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November 10th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

White House vs. CBS on Afghanistan troop increase?

Call it CBS News versus the White House.

CBS reports that President Obama intends to give General Stanley McChrystal most - if not all - of the 40,000 troops he's asking for in Afghanistan. They say the president has tentatively decided to send four combat brigades plus thousands of more support troops.

General Stanley McChrystal is the U.S. Military commander in Afghanistan.
General Stanley McChrystal is the U.S. Military commander in Afghanistan.

According to CBS, the troop buildup would last for about four years - until the Afghan military doubles in size. This surge would mean the number of U.S. troops would grow from the current 68,000 to about 100,000 by the end of the president's first term.

But the White House insists the CBS story is false. They call reports that the president has made a decision about Afghanistan "absolutely false." They say Mr. Obama still hasn't received or reviewed "final options" with his national security team.

So - who's telling the truth here? It comes down to the word of the Obama White House against the network of Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite.

Of course... CBS News also saw Dan Rather step down in 2005 after apologizing for a report that questioned President George W. Bush's National Guard service. Rather said the report was based on false documents.

Meanwhile the Associated Press seems to support the CBS story, saying President Obama is nearing a decision to add tens of thousands of additional troops to Afghanistan - but not the 40,000 that McChrystal wants.

Some officials dub that likely troop increase McChrystal Light since it would fall short of the general's request.

Here’s my question to you: CBS News says nearly 40,000 additional troops will be sent to Afghanistan. The White House says the story is false. Whom do you believe?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Jeff from Cambridge, Massachusetts writes:
Right now, the Obama administration's word is not worth much. Whether it be his unfulfilled campaign promises or his recent health care gaffes, their credibility is slipping, and slipping quickly. Heck, I'd take Dan Rather's word against his at this point.

Nancy from Tennessee writes:
It's pretty brazen of CBS news to report what the president has decided to do without backing up their claim with official proof. Makes you wonder which CBS news anchor will take the fall for this false or overzealous reporting. I don't believe that President Obama has made a decision yet. Everyone has been waiting for his response and I'm sure the correct information will be provided to all news agencies not just CBS.

Joy from Colorado writes:
I choose the White House, only because I want to believe we would not send more troops and hope CBS is "mistaken." I am still angry at McChrystal for shooting off his mouth and leaving President Obama hanging out. Generals have been fired for worse.

Chris from Kansas writes:
It's not CBS vs. the White House, it's the source vs. the White House. It's not the first time the Pentagon has used the media to pressure the president.

Mike from Denver writes:
Neither. Even if CBS is dead-on with their information and numbers, at this point the White House would change the numbers just to undermine the credibility of CBS for breaking the news. The sad part is that our military personnel are getting caught in the middle.

Dan from St. Louis writes:
The question is not about who is telling the truth, but rather whose job it is to make this decision (answer: the president). Since when does the media get to decide a decision has been made, and then generate ratings by claiming a scoop? The president should be allowed to make and then announce) this very important decision on his own time line, not one dictated by pressure from private sector businesses desperate for revenue.

Jeff from Atlanta writes:
It has to be false. Everyone knows Obama can't make a decision.


Filed under: Afghanistan • US Military • White House
soundoff (136 Responses)
  1. Katiec Pekin, IL

    I would most certainly believe the White House over any news media. They have become so engrossed in sensationalizing, grabbing the headlines there are never any efforts to check facts and truth.
    They concentrate on pushing their own agenda regardless of integrity, honor, bias or truth.
    The media can no longer be trusted or allowed credibilility.

    November 10, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  2. Michael Alexandria, VA

    Both and neither. Obviously, someone is leaking somewhere – the question is who and under whose authorization.

    November 10, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  3. Jack Carlson

    Both sides are liars, therefore it is difficult to decide on this issue.
    Ed Murrow and Cronkite are not around, we have a bunch of back side kissers today – that's why our family quit watching CBS, ABC and NBC....as many Americans are not the fools they think we are.
    Jack C
    WA

    November 10, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  4. Greg, Ontario

    Of coarse he is getting ready to send the troops. He has been strategising with advisors for a couple of months. At the moment I believe CBS and I'm sure the Talliban are greatful to CBS and of coarse you and Wolf for letting them know what America is planning to do. Give your head a shake guys your quickly approaching the FOX News level of journalism.

    November 10, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  5. Scott - San Diego, CA

    Considering everything coming out of the White House has been less than honest, I would believe CBS. Don't understand the delay in making the decisions and moving forward. We only have 2 choices..send more troops or withdraw completely.

    November 10, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  6. Rudy; Irvington, NY

    I think CBS has a stake in this simply because they did the report with McChrystal on 60 Minutes and would love to be right. My feeling is, why even respond. CBS wants to report that is what is going to happen, let them do it. Once the White House responds, then they get into a "he said, she said" situation that they can't win. Now, by denying the claims, they have to do something other than CBS's claim or they will look like idiots. For me, a lifelong Democrat, this is all irrelevant. I would like Obama to do something–ANYTHING! This has gone on too long and it's become an embarrassment. Do your business or get off the pot. And forget what everyone else says. You're the President of the United States, for god's sake, make a decision and stick with it.

