Monday, June 28

The Handover and the Hightail

This will go down in history as another "Mission Accomplished" to a mission that never should have taken place to begin with (aka: It ain't over). It's also a very VERY sloppy theft of one of John Kerry's plans for Iraq. When the repercussions occur - either there OR here - the White House will happily scream that Kerry's plan didn't work.

Handover Completed Early to Thwart Attacks, Officials Say

The United States handed over sovereignty to an interim Iraqi government today in a low-key ceremony ahead of the June 30 date when it had been expected to do so, a surprise move apparently timed to pre-empt any planning of attacks by insurgents.

CNN reported that after the ceremony L. Paul Bremer III, the chief American administrator in Iraq, his job over, then flew out of the country. It broadcast footage of Mr. Bremer boarding an aircraft in Baghdad.

The transfer of sovereignty took place as NATO leaders held a summit in Turkey.

President Bush marked the transfer with a whispered comment and a handshake with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, gathered with world leaders around a table at the summit in Istanbul, Turkey, according to a report by The Associated Press.

Stealing a glance at his watch to make sure the transfer had occurred, Bush put his hand over his mouth to guard his remarks, leaned toward Blair and then reached out to shake hands, the A.P. reported. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, a row behind the president, beamed.