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Baffling the Byzantines

First, the background.

When President Obama made his West Point speech on the Afghanistan surge, it included a July, 2011 expiration date. That caused so much outrage, that the following weekend he sent Hillary Clinton and Robert Gates out together on three of the Big Four Sunday chat shows to argue that the expiration date didn't really mean anything -- that it was "the beginning of a process." (A process of bugging out, as I already explained.) So the expiration date had an expiration date.

Now, there's this:

White House officials say the vice president is now playing the role of character witness to his former friends in Congress, telling them that the president is committed to the narrower strategy and the beginning of the withdrawal in July 2011—no matter what the public comments of Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

The expiration date on the President's expiration date has expired.

And all of it took exactly two weeks.