    November 10, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  7. T. Thomas in Abilene Tx.

    Please let CBS be wrong on this one. We cannot afford to get bogged down in another Vietnam, just trying to "save face". I am 66 and remember that last debacle well-58000 dead- a couple of those young kids from my hometown.

    November 10, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  8. Vinnie Vino

    Jack,

    The cat is out of the bag, President Obama is misleading the people of the world...

    Vinnie
    Central Islip, N.Y.

    November 10, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  9. keith in ky

    The best bet would be to not belive etheir one, both of them are documented liars!!!Out of the whole bunch I'd only belive McChrystal.

    November 10, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  10. JWC in Atlanta

    Doesn't really matter who's right or wrong. Either way this goes, it's going to be a choice amont bad choices. The last good choice available to us in terms of options was offered to George Bush, and he took the very worst path available. Now however it goes, we pay.

    November 10, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  11. Jackie in Dallas

    CBS hasn't been the network of Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite since 1981, Jack, when Cronkite retired. Oh, he still did an occasional report for them, but the standards he upheld and taught his successor, Dan Rather, started to fade once he was no longer the anchor. And Dan Rather began to fade rapidly, thereafter.

    CBS, like any other broadcasting company, has become nothing more or less than a profit center. While I have no issues with a company making money, a company that makes money without regard to integrity or ethics is not something I believe in.

    I think I'll believe the White House....

    November 10, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  12. Clay

    Big mistake. Pouring salt into the wound of Afghanistan is not going to make it any better, it's just going to give them more targets. Immediate withdrawal is the only rational strategy.

    November 10, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  13. Alex in Seattle

    Are things so slow, Jack, that you are asking questions about rumors now? I am sure CBS is accurate when they report the leak of one of the many options under consideration. As an old school news organization, I am sure CBS has corroborated the story with a number of high placed anonymous sources. Especially after the Dan Rather debacle.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  14. Mike from Denver

    Neither. Even if CBS is dead-on with their information and numbers, at this point the White House would change the numbers just to undermine the credibility of CBS for breaking the news.

    The sad part is that our military personnel are getting caught in the middle.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  15. jeff in hawaii

    Jack, I believe CBS. And by the way, Dan Rather was set up by the previous administration.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  16. Chris in Ks

    It's not CBS vs the White House, it's the source vs the WH. It's not the first time the Pentagon has used the media to pressure the Pres.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  17. Wm, Penna

    Jack,
    This one calls for a good deal of speculation. Lets look at the facts. The U.S. is on a permanent war based economy. CBS is owned by a very conservative huge U. S. corporation. Every president has to keep the very wealthy happy and at this point in time that means supporting war. The general population too has all their support our troops feelings tuned-up Now, lets not mention that our current two wars are being funded with TRILLIONS of deficit dollars and we are not really patriotic enough to demand we pay as we go because than means raising taxes, and rescinding the cuts the wealthy now enjoy.
    If I had to guess I am going with the troop addition. But that is a real shame. Afghanistan poses no threat to us and there is no reason in the world to be spending US lives and deficit dollars there.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  18. Richard Green

    Jack,

    I hope the White House is telling the truth. 30,000-40,000 soldiers to Afghanistan would be an unconscionable waste.

    (Rather was pressured to say the report was based on false documents. Then forced out. His lawsuit and testimony by the woman who typed the original Bush documents said the info on the documents was true. They were never proven fake and never proven authentic. The info contained in them was true.)

    Rich Green
    San Clemente, Cal.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  19. Gigi Oregon

    Neither! I look at news programs as sensationalize propaganda. They will spend hours repeating information without facts wasting time when what we want to know is really...just the facts. No commentary by unreliable sources. I know your thinking what fun would that be... There is more untruth out there than truth. And it all comes without an apology.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  20. RJ from Lake,MI

    Who cares Jack, get them men and women out of there! We are talking about a bunch of backward tribes warring against each other for thousands of years until the Invaders come which would be us then they all ban together and fight a vicious guerilla war! They are content in living the way they do or they would have changed by now! Leave them and the rest of the Middle East alone and force Israel to get along with their neighbors! Find solutions to our energy problems and make the oil driven nations contemplate how precious their oil is then!

    November 10, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  21. Dennis North Carolina

    the white house because the news media is only trying to make their pay check but they do not have a medium on the payroll as of yet so they can not get into obama's mind.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  22. Jeff from Atlanta

    It has to be false. Everyone know obama can't make a decision.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  23. Annie, Atlanta

    News organizations have an uncanny way of obtaining news before its news, so I'll say CBS. However, I can hope it’s the White House and they plan to announce a withdrawal. Looks a little like I believe in fairy tales.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  24. ed in ri

    Jack;
    It makes no difference. The problem is not about who is telling the truth; it's about a repeat of history. Please recall what happenned to the USSR, when they were involved with Afganistan. Nobody wins in this country; except the defense industries and their shareholders!

