President Bush arrived at Baghdad international airport on Air Force One Sunday morning
He is expected to meet Iraqi leaders, thank US troops for their work in the country and celebrate a new security agreement, a White House spokesman said.
The President left Washington aboard Air Force One at about 9:00 p.m. Eastern time Saturday.
Because of concern for the president’s safety, the White House imposed secrecy in the run-up to his departure:
In addition, the White House engaged in a bit of public deception.
On Friday evening, even as presidential press secretary Dana Perino was meeting with a reporter in her car on Capitol Hill to disclose the trip and its logistics, the White House released a press schedule that had the president and First Lady Laura Bush attending a Sunday evening Christmas celebration in Washington. He isn’t due back until tomorrow.
Bush’s press office sent notices summoning the small group of reporters who accompany the president on even the most routine visits in Washington to gather at the White House this morning and this evening.
The president has made three previous trips to Iraq -- on Thanksgiving 2003, June 13, 2006 and Sept. 3, 2007.