Carrying on his ‘I-never-make-a-mistake’ tradition, President Bush celebrated his Iraq strategy by awarding the Presidential Medal of Freedom to three operatives intimately involved with that course of action and its aftermath – – Former CIA Chief, George Tenet who bore the brunt of national displeasure for the lack of reliable intelligence regarding both terrorist threats and conditions on the ground in Iraq; General Tommy Franks who dismissed suggestions that a larger troop contingent would be needed to secure the country after invasion and Paul Bremer, the post-war administrator who disbanded Iraqi military forces sending them into the countryside, still armed but unemployed. Perhaps the president hopes that by presenting such an award to Tenet he will be disinclined to suggest that the administration manipulated intelligence to its own ends. Likewise people might forget that General Zinni insisted more troops would be needed and that when Bremer disbanded the only trained, indigenous force he created a power vacuum in the country which bred civil disorder and laid the groundwork for the insurgency that followed. In any case awarding a medal of freedom to these people at this point seems curious indeed. It may just be a way of soothing an anxious public about a war that isn’t really going very well.

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