Patraeus will testify before Congress

General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker will testify before US lawmakers at public hearings to be held early next month, the White House said Monday.

The two men, responsible for implementing and assessing President George W. Bush’s “surge” strategy in Iraq, will likely testify September 11 and 12, national security spokesman Gordon Johndroe told reporters.

The two men are preparing a report on the Iraq war which is due to be released on September 15.

“General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker will testify in open hearings on (Capitol) Hill,” Johndroe said.

“Given the tight schedule leading up to September 15 and the congressional recess … the likely dates for testimony are September 11 and September 12,” he said.

He denied, however, that the date was chosen to coincide with the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks.

On Saturday, Bush downplayed the benchmarks imposed by the US Congress in assessing progress in Iraq.

In his weekly radio address, Bush acknowledged that “political progress at the national level had not matched the pace of progress at the local level,” and that the benchmarks had largely remained unmet.

But he insisted “in a democracy, over time national politics reflects local realities” and “as reconciliation occurs in local communities across Iraq, it will help create the conditions for reconciliation in Baghdad as well.”

The 18 benchmarks, written by Congress into law earlier this year, call, however, for sustainable progress in national reconciliation and mending the country’s broken economy as a condition for continued US support.

18 Responses to "Patraeus will testify before Congress"

  1. ekaton  August 21, 2007 at 5:42 pm

    Our defense budget is something like $460 billion yearly, not including funds for the war in Iraq which are $120 billion yearly above that, and we can’t even secure one city, Baghdad. That money is going somewhere, and I assure you, I’m not getting any of it. Something is rotten in the state of Denmark. Why aren’t we out in the streets. Oh! I forgot! The NFL preseason games have begun.

    Kent Shaw

  2. nachthund  August 21, 2007 at 3:39 pm

    I read in one article that one of the cities which has been securied in Iraq is Mosul. An Iraqi friend of mine who lives there begs to differ. He stated that just going out of the house to buy food is taking your life in your hands, and gunmen roam the streets freely. Maybe Congress should hear some testimony from a few Iraqi’s rather then the Generals.
    The Nachthund

  3. Helen Rainier  August 21, 2007 at 3:49 pm

    I will take the words of the young NCOs of the 82d Abn who wrote the recent op-ed in the NYT. I will take the words of the young Marines who have been out on patrol before I will take the word of a 3 or 4 star general who is “insulated” and not out in the boonies for more than a few hours at a time — and then only with a security squad surrounding him.

    I have read reports that not only is electricity in short supply in Baghdad but that there is a lack of potable water.

    No wonder the people are there fed up and no wonder they view the US as the enemy. Under the same circumstances, I would think the same thing.

    What we have perpetrated on these poor people is inexcusable and inhumane.

  4. Helen Rainier  August 21, 2007 at 9:36 pm

    Kent,

    I would like to know how MUCH of the money in the defense budget goes to private contractors in any way, shape, or form — whether it be on the ground operatives (such as Blackwater in Iraq), or the many other venues that have been taken over by private contractors.

    I am very disturbed by the trend to use private contractors for intelligence gathering and analysis. There is absolutely nothing to ensure that they will not be “bought” and paid for to produce intel that is favorable to whomever is paying them.

    The only thing Bush is letting the world know with his continued hard-headedness to remain in Iraq is, as you state, that we can’t even secure one area.

    I contend he is doing more damage to the national security of our country by his words and actions than a gang of former 60s hippies/flower children, such as myself, who also went on to serve our country honorably in the military.

  5. Klaus Hergeschimmer  August 21, 2007 at 10:53 pm

    General Betrayer (I mean Petraeus) and ol’ Crockerpot will just gush about the progress of the occupation so
    it will be curious to see if Americans fall for this again.

    There will be peace marches in the middle of
    September, and I hope the numbers are overwhelming, and people who wouldn’t ordinarily participate in peace marches will.

    But so far since the war began, peace marches have not done a thing to embolden any politicans to act.
    I think the peace marches are important, and get attention to the issue, but never the less inefective, at least at this point.

    I’m so demoralized about how fearful politicans are, paticularly Democrats, to do anything.

    Of course there are some commendable politicans, but not enough.

    I do try to re-charge my will to not give up hope, and it is refreshing to read the postings on CHB, this helps. The thought processes of many of the posters on CHB are very holistic, and balanced. That inspires me to keep my spirits up.

    I have called and called representatives over the years, and it just dosen’t help one damn bit.
    I will always continue to to do this, but the Democrats have never sunk so low as they have now in my humble opinion, they are total Scheisen-meisters.

    Verdammt und Zugenaht!!!

  6. www.nazilieskill.us  August 21, 2007 at 10:03 am

    The military is led by crooks just like every other segment of society. At least the lying generals will be a change of pace.

    John Hanks, Laramie, Wyoming

  7. VietnamVet  August 21, 2007 at 10:47 am

    Don’t expect anything other than: “Things have drastically improved, we are winning, the American people need to have more patience, and we just need more time.” Bottom line: STAY THE COURSE!

    Today’s generals are nothing more that suck-ups to Bush to protect their careers. The days when Generals cared more for the troops than making the next star are long gone and might not reappear, given the examples of the current crop of stars!

  8. Helen Rainier  August 21, 2007 at 11:55 am

    Sandra,

    I truly respect your POV and enjoy reading your postings. However, I must take exception to the first sentence of your second paragraph.

