Bremer Clarifies His Statements

I’m sure you’re aware that the press and John Kerry have used recent statements by Paul Bremer, that he would have liked to have seen more troops on the ground in order to better control looting and similar activity in Iraq, as representing a major criticism of the Bush administration’s handling of the Iraq occupation.

Well, Bremer has made it clear in a New York Times Op-Ed that he was just describing an issue, that was a typical sort of disagreement between reasonable parties, not a major criticism of the administration.

Here’s a key quote, though:

Mr. Kerry is free to quote my comments about Iraq. But for the sake of honesty he should also point out that I have repeatedly said, including in all my speeches in recent weeks, that President Bush made a correct and courageous decision to liberate Iraq from Saddam Hussein’s brutality, and that the president is correct to see the war in Iraq as a central front in the war on terrorism.

I guess we’ll find out whether or not Kerry will bring up Bremer’s statements in the debate tonight in a way that tries to “Mislead the american people”.

UPDATE: It seems that Kerry didn’t repeat his line about Bremer during the debate. Perhaps it was because of Bremer’s clear statement here, and Bush’s likely strong comeback.

Kerry did choose to repeat his lie about the administration forcing the retirement of General Shinseki for suggesting that more troops were needed:

General Shinseki, the Army chief of staff, told him he was going to need several hundred thousand. And guess what? They retired General Shinseki for telling him that.

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