodorant
In a break with his party, Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) wants to approve $122 billion in funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan – but without requiring that troops be withdrawn by March 31, 2008. It’s not that he doesn’t want a firm date to bring our soldiers home, it’s that he wants the timetable for withdrawal to be classified and known only to the White House, Congress and the Iraqi government. Pryor tells The Washington Post:
"My strong preference would be to have a classified plan and a classified timetable that should be shared with Congress," Pryor said yesterday. A public deadline would tip off the enemy, "who might just bide their time and wait for us to leave," he said. "Then you'd have chaos and mayhem and instability."Displaying a remarkable grasp of irony, The WaPo terms Pryor’s idea “one of the more unusual proposals to emerge in the Senate debate on Iraq withdrawal.” According to Pryor’s Web site, he was born January 10, 1963, making him a mere lad of 8 when the Pentagon Papers were published by The New York Times. But dim as his memory might be about how journalists treated classified military documents back then, surely he remembers the Times’ December 2005 scoop on the National Security Agency’s warrantless wiretap program? Or the paper’s June 2006 scoop on the Bush administration’s program to trace terrorist financial transactions using data from a Belgian clearinghouse of international money transfers.
Though Democratic caucus members have expressed skepticism about Pryor's plan, he has stuck to his guns, pushing for an amendment that would require the president to supply Congress with a classified plan for stabilizing Iraq, including benchmarks for withdrawing troops, within 60 days of the enactment of the funding bill, and a progress report, also classified, every 90 days afterward.
A knowledgeable source speaking off the record has told The Stiletto that the secret pullout date is April 1, 2008. Shhh! Don’t tell anyone!