January 20, 2008

On The Chris Matthews show, Richard Stengel, the managing editor of TIME gives us a chilling new report that the Pentagon is releasing about the serious head injuries our troops are sustaining in Iraq.

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Stengel: When we got into the Iraq war we didn't know how long it would last. When we got into the Iraq war we didn't know how much it would cost. It's lasted longer, it's cost more than we ever expected. The real toll is coming out now. The Pentagon is releasing a report saying, one in five American serviceman and women who have been in Iraq are coming back with brain injuries. Mild, traumatic brain injuries. More than 250,000 people. That legacy of that will last all of our life times and it's incalculable.

It is incalculable and unforgivable, but it would appear that Bush, Rumsfeld and Cheney still sleep very well at night. Does Stengel really believe all the spin that BushCo. fed the public and the media before we attacked Iraq? I believe Cheney told us on Meet the Press that it wouldn't be very long at all and we'd be greeted as liberators. Andrew Natsios told us it would cost US taxpayers about 1.7 billion for reconstruction that was later scrubbed from the WH website. ...I believe we were told that it wouldn't cost all that much and Wolfowitz told us that Iraqi oil would pay for it anyway.

Enlisting countries to help to pay for this war and its aftermath would take more time, he said. "I expect we will get a lot of mitigation, but it will be easier after the fact than before the fact," Mr. Wolfowitz said. Mr. Wolfowitz spent much of the hearing knocking down published estimates of the costs of war and rebuilding, saying the upper range of $95 billion was too high, and that the estimates were almost meaningless because of the variables. Moreover, he said such estimates, and speculation that postwar reconstruction costs could climb even higher, ignored the fact that Iraq is a wealthy country, with annual oil exports worth $15 billion to $20 billion. "To assume we're going to pay for it all is just wrong," he said. (h/t Heather)

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