    November 10, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  25. joan m. butler

    We as Americans need to stop expressing hatred of our country.Its pretty sad when we,not me,compare our president to Hitler etc.All this does is make terrorists think they are doing us a favor,by eliminatingAmericans.People are falling into terrorist ideology by these means.Home grown terrorist are becoming our next war at home.Very sad.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  26. GWTripp @ Mechs'burg, PA

    It pains me to say it, but I do not believe Obama. He has walked down the slippery road of politalks thereby obfuscating any hope of the truth being evident for us plan spoken folk. His step is no longer firm in the path to righteousness. His explanations and actions are no longer meant to enlighten us but instead darken our way with fragrant daffodils of naiveté as his predecessor had done, albeit not so adroitly. Most Americans are against escalation of the war in Afghanistan. I believe that our presence should increase in ways that aid Afghanis build their infrastructure, educate their people, and transform their poppy fields into pomegranate groves.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  27. Ken in NC

    CBS, like all other networks are out for ratings but today I am paying honor to the fallen heroes of Fort Hood. CBS can take it's numbers out to Burger King today. Nobody cares what they are thinking today.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  28. Video Guy

    I would not believe General Stanley McChrystal. The General needs a lesson on the chain of command and telling the truth.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  29. Karl from SF, CA

    I’d ask, “Where did CBS get their information?” They aren’t even quoting the usual “anonymous” source? If the White House says he hasn’t reached a decision, I believe them. The AP is now saying it’s down to 4 unspecified options he is considering. Remember General McChrystal asked for more troops for the current strategy OR A NEW STRATEGY. DUH! That part of his memo doesn’t get mentioned much. By the way, Murrow and Cronkite are dead and CBS may be, also, if they keep over reporting stories that don’t exist.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  30. chill

    Murrow and Cronkite were a long, long time ago in a galaxy far away.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  31. Bill - Bristow, VA

    Neither of them, Period.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  32. Dee, New York

    Can you say, "Trial Balloon"?

    November 10, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  33. Peter M

    Who is reporting? CBS? They are all liars and peddlers of garbage. I trust the WH. I will take the WH over CBS or any bogus network reporter anytime.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  34. Mike Smith

    Don't know what the big "scoop" is.....the announcement will be the announcement when its made, no big deal...we will all know then, we don't always need a McCrystal ball.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  35. Barbara

    I believe the reporter. They seem to know more about what's going on b4 anyone else. I think it's called the grapevine.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  36. Patty A Banks Palmdale CA

    I'm going to wait until i hear it fom the horse's mouth....unfortunately the media tends to put the cart before the "horse!"

    November 10, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  37. Tom Young

    Sorry Jack but I find it hard to believe either!

    November 10, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  38. john adkins, NC

    Neither. neither one has s record of getting thinga right.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  39. Mike Monahan

    Believe the press? Believe politicians? Give me a break, Jack. Reagan had it right...trust, but verify. Never trust one source for anything...that includes CNN!

    November 10, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  40. nigel, ontario

    well thats astounding reportive investigating on the part of cbs,since we already know the number of troops the general wants ,seems like a coin toss guess to me jack.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  41. Matt

    CBS – the Media – needs to end its speculation over the President's Afghanistan plans. The nation will know soon enough what the White House in store.

    Matt
    Flagstaff, Arizona

    November 10, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  42. Ryan (Bay Area)

    Jack, I hope that CBS is lying. Fort Hood has shown us that the longer these wars continue, the more dangerous it becomes here in the states. The war HAS come home. Its time to end this spending spree.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  43. Linda in Arizona

    Of course, I believe the CBS report. I've known for months Obama will do whatever McChrystal wants him to. Wait and see. He doesn't have the balls to go against his general, whom he should have fired for insubordination weeks ago, but didn't. Oh, and btw, it will be more of the same, and won't accomplish anything positive, just more death and destruction.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  44. Jeff Stinson

    Right now, the Obama Administration's word is not worth much. Whether it be his unfulfilled campaign promises or is recent health care gaffs, their credibility is slipping, and slipping quickly. Heck I'd take Dan Rather's word against his at this point.

    Jeff S. from Cambridge, MA

    November 10, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  45. John in Santa Barbara

    The President has got to quit playing Hamlet on every issue that comes down the pike. He is the EXECUTIVE BRANCH–that's the branch that makes decisions and stands by them.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  46. ron alvarez

    I am a Vietnam Veteran. Obama got my vote partially due to removing troops from Iraq and Afganistan, if he does not do that...I will not have to believe Obama, the one term President.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  47. Nancy, Tennessee

    It's pretty brazen of CBS news to report what the President has decided to do without backing up their claim with official proof. Makes you wonder which CBS news anchor will take the fall for this false or over zealous reporting. I don't believe that President Obama has made a decision yet. Everyone has been waiting for his response and I'm sure the correct information will be provided to all news agencies not just CBS.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  48. Stafford Hokie

    The issue on the table is are we at war? The administration says yes so, why not let the experts run the show. General Stanley McChrystal is your expert so give him the tools to carry out the plan to accomplish the mission. That includes drons, special forces, secret operation and the overthrow of any government that refuses to carry out their part. It's war so eliminate all enemies.

    History has shown that regardless how many resources we commit to Afghanistan we more then likely can best accomplish a draw. If you won't let the experts lead then start the withdrawal process. There is no middle road.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  49. Myra Becnel

    Jack, I do not believe anything especially something of this magnitude unless the President tells us himself! He is the Commander and Chief and only he can tell us his final decision. I'll wait for his press conference on this.

