Bremer: Bush OK'd Disbanding of Iraqi Army

Peeved ex-envoy says prez isn’t truthful about what he knew
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 4, 2007 7:56 PM CDT
IRAQ Baghdad US administrator, Ambassador Paul Bremer, head of CPA ( Coalition Provisional Authority ) at graduation ceremony for new members of the NIA (New Iraqi Army) at a military ba (PAR273796)   (Magnum Photos)
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(Newser) – Paul Bremer has sent the New York Times letters demonstrating President Bush’s knowledge of the plan to disband the Iraqi Army—a rebuff to Bush's recent comments that he was surprised by the now-unpopular decision. As head of the Coalition Provisional Authority, Bremer wrote to Bush of the plan to “dissolve Saddam’s military,” and Bush responded, “Your leadership is apparent.”

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell and the Joint Chiefs of Staff have disowned the dismantling, which left young Iraqis armed and ill-disposed the US. Bush says his memory of the decision process is hazy, and implied that he was informed too late to reverse it. But Bremer says his correspondence proves the decision was neither secret or controversial at the time.