BushCo says that–since they haven’t seen Petraeus in a week–they clearly couldn’t have given him a script for today’s hearing.
The White House and its allies on Capitol Hill have pushed back hard atthis critique. Administration officials said they are not directing orreviewing the testimony of Petraeus and Crocker. A senior militaryofficial close to Petraeus said the general’s congressional testimonyhas not been provided to the White House or the Pentagon "and the first time all will hear it will be in the hearing Monday."
White House officials acknowledge that they know the key elements ofthe Petraeus-Crocker assessment and recommendations. President Bushheard Petraeus and Crocker outline their main points in two lengthysessions — one by videoconference on Aug. 31, the other when he metthe two at an air base in Anbar province on Labor Day. Bush and Petraeus have not spoken since then.
"We’re not by any means in the dark," said one senior administration official, who would only speak on background. [my emphasis]
To which I’ll just recall what Pat Lang had to say about the trip to Anbar.
I note that the president’s travel party to AssadAir base in Anbar Province includes; Gates, Rice, Pace, Fallon, Lute,Hadley.Â There, he will, of course, see Petraeus and Crocker as well. Anyone else of note? Any AEIers? Sounds like a council of war to me. Nice and isolated, minimal press interference and possibility ofoperational security planning breach.Â Well thought out.Â This will bea good place to get everyone "on board" and to coordinate tactics forthe Petraeus/Crocker show to come.
So all it means is that BushCo went to Anbar to decide on a plan before they heard all the other reports.