Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The War Czar

Well, they finally found someone, so now we get to be told that we need to 'give him a chance'.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Bush has chosen Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute, the Pentagon's director of operations, to oversee the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan as a ''war czar'' after a long search for new leadership, administration officials said Tuesday.

In the newly created position, Lute would serve as an assistant to the president and deputy national security adviser, and would also maintain his military status and rank as a three-star general, according to a Pentagon official.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because Bush had not yet made an announcement.

Creation of the new job comes as the administration tries to use a combat troop buildup in Iraq to bring a degree of calm so political reconciliation can take hold.

The White House has sought a war coordinator to eliminate conflicts among the Pentagon, the State Department and other agencies -- and to speak for the president at times.

The idea that a serving general can 'speak for the president at times', that he will have authority over the civilian Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense seems to be a further dismantling of the constitution. According to his bio at the JCS site, he was Director of Operations at CENTCOM from June 2004 to September 2006, so he presided over the unraveling of both Iraq and Afghanistan. From the dates of his service, I suspect he is a Rumsfeld yes-man, and will probably now answer directly to Cheney, putting him directly over both Gates and Rice in the chain of command, such as it is.

If this report is true about the current commander of CENTCOM, it will be a good indication of the reason for having a war czar if he starts to get rid of people who disagree with escalation, such as Adm. Fallon. Since this has followed hard on Cheney's mysterious visit to the Middle East, my paranoia level has ticked up a notch.


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