    Myra

    November 10, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  50. Layne Alleman

    Jack, I believe you. So tell us. Layne A. Antioch, Il.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  51. Hal Schwartz

    I cannot comment on the substance of the question but I can comment on your statement that Dan Rather had resigned because the documents relating to Bush's National Guard service were false. That is not true. No one at CBS, including the in house investigation, came to that conclusion. What they did say is that the validity of the documents had not been verified. A very different conclusion.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  52. Barbara

    What I believe is that you're being pretty defensive that a CBS report is being challenged – and I'm really confused about what Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite have to do with the state of today's news.

    Perhaps it's time for the club to get back to defending Fox News.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  53. Jeff

    Jack, this is an easy one.

    The story won't be "true" until President Obama announces that he announces 40,000 troops.

    Meanwhile it remains "false" until there is an announcement. And remains false if the announcement is something else than 40,000 troops.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  54. Wolfe - San Francisco

    Hey Jack,

    It doesn't matter whom I believe.
    But I will add that I trust the President and his decisions.
    He will make a positive impact in the middle east and no matter how good the CBS guy is, we need to leave some information as confidential.
    I think we should judge the President in his actions, not speculation on what he may or may not do.
    Speculation is not the news. Results are.

    Thanks Jack,
    Wolfe
    San Francisco, CA

    November 10, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  55. Joy in Colorado

    I choose the White House, only because I want to believe we would not send more troops and hope CBS is "mistaken." Am stilll angry at McChrystal for shooting off his mouth and leaving President Obama hanging out. Generals have been fired for worse.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  56. Al Covell

    Trust CBS? Horse feathers! Any comparison with the days of Walter Chronkite followed by the sacrifice of Dan Rather to please the Republican bigwigs there is beyond the pale.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  57. Andrew Eden-Balfour- Regina, SK

    Isn't CBS news the most left-wing biased news in the U.S. Jack? I'm surprised the Obama administration criticized them since CBS news has always been suckups who always kiss a Democratic's butt no matter how bad some of the members are. As for my answer, I believe the White House telling the truth, let's face it when you hear something new from a news station about decisions the president makes before the President has even announced them, you always have to take it with a grain of salt and be a little suspicious.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  58. Marie C. Zephyrhills FL

    All news media have always "rushed" to be the first to report a story. Years ago, it wasn't too bad. But in today's immediate news, some people go on what they believe not what is factual! I like CNN because you seem to varify your facts or you tell the listeners tha you are checking the facts. Keep up the good work!!

    November 10, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  59. J. M. from Nashville, TN

    I believe CBS. President Obama has lost me from his flock. He is no different than any other politician. Speak loudly and long and do nothing. He should stop the killing now, cut our losses and say we won. The only way we are going to win the hearts and minds of the people of Afghanistan is to get out of their country.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  60. Harvey Berman

    From Florida

    asking a question, questioning the veracity of the news media or the president is easy.
    I believe anytime a politician talks, he lies. I believe too, that to believe everything you can read or hear is stupid. So the dilemma. I'll believe either one after I see what is being done.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  61. Tom, Toronto

    Does CBS still have a news department? I get all my news from CNN. Who do I believe? I don't know yet. What does Wolf Blitzer think?

    November 10, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  62. sara

    Obama 100%.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  63. beverly

    I believe CBS.I no longer believe anything coming out of the white house or congress.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  64. Richard, Kankakee, IL.

    I don't care either way, if he does send them, he might as well pack his bags, because the Democratic voters will not vote for him next time, and many of us Independent will not either! We are sick of the Republicans warmongering, our country is broke we can not afford to spend tens of billions per month on a war that can not be won! It is time to get out of their civil war, we did not learn from Russia when they when into that sad country, so now we are handed the same type of lost again! Also McChrystal needs to be fired for breaking the Chain of Command, by trying to embarrass the President into continuing this awful war!

    November 10, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  65. Bill....Michigan

    It sounds to me that the White House is the source of the leak and that they want to test the public's reaction to the troop buildup.
    My reaction is no more troops.
    Withdraw what we have now and come home.
    Bill

    November 10, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  66. Dianne of Paducah

    I guess we will soon find out. If I am not mistaken some of the troops in Fort Hood were processning to leave for Afghanistan. During that ordeal,a Senator said that some were precessing out to Afghanistan and the question was asked twice by an affiliate of CNN. I just read between the lines.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  67. Jeff

    Jack, this is an easy one.

    The story won't be true until President Obama announces that he is sending 40,000 additional troops.

