John McCain Needs to Chat With Tommy Franks

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The LA Times catches John McCain dismissing a key criticism of the Iraq war:

“I know of no one who believes attention to Iraq at that point diverted our attention from Tora Bora,” McCain said….

“We should have put more boots on the ground there to apprehend [Osama bin Laden]. Everyone agrees. But I have no reason to believe that because we urged attention to Iraq, it had any tactical effect on the battleground.”

Tora Bora was where the American military had bin Laden pinned down in late 2001, only to have him escape from its grasp (you can read more here). As Think Progress helpfully points out, then-CENTCOM Commander Tommy Franks, who oversaw the Middle East, had the following reaction to the Bush Administration’s instructions in November and December of 2001 to start planning for war in Iraq: “They were in the midst of one war in Afghanistan, and now they wanted detailed planning for another? Goddamn. What the f–k are they talking about?”

Want to know more? Read Plan of Attack. Or The One-Percent Doctrine. Or Cobra II. Planning for a second war while trying to fight the first compromised our effectiveness in both. That’s indisputable, no matter what John McCain says.

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FACT:

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Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

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