Public, private comments at odds over Iraq

Oct. 1, 2006 at 12:29 PM

WASHINGTON, Oct. 1 (UPI) -- President Bush's public optimism about the level of violence and continued U.S. involvement goes against internal reports, it was reported Sunday.

When Bush said the unity government in Iraq marked when "forces of terror began their long retreat," an intelligence report released days later contradicted him, the Washington Post said Sunday.

The report issued in May by the Joint Chiefs of Staff predicted terrorists could sustain, even increase, the level of violence through 2007.

As recently as last week, an internal report said terrorists could use the war in Iraq as a recruitment tool, the Post said.

Other internal memos and reports indicated disagreements about how the war in Iraq was proceeding and an exit strategy. As early as 2005, administrations official said the U.S. effort lacked a comprehensive policy regarding Iraq and suffered for it.

Former White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card Jr. said he was concerned Iraq would be compared to Vietnam. Card said military officials should have told the president what could and could not be accomplished, the Post said.

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