This is the lead on a story just out over the Reuters wire ...Republican presidential candidate John McCain said on Friday that his Democratic opponent, Barack Obama, is likely to be in Iraq over the weekend.
The Obama campaign has tried to cloak the Illinois senator's trip in some measure of secrecy for security reasons. The White House, State Department and Pentagon do not announce senior officials' visits to Iraq in advance.
"I believe that either today or tomorrow -- and I'm not privy to his schedule -- Sen. Obama will be landing in Iraq with some other senators" who make up a congressional delegation, McCain told a campaign fund-raising luncheon.
The Reuters piece hints at it. But if Obama is going to be in Iraq this weekend, this is a major breach on McCain's part. As a knowledgeable insider notes ...If it is true that Obama is going to Iraq this weekend, it is a very serious mistake for McCain to have disclosed it publically. Even for run-of-the-mill CODELs the military gives guidance like, "Please strongly discourage Congressional offices from issuing press releases prior to their trips which mention their intent to travel to the AOR and/or the dates of that travel or their scheduled meetings. Such releases are a serious compromise to OPSEC." If Obama is going to Iraq this weekend, I can not begin to imagine how much this is complicating the security planning for the trip.
It's known that Obama is leaving on his foreign trip this weekend and the Journal OpEd page this morning said that Obama could arrive in Iraq "as early as this weekend." And with a slew of reporters in tow, it's not exactly highly classified information. But there is a reason definite information about these sorts of trips aren't released in advance.
Unbelievable. Lives are on the line when politicians visit Iraq. Why would McCain do such a thing? Did he leak it on purpose, to force Obama to cancel his visit? There has already been a charge of tampering with regards to Obama's visit to the Brandenburg Gate.
Someone needs to demand some answers from the McCain campaign.
h/t to Talking Points Memo
Here's another story about this exact same thing--from the Politico:
So Josh Marshall is probably right to raise an eyebrow that John McCain -- of all people -- just said, at a fundraiser, that Obama would be in Iraq with other senators this weekend.
Ironically, McCain and the GOP have been demanding for months that Obama go to Iraq; his comment may have made the trip slightly more complicated.
His comment was reported by Reuters.
NOTE: Nobody's suggesting here that McCain was deliberately trying to do harm. And some hints as to the timing of the trip had already leaked out elsewhere in the media -- the Wall Street Journal mentioned a coming trip, and Andrea MItchell said on Morning Joe today that he'd be in Iraq "shortly."
I don't believe McCain wanted any harm to come to Obama or anyone else--I believe McCain wanted to keep Obama from going to Iraq because the visuals of Obama being greeted by raucous troops and of Obama actually speaking extemporaneously and knowing what the hell he's talking about would be a devastating comparison to McCain's Grandpa Simpson routine as of late...