    The VOTERS via the popular vote, did NOT elect Bush in 2000. The VOTERS elected Al Gore. The USSC “selected” Bush when Bush brought suit in federal court instead of letting the State of Florida continue its recount.

    As for 2004, I believe, and will continue to believe, that that election was stolen by election fraud via the use of rigged voting machines, caging, and other methods that were put in place by the Rove-Bush Political Cheating Machine. Unless and until there is a full, transparent investigation into both the 2000 and 2004 elections by IMPARTIAL investigators, I will continue to believe that.

    Also, on a personal note, I, for one, DID NOT vote for Bush 41 nor for Bush 43. In fact, after the disgrace of the last six years, as a political non-partisan, I will NEVER vote for a Republicon again — be it at federal, state or local level.

    The disaster of the last six years and the Republicons full complicity and duplicity of it has “forever” soured me on the Republicon Party.

  9. Steve Horn  August 21, 2007 at 3:39 pm

    My friend Sandra wrote “We may never be the same” – if that’s the case, perhaps it’s a very good thing.

    Perhaps the current administration has taught our nation a lesson in the danger of apathy, in the perils of not voting, of not being politically aware and involved, of being lazy and so self centered we “cannot” find the time to yank our heads out of the ground and examine what’s going on in our nation and in the world.

    Explain to me how an AWOL drunk (Bush)and a corpulent political hack who avoided service (Cheney) through education deferments could portray themselves as being more patriotic than a war wounded, decorated vet who asked to be placed in the line of fire during a conflict(Kerry). The “swift boats for justice” bullshit was a classic example of the type of opinion manipulation we need to be watchful of during election cycles.

    I hope that we are never the same again – I hope that as a people we’re more active, more aware and more involved. That involvement can only improve the political climate by eliminating the “pay to play” cloud we’ve been suffering under for many years.

    Peace

    Steve

  10. Sandra Price  August 21, 2007 at 7:57 am

    I look forward to the testimonials from these two men but will always distrust their words knowing Bush will have the last word on what they say. They have taken an oath to President Bush and the Constitution is no longer in the mix.

    The voters are fully responsible for electing this President twice and America will have to learn to live with it. We may never be the same.

  11. Helen Rainier  August 21, 2007 at 12:01 pm

    I truly don’t like saying this but we already know that no matter who provides the final report, whether it be Petraeus or the Bushies, it will be a dog and pony show.

    Just an exercise in futility. All one need do is look at the Congress itself. There are several Afghanistan/Iraq reps, most notably Patrick Murphy (of Pennsylvania, I think) who was with the 82d Airborne in Iraq — his voice, that of an “boots on the ground” soldier have been discarded as so much BS. Congress has also disregarded Webb who is a Marine combat vet with a Marine son in Iraq.

    It’s very clear that this report will be nothing but a farce because Bush is the Commander Guy, who, while he says he’s going to listen to the commanders on the ground, has never listened to anyone except the paranoid voices inside his own head (or ass — whichever the case may be).

  12. Steve Horn  August 21, 2007 at 2:02 pm

    So, will they be under oath and will transcripts be taken or will this be another BS (BushShit) “casual” interview?

    Place your bets, place your bets …

    I predict that they will say:

    1) the surge is working
    2) we can win this war
    3) the Iraqi govenrment is a bit slow moving
    4) we’re taking the fight to the terrorists …

    place your bets, place your bets!

    Steve

  13. ekaton  August 21, 2007 at 2:14 pm

    Never place a bet when you know the game is rigged.

    Kent Shaw

  14. Electric Bill  August 21, 2007 at 11:52 pm

    I heard on NPR today that the report will actually be written by the White House two days before it is to be delivered in Congress. I doubt that it will matter. Bush is determined to extend the “surge” and the Democrats are already running for cover with the excuse that it is working in some parts of Iraq.

  15. ekaton  August 28, 2007 at 6:38 pm

    It is time for General Petraeus either to do his best Colin Powell, or to step up and be a patriot. His sense of honor will soon be tested. His compliance with or rejection of illegal orders will soon test his vow to uphold the Constitution.

    Congress never declared war in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq or Afghanistan. These are all obviously unconstitutional wars. Bad precedent was set with Korea. Continued congressional compliance with such executive branch abuses of power must halt. They are unconstitutional.

    It is time for Congress to resume its oversight of war by revoking from the executive such war powers granted in acts like the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, and most recently the Authorization to Use Military Force in Iraq. An authorization to use force should occur only after a declaration of war.

    – Kent Shaw

  16. Klaus Hergeschimmer  August 22, 2007 at 12:25 am

    Yeah Electric Bill, I never fail to be digusted with the Democrats running for cover with the fantasy that the surge is working.

    I’ve been hearing Pillary Dillary Crock, and General Obama Westmoreland all going on about being cautious about getting out of Iraq.

    When the Dems gave Bush the spending bill for Iraq last May with no conditions, that was the nail that sealed the coffin shut for the Democratic party with me. I changed to Independent from Democrat. I was leaning that way for some time, but without question, the vast majority of Democrats are just nothing less then deplorable.

  17. ekaton  August 28, 2007 at 7:10 pm

    “When the Dems gave Bush the spending bill for Iraq last May with no conditions, that was the nail that sealed the coffin shut for the Democratic party with me.”

    Same here. Their excuse was they successfully added a bunch of pork. Gnashing has literally destroyed my teeth.

    – Kent Shaw

  18. ekaton  August 28, 2007 at 6:40 pm

    PS – And I intend to tell that to Todd Platts this evening.

    – Kent Shaw

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