Obama, Polish president at odds on call
"First Major ScrewUp for ' Bama The Boy Blunder' , Now Russia 'Own's' Eastern Europe and The EU is Crapping Their dainty Undies Once Again !"
"His position is as it was throughout the campaign — that he supports deploying a missile-defense system when the technology is proved to be workable." " 'Weasel Words' for It's Gone !""
Disagree over support for U.S. missile-defense plan
President-elect Barack Obama's private conversation with Poland's president created an international disagreement Saturday, with President Lech Kaczynski saying Mr. Obama promised to continue a missile-defense system and the transition office saying the Democrat made no such commitment.
President Bush's White House declined to weigh in on the Friday phone call between the Polish leader and Mr. Obama, who will take office Jan. 20.
Mr. Obama has spoken with at least 15 world leaders including Mr. Kaczynski and Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk.
Mr. Kaczynski issued a statement in the Polish-language section of his Web site saying the U.S. president-elect "emphasized the importance of the strategic partnership of Poland and the United States and expressed hope in the continuation of political and military cooperation between our countries. He also said that the missile-defense project would continue."
Obama senior foreign policy adviser Denis McDonough released a statement once the news came from Poland.
"President-elect had a good conversation with the Polish president and the Polish prime minister about the important U.S.-Poland alliance," Mr. McDonough said.
"President Kaczynski raised missile defense but President-elect Obama made no commitment on it.
Politico.com reported Saturday night that Obama advisers Susan Rice and Tony Lake e-mailed
"Obama foreign policy experts" with details on the transition and a warning they should not "under any circumstances speak to the press, any foreign officials, or embassies on behalf of the transition or President-elect Obama."
"We cannot emphasize enough the importance of this request. It would be highly damaging for foreign governments or media to receive information that they believe falsely to represent the views of the president-elect," they wrote in an e-mail dated Nov. 7.
Mr. Obama was skeptical of the missile shield during the campaign, saying it would require much more rigorous testing to ensure it would work and justify its cost.
The U.S. and Poland signed an agreement in August for basing American interceptor missiles in Poland as part of a shield against possible missile attacks from Iran and elsewhere in the Middle East.
A missile shield set up so close to its borders has been a sore point with Russia and has dented its battered relationship with the U.S.
On Wednesday, the day after Mr. Obama won the election, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said the Kremlin would move short-range missiles to Russia's borders with NATO allies, even as the U.S. offered new proposals on nuclear arms reductions as well as offering to have Russian observers at the planned missile-defense sites.