    Meanwhile, it remains false until there is an announcement. And remains false if the announcement is something else than 40,000 troops.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  68. mary stewart,arlington texas

    i don t care which one is true or not.....obma sd he would bring the troops home.....no we are simply rearranging them.....why is it so hard to say enough,,,,six months we are gone...whty does it take 8 yrs to build up an army there so they can fight their own war..we train our troops in abt 3 months..its kinda like another country coming here in 1861 and fighting our civil war...its something they must fight for and make work

    November 10, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  69. Ray Victory

    Vero Beach, FL
    The President.
    The aggrandized self importance of certain members of the media lead them to report the news THEY want to believe, perhaps in the hope that their prestige will persuade the real newsmakers to go along.
    The President's decision, when he makes it, may be more troops than requested or fewer troops than requested, or no troops at all or an immediate or gradual withdrawal of some or all troops. I have no knowledge what it will be but I know without a doubt that the decision will be made in light of careful deliberation of ALL the relevant facors that bear on the best interests of the United States in both the short and long term.
    The adults are in charge now and the children should stay in their assigned playground.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  70. jim Blevins

    This is another example of the war mongers doing all they can to force a strong escalation (as was leaking the McChrystal report). I believe the White House that Obama has not yet made a final decision, but the war mongers are so insistent on slaughtering as many Muslim's as possible that Obama probably has no choice.

    Jim, Craig, CO

    November 10, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  71. Lois in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

    I do not believe CBS. They're dealing in old fashioned second-guessing, and their 'expert opinion' is about as knowledgeable as
    mine would be. I am sick to the gills of the media trying to be
    such "know-it- alls", and telling us what is "going on", instead of doing
    as we should do... Wait until those in charge tell us!

    No one wants more to know what's going on with the troop buildup than I am, and my family is.. My oldest grandson is in the Marines
    and is to deploy to Afghanistan in the spring. I suspect he will be going earlier if Obama increases troop strength alot over there.

    I believe we need to bring them all home instead. See?... We all
    have opinions... What CBS is saying is just their attention-getting opinion. (By the way, I'm a CBS news fan – watch their news every evening.)

    November 10, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  72. S. Wilcox, Eugene, OR

    I think CBS is the least objectionable choice here Jack. I haven't believed a word any government drone has uttered since the Kennedy administration. That belief has been validated by every administration since, especially the Nixon, Reagan, and Bush administrations.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  73. SandH - Pekin, Il.

    I believe the White House, as they should know what they are going to do.
    I believe what Dan Rather said about Bush though.
    Maybe CBS is losing their audience so are doing this to grow or
    maybe it is a Republican run station.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  74. clement

    its not a matter of who is telling the truth but its a matter of time. i think the troops should be sent as soon as possible. its just as if you a in battle and call for a back-up but your commander don't want to give you the back-up. If these additional troops are not sent as soon as possible, then the U S troops in Afghanistan might be on a suicide mission that is not yet disclosed to them.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  75. jim jones, dillingham alaska

    The question is how do you define nearly, 20,000, 25,000, 30,000 all these numbers could be defined as nearly 40,000. I believe that the white house will be deploying troops and it will be nearly what the General request, they just may have not set a firm number yet. Plus are we talking about nearly 40,000 combat troops or 25,000 combat troops and 15,000 support troops. Let the guessing games begin.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  76. PAT California

    I will only believe what I hear from the president! Every news organization wants to be the first to report on a situation using RELIABLE SORCES! The only reliable sorce I will believe is Obama!

    November 10, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  77. Richard, Kankakee, IL.

    Everyone knows Bush was AWOL! Dan Rather fell on his sword for nothing!

    November 10, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  78. Robert Simonsen

    For the sake of our troops I hope the CBS report is correct. If Obama won't support our troops to the max then we need to withdraw now.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  79. Jerry

    I would have to say the White house is lying. I'm so used to it. Plus I heard that early this morning on CSPAN. And they are always right.
    Jerry/ Iowa

    November 10, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  80. Desmond in Calgary Alberta

    Tough question Jack. Since the "Dan Rather days" I never took anything CBS news said without a tablespoon of salt. Yet this Whitehouse seems to be as slippery as any that has preceded it. If you're asking me to choose, I'd say that they're both telling half truths for the same reason. That being to "one up" anyone who'd disagree with them.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  81. Dan in Seattle

    Both are technically true. By that I mean, the President has not FORMALLY/OFFICIALLY made a decision, while CBS is reporting on an "unannouced decision." It's all just the same old "word game" by both. More importantly is the question of why are we there coupled with, if we are going to stay, what are we going to do? I for one believe any decision increasing our troop level is not the correct decision. Unless the increase is a way of redeployment OUT. History should show those making these decisions that staying there is a losing proposition. We need to somehow make sure the nukes in Pakastan are safe from terrorist–and THAT IS ALL If Osama and his ilk returns we can blast them out. It's the nukes that should be be our biggest concern. Not "nation building".

    November 10, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  82. Matt

    The Report would be a disappointment if true. I mean its so hard to imagine how we need more troops fighting Tribesmen who eat from the same Plate every week and yet were loosing the War. If you even call it a War.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  83. Barbie from Hollywood, CA

    After the way CBS gave in to the THUGS who controlled the "Bush Media" I wouldn't believe ANYTHING coming from CBS, even if they were saying they were broadcasting the return of JESUS; I'd wait to see if CNN verified the information... providing CNN wasn't pixelating and the sound was breaking up, as it does all too frequently these days, since everyone had to switch to digital. Without CNN, I guess I'd wait for ABC or CSPAN to tell me what was said, altho CSPAN probably wouldn't carry the story..

    November 10, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  84. DON IN WESTPORT, MASS.

