As a continuing public service, I’m endeavoring to separate the smoke from the smoking gun on the potentially important issue of whether we intend to permanently occupy Iraq or really turn it into a sovereign, free country any time soon like we say we are. After exhaustive research, I herewith submit Exhibits “A” (the “Smoke”) and “B” (the “Smoking Gun”) for consideration by the court of public opinion:
Exhibit A, the “Smoke”:
" . . . I’m honored to stand with the Prime Minister of a free and sovereign Iraq."
" . . . Mr. Prime Minister . . . you’ve accomplished a great deal in less than the three months since the transition to [color=blue]a free Iraq that is governed by Iraqis. . . ."[/color]
“The first step was achieved on June 28th, not only on time, but ahead of schedule, [color=blue]when the coalition transferred full sovereignty to a government of Iraqi citizens.”[/color]
– President Bush
Exhibit B: the “Smoking Gun”:
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, MILITARY CONSTRUCTION
Suppplemental defense appropriations for 2005, $81.9 billion, page 23. Status: passed by Congress and approved by the president.
($687.3 for Army military construction projects in Iraq and Afghanistan)
“This proposal will allow the Army to provide temporary facilities, and in some very limited cases, permanent facilities required to station (Brigade Combat Teams) . . . These facilities include barracks, administrative space, vehicle maintenance facilities, aviation facilities, mobilization-demobilization barracks, and community support facilities.”