And from moments ago:
Yes, it may be ironic, but is hardly surprising, that while house hunting and playing golf in Palm Springs over the weekend, the president once again "changed his mind"
Moments ago NBC announced that the U.S. has sent (note the past tense) 170 military personnel to Iraq "to shore up security for Americans and the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, defense officials said Monday — and a hundred more could be on the way." Surely those would be shoring up even more security and what not.
Accoring to NBC, Obama formally notified Congress of the assignment in a letter under the War Powers Act on Monday, which said "up to approximately 275" personnel were being reassigned, noting specifically that they are "equipped for combat."
Defense officials confirmed Monday that 170 military personnel were already in place, having moved into the country sometime over the weekend. They said Obama pegged the number at 275 to give himself a "little extra headroom" in case he needs to send reinforcements.
Ironically even the largely pro-Obama network pointed out the obvious contraciction: "Obama said last week that "I don't rule anything out" as Iraq has spiraled out of control amid Sunni-Shiite sectarian violence in recent days. At the same time, he insisted that the U.S. wouldn't send ground troops."
Of course, since no spin would make the president into a liar, there was a prepared narrative:
And while the 170 personnel are equipped for combat, the White House said they're in Iraq only to "provide support and security for U.S. personnel and the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad," and to help the State Department move some embassy staff to U.S. consulates elsewhere in the country.
Security and protection are the same reasons U.S. officials have given for sending several naval ships to the Arabian Gulf, although a senior defense official told NBC News: "If the president orders airstrikes, we have plenty of firepower in the Gulf."
And now, if Iraqi troops need US military support, they have that too. For "embassy support purposes of course."