    I don't believe either one of them or maybe its a ploy to see if the Afghans will run in fear, or maybe a leak in security or maybe we just don't know what to do to protect this country anymore.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  85. Ed Lexington, KY

    Jack, unfortunately I believe the story is true. Afghanistan is a hell hole of a country, they don't even have a single foot of railroad in the entire country! We are wasting money and lives.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  86. Sara Stearm

    CBS made a mistake before... they can make it again. False documents or information? All reporters make mistakes no matter how good they are. You aren't perfect. Deal with it.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  87. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Not worthy of a long response! This is the most difficult decision of any commander-in-chief and that is all some media can do : play with the emotions of the american people by throwing numbers out there. These numbers represents real american lives that will not be sitting freely and securely behind some printing desk!

    November 10, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  88. Stephanie

    Do any of these so called "reporters" have a seat at the table? Shouldn't people wait until President Obama addresses the American people and the NATO allies to explain his strategy and decision before everyone jumps on the "anonymous source", speculation bandwagon??

    November 10, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  89. Dan, St. Louis

    The question is not about who is telling the truth, but rather whose job it is to make this decision (answer: the President). Since when does the media get to decide a decision has been made, and then generate ratings by claiming a scoop? The President should be allowed to make (and then announce) this very important decision on his own time line, not one dictated by pressure from private sector businesses desperate for revenue.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  90. Richard, Kankakee, IL.

    I gave up on watching CBS, NBC, and ABC ten years ago, they are no longer part of the press they are only new shows, out for rating only!

    November 10, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  91. Melissa V-winnipeg

    In the End it's all a joke. The white house has failed thus far with all their campaign promises of gay rights, of troops coming home, of transparency. CBS made a huge mistake in choosing to announce something the president claimed to not say/ agree with. on a lighter note. President Obama needs to wake up and bring these troops home. it's no longer about keeping the country safe. it's about the HIGH toll it's taking on EVERY Americans life not just though enlisted and deployed. sure you're gas will be cheaper but can you really fix all the families and hope that keeps falling apart??

    November 10, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  92. Jim in Springfield, IL

    Jack you should be old enough to remember what LBJ did when one of his decisions was leaked - LBJ changed it.... First with a story takes precedent over fact–again. It's always a race to get the story out first, not to insure it's accurate and in context. Of course someone at the Pentagon leaked a version of the story to CBS–probably the version they want to happen. CBS is being manipulated–who'll be next?

    November 10, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  93. g ontario

    corp. america wins another one,war is the the only money maker left in usa,get your children ready for the next one cia is brewing

    November 10, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  94. Adam Simi Valley, CA

    I think all politicians are crooks but to actually so flagrantly ignore the law and take advantage of his position to the point where it is criminal should earn him some kind of Congressional lifetime achievement award.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  95. Remo from beautiful downtown Pflugerville, Tx.

    Jack, I don't believe either one of them.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  96. Jerry Clarke

    I believe CBS much more than Obama.Obama put McChrystal in as his general.It only makes sense that he is going to give him the troops he already asked to have to win this war.Obama put a spin on unemployment ,too, saying it would not get above 8% if we passed his stimulus package.It is at 10.2% and still rising.I do not put much stock in his teleprompter comments because he has not completed anything ..

    November 10, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  97. Aaron Harris

    CBS is likely correct. Obama told the country that Afghanistan was the front line in the War on Terror, a battle we cannot afford to lose, and the legitimate war of the two. Although he has already surged in Afghanistan once, the general he picked himself needs more. Obama cannot turn down the magic number of 40,000 without appearing to be turning his back on the war he endorsed in his campaign. After this surge, however, McChrystal will not be able to make another request for more without losing his job. As in the 2007 Iraq surge, he will have to accompany this surge with a fundamental shift in strategy - he won't see another opportunity like this one.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  98. Ayo, Texas

    of course the story is false jack, the white house plans to send only 39,999 more troops. what i believe is irrelevant. i understand CBS is just doing their job, so is the white house, can they just let each other get on with it so we can get on with ours.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  99. Gary Lee Las Vegas

    I don't think most people can believe anything that is reported, by individuals or the white house or news networks. I've been waiting to here about the nine trillion dollars the Federal Reserve won't account for. All the news networks are the same, they cover stories they think will draw interest and avoid issues that are far more important . Am i the only one who has read the constitution and wonder why our leaders haven't. Our forefathers have got to be turning in their graves over the way our leaders are ignoring the constitution for personal gain.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  100. Janet Mitchell

    I believe the President. After Fox News fired two of their investigative reporters in Florida because they refused to lie to the American people, I have little faith in the media. The fact that they managed to overturn the reporter's lawsuit with a narrow decision from a judge ruling that there is no law which prevents the media from lying and from distorting the truth is disturbing. I know that owners like Murdock dictate what reporters must say on the air no matter how false or they will fire them. Granted CNN has a much better reputation than Fox News but I have seen instances on some programs where the News has been distorted. This President has not lied to me yet regardless of accusations made against him. The media continually lies or distorts the truth. I trust this President and I believe him because the truth supports him.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  101. djh

    I believe the CBS story to be true because anyone in their right mind has known all along this President was going to send more troops to Afghanistan.

