Former administrator official about Pentagon war leaks: "they need to shut the f*k up"Submitted by fonzdrew on Sat, 08/31/2013 - 10:56
Many of the leaks about U.S. strike plans for Syria, a copious flow of surprisingly specific information on ship dispositions and possible targets, have been authorized as a way for President Obama to signal the limited scope of operations to friends and foes.
But a number of leaks have been decidedly unauthorized -- and, according to Obama administration sources, likely emanating from a Pentagon bureaucracy less enthusiastic about the prospect of an attack than, say, the State Department, National Security Council or Obama himself.
"Deeply unhelpful," was how one West Winger described the drip-drip of doubt.
"They need to shut the f--k up," said a former administration official. "It's embarrassing. Who ever heard this much talk before an attack? It's bizarre."
An obvious example was a report in Thursday's Washington Post in which current and former officers listed their worries about Syria:
“I can’t believe the president is even considering it,” said [one] officer, who like most officers interviewed for this story agreed to speak only on the condition of anonymity because military personnel are reluctant to criticize policymakers while military campaigns are being planned. “We have been fighting the last 10 years a counterinsurgency war. Syria has modern weaponry. We would have to retrain for a conventional war.”
Far more damaging have been a series of disclosures that more subtlely undermine Obama's claim that the Syria action will be quick and clean, punitive and tailored. Earlier this week the New York Times reported on doubts that the main weapon likely employed against Syrian President Bashar Assad, the Tomahawk cruise missile, would have a meaningful impact on the regime's chemical weapons facilities which are widely scattered and likely to be well hidden. This graf, I'm told, chafed in particular: