Tuesday, March 27, 2007
In one of the more unusual proposals to emerge in the Senate debate on Iraq withdrawal, Sen. Mark Pryor wants to keep any plans for bringing troops home a secret.
The Arkansas Democrat is a key holdout on his party's proposal to approve $122 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan while setting a goal of March 31, 2008, for winding up military operations in Iraq. Unlike the plan's Republican opponents, Pryor wants a withdrawal deadline of some kind. He just doesn't want anyone outside the White House, Congress and the Iraqi government to know what it is.
"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."
Pryor said a classified plan would be provided by the president, shepherded by Senate committees and ultimately shared with Congress and Iraqi leaders. He is confident that the plan would remain secret, because Congress is entrusted with secrets "all the time."
What if the president's withdrawal plan didn't include a deadline? Or what if it leaked, through leaders in Iraq, to insurgents?
All worth considering, Pryor said. But in the meantime, "at least you'd have a plan."
The only halfway redeeming quality for this otherwise moronic idea is that so many dates would leak out the minute this bill was signed it would at least cause confusion. The most telling part of this to me is that when you constantly hear Democrats saying the President doesn't have a plan, Pryor gives up what that really means. So in the minds of Democrats a plan is simply a date certain to leave, it has nothing to do with success.