ThinkProgress:Joe Biden appears to be the first Democratic candidate, among those currently in the Senate, to directly take on the image of General Petraeus that has been cultivated by the White House, calling the general's picture of progress in Iraq "dead flat wrong." From this morning's Meet The Press. (transcript)
Steve Benen:Petraeus Gives Exclusive One Hour Interview To FoxIn a recent report on Iraq, the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office raised concerns that Gen. Petraeus’ numbers do not reflect the reality on the ground, specifically the levels of sectarian violence, which the watchdog said are much higher than Petraeus and the military have been saying.
After concerns were raised over the military’s statistics, it was announced that Petraeus wouldn’t issue a report after all. Now, in another attempt to avoid scrutiny, Petraeus will be taking his cooked stats to a friendly forum on Fox. ...
West Wing, Petraeus' shop 'hard-wired'
Perhaps Gen. Petraeus' choice of media venues should have been predictable. After all, he's part of a larger partisan operation.Another new arrival in the West Wing set up a rapid-response PR unit hard-wired into Petraeus's shop. Ed Gillespie, the new presidential counselor, organized daily conference calls at 7:45 a.m. and again late in the afternoon between the White House, the Pentagon, the State Department, and the U.S. Embassy and military in Baghdad to map out ways of selling the surge.
From the start of the Bush plan, the White House communications office had been blitzing an e-mail list of as many as 5,000 journalists, lawmakers, lobbyists, conservative bloggers, military groups and others with talking points or rebuttals of criticism. ...