    He lied to us when he said he was going to end the war in Iraq and what he and his administration has been doing with Afghanistan is just one more big lie.

    This President and his Administration cannot be trusted. I think these people believe their own lies.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  102. Bill Morrison

    I'll take the media over the white house anytime. Perhaps they do not get it right every time but at least they are making a great effort to keep us informed. Media versus the white house? can we say "WMD?

    November 10, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  103. jerry sinay

    who cares who's telling the truth. is cbs sending the troops to afghanistan or is president obama? cbs is supposed to report the news,not promote it.maybe they want to be in the same catagory as fox news.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  104. Pilar D

    My mom always said, 'If you are going to do something, do it right the first time or don't do it at all'. If we are in Afghanistan to get a job done,(if we like it or not, we are already there), then send the soldiers needed to get it done or get out. Let the military do their job to the best of their ability with the support and safety they need.

    Bless these soldiers who put their lives on the line everyday. Shame on those politicians and journalists who are using these honorable men and women as pawns for their own selfish power struggles.

    Pilar, Las Vegas, NV

    November 10, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  105. Ted Bennett

    If the white house didn't release the info, why are you reporting it, we listed to the news to get the facts, not what some overpaid whimp Cronkite wanna be reports.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  106. Daniel

    I'm sure the story is somewhat accurate, but because of CBS' overzealousness to be first in reporting this potential decision from the Pentagon which will affect thousands of soldiers and their families, the Obama administration is now put in the awkward and defensive position to either deny the story or even possibly change the actual number of troops that are sent due to media scrutiny, not to mention the political fallout once an actual decision is made.

    As the old saying goes Jack, "I'll believe it when I see it" or in this case, when I hear it from the President himself.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  107. Harley Miller

    Jack, this is simple. If President Obama decides to send nearly 40,000 more troops, then right now, today, we are being lied to. If he does something different, and I deeply hope he does, then CBS screwed up bigtime and a head or two should roll. I will believe my President is being honest with the American people unless he proves otherwise with his final decision. We will soon know the moral caliber of this Whitehouse.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  108. John Ca

    I thought is was FOX NEWS, Not CBS NEWS the White House is not doing a very good job with the MEDIA. I Know they are acting like the kings and Queen They need to remerber this is still the United States and they are working for US the Peoples!

    November 10, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  109. EugeneWiese

    The White House trumps the news media. Either way the white house will get the blame me.Stamp out the abortion issue as a wedge to stop a health care bill. Abortion has enough legislation and civil laws for all of humanity,now how about a civil law to save real people before a premature death. Gene

    November 10, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  110. Rebecca in SC

    Since we don't know on what CBS is basing its report, we are in no position to assess its credibility. On the other hand, I think it is safe to assume that it is quite certain that Mr. Obama knows whether he has made a decision or not. I will not assume that a decision has been made until I hear it from Mr. Obama. I don't think that Mr. Murrow or Mr. Cronkite would have run such a story without asking the White House whether it was true, no matter who the "unnamed source" might be.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  111. John Harlow

    Little or no attention was paid Afganastan after 9/11. Bush went to war in Iraq. Unfortunately the enemy was in Afganastan and still is. If we don't to see the Empire State Building or Rockafeller Center be next we better nutralize Al Quida where they are. If that takes 40,000 more troups so be it. Send them in, get it done and bring them home. It's not exactly rocket science.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  112. DawnL,CA

    I hope CBS is wrong. Get most of out troops out of there now. We can use spec. ops & drones to fight most of the Taliban & Al Qaeda without getting our troops shot in the back by the Afghan army. Burn the poppy fields & let the so-called Afghan army protect the civilians. Karzai & his brother are laughing themselves silly over the US policy of paying them to be honest. What a joke on us. Our brave troops have done their best to train & protect Afghans, now it's up to the Afghans.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  113. Mary WV

    Plain and simply YES, I believe the CBS News.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  114. Dan in Kentucky

    Who cares! We're in another Viet Nam, a no win war that just makes the corrupt leadership of Afganistan and their cronies rich from our American money. Get our troops home....

    November 10, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  115. Paggy in Minneapolis

    My experience goes back to when I voted for Harry Truman and the newspapers said Dewey had won. I don't know where those papers got their information then either. Perhaps it was from the same place CBS got theirs. I hope CBS is wrong, and that when we finally get the truth the decision will be to withdwaw our troups as soon as possible from a hopeless endeavor.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  116. Mark P

    Too good to be true is a reality. I wanted, badly, to believe our preident as an agent of change. But alis he became worse than his predecessors, selling his soul & his honor to his money men. As much as I distrust the the media, I will have say I believe CBS. My concern is that Obama will change his decision just to "prove" the media wrong.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  117. Pablo in Arlington Texas

    Jack
    Who's Right?
    my money is on CBS.

    Pablo

    November 10, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  118. anthony from swedesboro nj

    Get over it Jack. The only justified war after George W. Bush was Afghanistan. Iraq shoud have never happened but that was also foisted on the Obama administration by the hawks in the Bush administration. While Bush went after the impotent Saddam Hussien and neglected Afghanistan, the Taliban regrouped and Osami bin Laden escaped Tora Bora. Do you really think we're going to allow the status quo in Afghanistan before 9/11 today? Forget about it!

