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Washington Post Reporters Omit Key Word (No Surprise Department)

In an otherwise good story, Michael Abramowitz, Robin Wright and Thomas E. Ricks of the Washington Post can't resist dropping a key word from a sentence:

With Iraq Speech, Bush to Pull Away From His Generals - washingtonpost.com: Bush's decision [to surge] appears to mark the first major disagreement between the White House and key elements of the Pentagon over the Iraq war since Gen. Eric K. Shinseki, then the Army chief of staff, split with the administration in the spring of 2003 over the planned size of the occupation force, which he regarded as too small.

I am told--and I am sure Ricks knows--that this is the first major public disagreement, not the first major disagreement. The army's opinion of the choice of Paul Bremer as proconsul was unprintable. The army has long believed that what is needed in Iraq is not more troops but Arabic-speaking military police. The army has long believed that its task would be much easier if there were a serious economic development effort. It has been blown off by the White House all three times.

Just because disagreements did not become open and public does not mean that they did not exist.