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.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/11/10/art.mcchrystal.jpg caption="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.