Daily Briefing: 'Tossed It In'

In WP/ABC poll, 22% think the insurgency is weakening but 52% believe the war is good for long-term national security; more Americans "strongly disapprove" of Bush than "strongly support." 61% in Gallup poll say Bush "doesn't have a clear plan" for Iraq. Tonight, Bush must "reinvigorate public support for a war that has grown unpopular over time and convince Americans the administration has a policy that will lead to success over time." [WP, USAT]

In prime-time speech, Bush will spell out "clear path to victory." McClellan's preview: "The terrorists have inflicted great suffering. There have been tremendous sacrifices. But the cause for which we are in Iraq is an important one, and there is great progress being made on the ground." [NYT]

Judith Miller and Matthew Cooper are closer to serving time as the Supreme Court declines to hear their appeal. [WP]

No word of a Supreme Court vacancy, yet. McClellan: "I'm not going to go down that road." [NYT, USAT]

Bush and Schroeder weary of Iran. Schroeder: "I couldn't agree more with [Bush's] message. We are going to continue being tough and firm on [Iran]." [WP, NYT, NYT]

White House sides with CIA, not Pentagon, for covert intelligence operations. [NYT]

Democrats assail Halliburton's "war profiteering"; audit by Pentagon estimates over $1b was misspent. [NYT]

"Downing Street Memo" has galvanized critics of the war and added to Bush's defensive posture. [WSJ]

Senate expected to approve energy bill today. [WSJ]

52% of Americans surveyed by Gallup "want to know more about what the federal government is doing in the war on terrorism." [USAT]

Rumsfeld: "If the Revolutionary War had been covered the way we're covering this war and people had seen how difficult the conditions are and how badly things were run. . . people would have tossed it in." [WP]


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