We Interrupt the Great Forget-a-thon of 2007 to Bring You This Slice of Actual Remembrance from Paul Bremer

As Jeff mentioned on Sunday, one of the revelations in Robert Draper's new book about President Bush, Dead Certain, is that when Draper asked Bush about the catastrophic decision to disband the Iraqi Army after the fall of Saddam, Bush replied: "The policy was to keep the army intact; didn’t happen." (When pressed, he added: "Yeah, I can’t remember, I'm sure I said, 'This is the policy, what happened?' Again, Hadley's got notes on all of this stuff," referring to national security adviser Stephen J. Hadley.)

In response to Bush's assertion that the US policy was "to keep the army intact," erstwhile Iraq envoy Paul Bremer, evidently not keen to be the latest in a series of willing fall guys for the criminally incompetent Bush administration, has released a "previously undisclosed exhange of letters" detailing that Bush was informed in 2003 that the Iraqi Army would be disbanded.

In releasing the letters, Mr. Bremer said he wanted to refute the suggestion in Mr. Bush’s comment that Mr. Bremer had acted to disband the army without the knowledge and concurrence of the White House.

"We must make it clear to everyone that we mean business: that Saddam and the Baathists are finished," Mr. Bremer wrote in a letter that was drafted on May 20, 2003, and sent to the president on May 22 through Donald H. Rumsfeld, then secretary of defense.

After recounting American efforts to remove members of the Baath Party of Saddam Hussein from civilian agencies, Mr. Bremer told Mr. Bush that he would "parallel this step with an even more robust measure" to dismantle the Iraq military.

One day later, Mr. Bush wrote back a short thank you letter. "Your leadership is apparent," the president wrote. "You have quickly made a positive and significant impact. You have my full support and confidence."
Huh. Guess he forgot that, too.

Mr. Bremer indicated that he had been smoldering for months as other administration officials had distanced themselves from his order. "This didn’t just pop out of my head," he said in a telephone interview on Monday, adding that he had sent a draft of the order to top Pentagon officials and discussed it "several times" with Mr. Rumsfeld.
He'd probably be a lot happier—and a lot less smoldery—if he could just scrub the last six years from his brain and stop remembering things like everyone else who's ever had a conversation with anyone in the Bush administration.

Now back to your regularly scheduled forget-a-thon.

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