Faced with growing popular demand to end the Iraq war and bring American soldiers home quickly, and pressed by November elections that will decide the composition of Congress through 2008, the Bush administration has begun to talk about withdrawing some U.S. troops. “As Iraqis stand up, we will stand down, President Bush said last November. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said present U.S. troop levels would not be needed “for very much longer” because Iraqi forces were becoming more effective.
The case of accused enemy combatant Jose Padilla gets more bizarre with every passing month. Rather than being a case that would establish the government’s right to arrest even U.S. citizens on U.S. soil and imprison them forever without trial or access to an attorney, it is beginning to look like another public relations disaster for the Bush administration.