RUSH: Let’s move on now to some interesting sound bites over the timeline withdrawal from Afghanistan, shall we? Let’s go back, last Tuesday night in West Point — did you realize, by the way, that the cadets were required to be in their seats for three hours before Obama’s speech began for security reasons? Three hours they had to sit there before his remarks on Afghanistan began. At any rate, here’s what he said about getting out in 2011.
OBAMA: These additional American and international troops allow us to begin the transfer of our forces out of Afghanistan in July of 2011.
RUSH: Sunday morning, various Sunday morning shows, we have a montage, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates denying that Obama set an exit strategy for Afghanistan.
HILLARY: We’re not talking about an exit strategy or a drop-dead deadline.
GATES: We’re not talking about an abrupt withdrawal. / I don’t want to put a deadline on it, okay?
HILLARY: Yes, we don’t have an open-ended combat commitment.
GATES: We will have 100,000 troops there, and some, handful, or some small number will begin to withdraw.
HILLARY: We think we have a strategy that is a good, integrated approach.
GATES: I don’t consider this an exit strategy.
HILLARY: A firm deadline.
GATES: There isn’t a deadline. What we have is a specific date.
CLINTON: It’s not an arbitrary time.
GATES: Let’s be clear. The date in July 2011, to begin thinning our troops and bringing them home is firm.
CLINTON: It’s very hard for any of us to be armchair generals.
RUSH: Okay, July 2011 is not a deadline; it’s not an exit strategy. Let’s go back and play Obama again, sound bite number four. You just heard this montage. ‘No, 2011, it doesn’t mean anything, no, it’s not an exit, no, we’re going to start thinning the herd, no, no, no, no.’
OBAMA: These additional American and international troops will allow us to begin the transfer of our forces out of Afghanistan in July of 2011.
RUSH: All right. So what’s the story? Well, let’s go to Andrea Mitchell, NBC News, Washington. She was on MSNBC this morning and she was talking to Scarborough. She said this about the White House and their exit strategy for Afghanistan.
MITCHELL: They don’t want to communicate the real decision. The decision is there’s an exit strategy. They don’t want to say that. That will scare Pakistan. There is a clear glide path out.
SCARBOROUGH: How do you know that?
MITCHELL: From talking to people very high up in —
SCARBOROUGH: So you’ve talked to people at the White House, and they’re saying, ‘We understand we put out our two hawks this weekend, but don’t listen to anything they say.’
MITCHELL: Once they put it out there, it’s clear that there’s an exit strategy.
RUSH: So there’s Andrea Mitchell saying that people in the White House said, ‘Don’t listen to Hillary and don’t listen to Gates, I mean there is an exit strategy.’ That’s what she’s being told by people at the White House. And then there was this over on Stephanopoulos’ show. He had Gates on there, secretary of defense. ‘When was the last time we had any good intelligence on where Bin Laden is?’
GATES: I think it’s been years.
GATES: I think so.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So these reports that came out just this week about a detainee saying he might have seen him in Afghanistan earlier this year, we can’t confirm that?
RUSH: No intel in years. I guess that’s ’cause we don’t have any gravediggers out there looking for the body.