Monday, June 30, 2008

White House War Czar: M.I.A.?

Remember that "war czar" that the White House hired some time back, ostensibly to direct the progress of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? After the job was publicly turned down by everyone ranging from David Petraeus to Charlie Weiss, the White House finally located one Douglas E. Lute to take the position. Here's how it was described at the time:

Mr. Bush selected Lt. Gen. Douglas E. Lute, currently the top operations officer for the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He will retain his active military status and must be confirmed by the Senate, which approves new assignments for three- and four-star generals.

“We needed to get the right concept, the right man — or woman — and we have,” the national security adviser, Stephen J. Hadley, who led the search, said in an interview on Tuesday evening.
His job, which is part of a broader reorganization of the National Security Council staff responsible for Iraq and Afghanistan, would be to brief Mr. Bush every day on the two conflicts, and work with other government agencies — including the Pentagon and the State Department — to carry out policy.

Hey, impressive stuff. Very important, very serious, obvious that his position will be a major mover-and-shaker, and will lead to tremendous change, innovation, etc. Right? Right?

Well, check this out. In an archived list of all NY Times articles to mention the guy, the MOST RECENT appearance is November 27, 2007.

Google News cannot find a single article with the guy's name since May 31, 2008.

What's the deal? I know it's something of a cliche to say that the president's policy on Iraq is non existent, but has it ever been so literally true?