I have missed most of the last two days of news so I will admit that I am catching up on the news. However, the more I read of Olmert’s testimony the more I become convinced that he should be arrested for GUI, governing under the influence—of a lobotomy.
His testimony can only be described as outrageous. It seems more like an extreme parody than the actual testimony. When Olmert and his Stalin look-alike Defense Minister Peretz voted for the war….there was no plan. No goals. Nothing! He didn’t even know that on day one there was no plan for a ground offensive. There was no plan for this war until it entered its fourth week. And the final offensive was only put into place for PR reasons. Most of his testimony was long rambling avoiding the point with BS kind of answers.
PM Ehud Olmert says he ordered an offensive in the last three days of the Lebanon War to save Israel experiencing a sense of defeat May 11, 2007, 1:33 AM (GMT+02:00)“I saw the Lebanese quagmire closing in on us,” he told the panel.He also testified to fully cooperating with defense minister Amir Peretz. Their testimonies together with that of ex-chief of staff Dan Halutz were released by the Winograd Lebanon War panel Thursday, May 10. The prime minister stated that the army presented him with a broad plan of action for approval only on Aug. 7 (three weeks after the war broke out). “I said to the chief of staff and commanders: “You are not seeing the whole picture.”Olmert tried talking his way past awkward questions. Judge Winograd rebuked him for being long-winded and leaving no time for the panel members’ many pointed questions. Why did you fail to confer with the chief of staff that morning (when Hizballah kidnapped the soldiers)? The judge asked. Olmert first replied: Ask my military secretary, then reconsidered and said: “I talked to him by telephone.”The prime minister affirmed he told his military secretary to warn the army that a trap was in store. “Two kidnappings would not be the end of it,” he said. “They must beware. Half an hour later, they put in a tank and it blew up. It broke my heart, but I told them not to respond excessively.” Olmert was asked if he could affirm that the army was ready for war, when the day before it erupted he visited the general staff and was briefed on preparations for a conflict. He delivered a rambling monologue without answering the question.Another run-in with the commission’s chairman followed a question to the prime minister as to why the Mossad chief (Meir Dagan) was not heeded when he queried the objectives of the aerial bombardment (in Lebanon) and asked why a ground operation did not follow.Olmert replied: It was never said at that meeting (Day One of the war) that there would be no ground operation.Seeing the panel members were not satisfied, he explained: Everyone knew that the opening air bombardment would be followed by further steps. The chief of staff should have know about them and prepared.Winograd: You mean you decided on an action without knowing what came next, its outcome or its duration? Nothing about this came up in your security conference? Olmert impatiently: In the security conference, no. In government, yes.Winograd drily: Not in government either.He went on to argue that Israel’s military steps were coordinated with diplomacy to bring about the implementation of Security Council Resolution 1559 (which ordered Lebanon to dismantle Hizballah and other militias). The recovery of the two abducted Israeli soldiers was not mentioned. Prof. Ruth Gavison interrupted him: No sir. The reason we are all here is to fill the large gap between what the Israeli and world public knows about the damage caused Hizballah, and Hizballah’s PR victory as a small guerrilla group which contained the IDF without suffering defeat at its hands. Was that the logic behind the operation?Winograd steps in: Your government voted unanimously for the mantra of a “tough response” without knowing what it entailed. What did you vote for? What plan? You set in train a serious operation whose outcome could determine the country’s future – in total ignorance.The transcripts were heavily censored.The prime minister said he had brought foreign minister Tzipi Livni into key decision-making. Peretz reported good working relations with Halutz, while the ex-chief of staff, who resigned over the war’s shortcomings, said he had worked well with the defense minister, although Peretz was “less attentive” to military problems. Asked about his knowledge and experience in security matters, the defense minister maintained that such things were not important.
The Washington Post added some more Olmert gems, showing is complete lack of leadership and his management style of blaming others.
In his testimony, Olmert made a pointed distinction between Israel’s combat forces, which he praised as “exceptional,” and the military command, which he said “seriously let itself down.” “Something in the conception of how they operated the forces, something in the conception of their control over the forces, something wasn’t what we expected, unfortunately, and that no doubt led to the disparity between what we are capable of doing and what we actually achieved,” he said. Olmert acknowledged that senior security officials told him troops hadn’t conducted military exercises along the Lebanese border. But he said he “didn’t really pay much attention” because the defense establishment “always” complains it is short of funds for training.