Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Cornering A Witness

How hard is it for Senators and Members of Congress, some of whom like to brag about their experiences as prosecutors, to corner a witness?
Is it reasonable to expect that we will be able to withdraw our troops from Iraq in less than 1,000 years?
If the answer is still, "I can't promise that they'll be home within that timeframe", you have a concession that no matter how successful the surge we're still potentially looking at endless war.

If you get a more likely, "Of course I expect them to be home within a millennium," you drop down to a century. If the answer is then, "I can't promise that they'll be home in less than 100 years", you have the follow-up question, "So it is your confident prediction that sometime in the next 100 to 1,000 years we can start bringing our troops home?"

If you get a commitment to a century, you drop to fifty years.... If you get a commitment to fifty years, you drop to twenty-five. At some point the person being questioned will have to stop saying, "I expect the troops to be home within that timeframe" and revert to, "I can't commit to that", and you have a range of years (be it "100 to 1,000", "50 to 100", "25 to 50", or something else) that is likely to get a lot of press attention....

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