6,231. 12/14/2004

“At a lavish East Room ceremony on December 14 [2004], he [President Bush] awarded Presidential Medals of Freedom to [former CIA Director] George Tenet, [former Coalition Provisional Authority leader] Jerry Bremer, and [former head of Central Command] Tommy Franks. ‘These three men symbolize the nobility of public service, the good character of our country and the good influence of America on the world,’ Bush declared before draping the medals around their necks. The decision shocked Washington. The three rewardees, critics were quick to point out, had been at the heart of the biggest mistakes of the Iraq War–the false intelligence, the heavy-handed occupation, and a postwar plan more intent on pulling troops out than properly securing the country.”

 – Peter Baker, Days of Fire, Page 369

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