    November 10, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  119. Victor in Saanich, B.C. Canada

    Jack, this actually speaks to an issue that the FOX news [???] strategy touched on. When does a news network become the maker of news hence the fabricator of stories ?? All networks can be seen to use the 'shock factor' to help 'punch up' a storyline but going beyond that 'line in the sand' promotes a future where the public will be damaged by leftist or FASCIST fabrications !!! A chilling glimpse in to the future ???

    November 10, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  120. harold, Phoenix,AZ.

    Does it matter? I believe the White House. Rest assured the War machine will have its way. For all of the send them now crowd,do they remember Vietnam? We don't have the attitude for protracted war. If the enemy was on our soil would it not be our duty to kill as many as possible.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  121. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    The military follows a chain of command prior to advising our troops about their assignments. Whether it is true or false that 40,000 more troops will be sent to Afghan CBS has no right to breach that chain of command. I think CBS has treaded on very dangerous terroritory.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  122. Jeff Crocket in New Britain, CT

    The Media!!

    November 10, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  123. Donna

    Just a few weeks ago, CBS News correspondent, Chip Reid, reported that the WH purposely excluded Fox News from an interview pool with pay czar, Ken Feinberg, and as a result the major networks protested by refusing to interview Feinberg. It was later determined that this DID NOT happen. Once a liar, always a liar.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  124. Mari Fernandez, Utah

    I believe the White House, Jack, all too often the Media gets the story wrong, or they misrepresent the truth.

    Personally, I believe that sending more Troops to Afghanistan is a mistake. The Bush Wars need to come to an end. War is not the answer in dealing or fighting terrorism. We must win over the hearts and minds of the Muslim countries, that's how we will effectively combat terrorism!

    We will withdraw our Troops from Afghanistan, eventually. Why not save lives and money and bring them home now?!

    PS. Jack, what's happened to you, my friend? Yesterday I was listening to you speaking to Wolf, and you sounded like a Republican! Please remember that most of your fans are Moderates & Liberals, the conservatives are over..... watching Faux News!

    November 10, 2009 at 5:47 pm |
  125. Meg from Troy

    Jack–
    I don't know if I believe either one. I think having almost 100,000 American soldiers in Afghanistan for the next four years would be a major mistake–on par with the decision to attack Iraq by the Bush administration. It's time for some transparency in the Afghanistan decision–before speculation gets worse.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:47 pm |
  126. GeorgeH

    I hope it is true! The build up in Iraq worked. It wil work in Afghanistan.

    GeorgeH
    Dallas

    .

    November 10, 2009 at 5:47 pm |
  127. Denis Duffy

    Check the odds in Vegas. They probably have a better idea than anyone

    Denis
    Pittsburgh, Pa.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  128. EugeneWiese

    I hope so. Health care is a moral issue and it is very difficult if not impossible to legislate love.Money trumps morality. Gene

    November 10, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  129. perry jones

    when did the midea start running the nation and who realy cares what the media thinks any way i personaly think Mr Obama is a joke but the media should try and find out what facts are then report them not make headlines , that way they could report the headlines

    perry jones
    council bluffs ia

    November 10, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
  130. Ken from Maryland

    CBS is no more the "Network of Murrow and Cronkite" than is the Republican party the "party of Lincoln", or the Democratic party the "party of FDR". Times have changed, and not for the better. The Republicans are now the "party of 'no'", the Democrats own the Congress and White House and yet can't get anything done, and the media is all about the entertainment value and not the true news.

    So who do I believe in this issue? Nobody. I'll just wait for an official announcement and consider that the truth. Anything else is either pure speculation or the result of leaks, neither of which is news.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  131. hobart

    Why is it either/or and not both?

    Maybe CBS News did quote its source accurately, and maybe that source thought s/he knew the inside story, and maybe that inside story is premature.

    Why not consider that everyone is telling the truth as they know it?

    November 10, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  132. Debra Ellis

    I believe CBS.. Maybe the Whitehouse is denying the numbers, or whom it was that leaked the story but ...just as with the Dan Rather story the Documents may have been false but the story was absolutely true!!!!! Will poor David Martin end up like Dan did???

    November 10, 2009 at 5:54 pm |
  133. anthony...nj

    Who cares Jack? We're stuck with Afghanistan because the Taliban and Osami bin Laden we're hand in glove during 9/11. Do you really think we'll allow this alliance again? We have no choice but to defeat the Taliban ergo the terrorist. We now own Afghanistan since this ground germinated the horror that was 9/11.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:54 pm |
  134. Ron Temecula

    Hi Jack:

    After careful consideration. If the past is any indicator of correct reporting. I would tend to believe Obama.

    Ron Temecula

    November 10, 2009 at 5:54 pm |
  135. Steve

    Jack,
    The President is just another LBJ. CBS, after treating Bush like John the Baptist for 4 years, is trying its best to look like a fact-finding news organization. Kissin' cousins... Man am I ever glad Pepto-Bismol was created.

    Steve
    Bangor, ME.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:54 pm |
  136. Melvin Harper

    What a choice, a born liar, the obama administration or CBS, who mostly reports fairy tales.

    November 10, 2009 at 5:57 pm |