ABC's coverage from Baghdad consisted of an interview with its in-house military consultant Jack Keane. ABC's use of Keane, a former acting Chief of Staff of the Army, is always problematic because the viewer can never tell whether he is talking from a military point of view, his former career, or a journalistic one, his current occupation. For example, when he told anchor Charles Gibson that "we will need well into the summer" he was not referring to ABC News plans to provide accurate coverage--the "we" he was talking about was US occupation forces.
Keane's general problem is compounded by the particulars in this case. Amazingly, Gibson pointed out, he was "one of the architects" of the very "surge" plan that he was sent to Iraq on an eleven-day trip by ABC News to evaluate. For example, Keane confessed this flaw in his own plan: "The military timetable to accomplish this mission and the political timetable are not the same. The political timetable is probably shorter." So, if the mission is not feasible, given civilian control of the military, why did he recommend it?
All that aside, Keane offered this top-line conclusion: "The situation has gotten considerably more dire certainly."
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