When my oldest son was younger, he used to get in a lot of trouble at school. And in trying to figure out the “why” of the problem, I could always be sure of one thing: the boy would minimize his own behavior to the highest degree possible short of outright lying. It was easy to understand why he did this, of course. If he came right out and told me the whole story, then I’d immediately conclude that he had absolutely no justification for what he’d done.

We’ve seen a lot of this on a Governmental level over the last few years. Chimpy did everything but swear that Osama and Saddam played backgammon in Basra every Thursday in order to get us into a war we need not be in with people who were no threat to us. And now, if this report is true, by all appearances the current President is doing the same thing.

This certainly doesn’t look like change you can believe in, does it?

As he justified sending 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan at a cost of $30 billion a year, President Barack Obama’s description Tuesday of the al Qaeda “cancer” in that country left out one key fact: U.S. intelligence officials have concluded there are only about 100 al Qaeda fighters in the entire country.

A senior U.S. intelligence official told ABCNews.com the approximate estimate of 100 al Qaeda members left in Afghanistan reflects the conclusion of American intelligence agencies and the Defense Department. The relatively small number was part of the intelligence passed on to the White House as President Obama conducted his deliberations.

President Obama made only a vague reference to the size of the al Qaeda presence in his speech at West Point, when he said, “al Qaeda has not reemerged in Afghanistan in the same number as before 9/11, but they retain their safe havens along the border.”

A spokesperson at the White House’s National Security Council, Chris Hensman, said he could not comment on intelligence matters.

Obama’s National Security Adviser, Gen. James Jones, put the number at “fewer than a hundred” in an October interview with CNN.

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., referred to the number at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee in October, saying “intelligence says about a hundred al Qaeda in Afghanistan.”

As the President acknowledged, al Qaeda now operates from Pakistan where U.S. troops are prohibited from operating. “We’re in Afghanistan to prevent a cancer from once again spreading through that country,” he said.

People who remember the history of the Vietnam War will remember well the Ho Chi Minh Trail, a resupply line for Vietcong guerrillas which ran through Cambodia and Laos, where we were officially not supposed to be operating. We bombed hell out of them, and we even invaded Cambodia. What we never did do was cut the Ho Chi Minh trail; supplies continued to move right on down it, the whole time.

We had a half million boots on the ground in Vietnam, and we couldn’t cut off supplies and infiltrators. Does anyone seriously believe we can do it now in Afghanistan, with a tenth that force?

It’s time to declare victory and come home. While there’s still a home to come to.

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