A rare moment of truth on Capitol Hill

A rare, defining moment that cut through the fog of political rhetoric emerged on Capitol Hill Tuesday as Gen. David Petraeus wound up his second day of testimony on President George W. Bush’s failed Iraq war.

Sen. John Warner, the moderate Virginia Republican who now questions Bush’s handling of the war, asked Gen. Petraeus if America is a safer place as a result of the war that has cost more American lives than the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

After first trying to weasel out of answering the question, Petraeus said he really hadn’t given America’s safety any thought. Incredibly, he admitted the safety of this nation was not the issue in Iraq.

Said Petraeus:

Sir, I don’t know, actually. I have not sat down and sorted out in my own mind. …

I have not stepped back to look at …I’ve certainly taken into account the impact on the military. The strain on our ground forces, in particular, has very much been a factor in my recommendations. But I have tried to focus on doing what I think a commander is supposed to do, which is to determine the best recommendations to achieve the objectives of the policy from which his mission is derived. And that is what I have sought to do, sir.

In other words, the General on the ground, the man Bush has said all along we should listen to, admits in testimony before Congress that the safety of America is not a consideration of the war in Iraq.

Petraeus’s admission contradicts Bush’s many claims that the whole idea of his trumped up war in Iraq was to make America, and the world, a safer place. Anyone with an IQ above that of the average plant knows that Bush’s ill-conceived, lies-based, politically-motivated Iraq war – along with his so-called “war on terrorism” – has made the world, and America, more dangerous.

Petraeus wiped out the last illusion of Bush’s debacle in Iraq. He callously removed any hope that thousands of American men and women in uniform died for any legitimate purpose. If America’s safety was not the primary reason for sending all those soldiers to their death when what the hell was?

On Thursday night, Bush will tell the nation he hopes to reduce troop strength in Iraq by 30,000 next year, putting the number of people in harm’s way at the same number it was before he launched his “surge” late last year.

But Democrats on the Hill say when you look beyond the vague, conditional promises Petraeus made during his testimony you can only conclude that the administration’s real plan is U.S. involvement in Iraq for at least another 10 years.

The Iraq war has already lasted longer than America’s involvement in World War I, World II or Korea.

Ten years from now if we are, as predicted, still in Iraq, the conflict there will surpass Vietnam as America’s longest-running war.

And America in 2017 will be no safer than it was on the morning of September 11, 2001.

28 Responses to "A rare moment of truth on Capitol Hill"

  1. Klaus Hergeschimmer  September 12, 2007 at 7:51 pm

    The Democrats are making their predictable ‘brave’ noises of outrage right now hurling a few ‘tough’ questions at Petraeus which as Kieth has so insightfully stated is a futile gesture because it is the ‘Commander in thief’ Georgie Bush and Congress who these questions should be ‘hurled’ at.

    Very insightfull comments Kieth, that really gives some food for thought. Your always firing on all eight cylinders.

    I called up several senators and congresspeople and expressed my contempt at its enabling of the Chimp’s
    occupation for all the good it will do.

    Many Democrats state they want withdrawl from Iraq but want to leave enough security forces to protect
    ‘American assets’ in Iraq.

    Which means that Dems will always make its brave little noises of “Oh, we don’t have enough votes to overide a Presidential veto” but its underlying statement of protecting ‘American assets’ means
    they’re along for the ride in Iraq ‘as long were there’.

  2. Carl Nemo  September 13, 2007 at 2:32 am

    The problem with the President being the Commander in Chief is that the founders made the assumption that he would basically be an honorable man or in our times possibly a woman. But what if, the President is less than honorable or is an outright crook with an agenda and the checks and balances fail; ie., either Congress or Justice failing to challenge this same less than honorable Executive as they’ve done so to this point…?!

    The founders evidently couldn’t envision where all three branches of government would be compromised in time, but that’s what has happened in addition to our two-party system having gone belly-up with the repubs and the dems merging into “republicrats” with this newly emerged single entity marching to the jody calls of their corporate masters. They simply pitch scraps of pork back to Mayberry courtesy of the U.S. Treasury ‘deli’ maintaining their incumbency while they all work hand-in-hand to compromise both the national and economic security of this once great nation.

    “We the People” have no one in DC who genuinely represents our interests at this point in history. All the candidates on the campaign trail except for possibly Kucinich and Paul are simply patronizing the “booboisie” electorate with the same old simplistic non issues while the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, habeas corpus, posse commitatus and many other protections that we might not even be aware of have been compromised by their traitorous duplicit, non-representation while in the halls of Congress. They screw “we the people” over 24/7/365, that seemingly is what they do best…!

    America and it’s citizens have never been in such extreme harms way since the founding of the Republic!

    Carl Nemo **==

  3. keith  September 13, 2007 at 8:29 am

    Carl, you’ve nailed it!

    The one fatal flaw in our Constitution is that our founding fathers never dreamed that all three branches of our government would become so completely corrupt…and all at the same time.

    As I and others have noted in numerous other posts, most (if not all) of the checks and balances that were carefully crafted into our system of government have now been so thoroughly corrupted to the point that they are no longer effective.

    We have a President who calls the Constitution just another “goddamned piece of paper”, a Congress full of bums, wimps, perverts, and thieves who are beholden only to themselves, and a judiciary that has been hand-picked by the other two branches of government so as to insure that the corruption continues.

    Our Constitutional system also relies on an informed and engaged electorate to keep everyone in the system accountable for their actions. Unfortunately, right now, the electorate seems FAR more interested in who the next “American Idol” will be rather than the next President.

    “We the (now largely ignorant) People” are LETTING all of this happen. And “We the People” could stop all this corruption in its tracks with our ballots at the next election if we really wanted to.

    But we probably won’t.

    That’s because our founding fathers ALSO never envisioned that the so-called “free” press they carefully enshrined into our Constitution would, itself, become so thoroughly corrupt.

    And, they certainly never imagined that the electorate would actually CHOOSE to remain ignorant (and therefore indifferent) enough to allow their government to effectively operate “open loop”.

    Maybe the reason our government is now so corrupt is because we, too, have now become a nation full of lazy bums, thieves, perverts and liars who are too busy looking out for “number one” to care about what happens to our nation as a whole.

    So, in that sense, we are now simply reaping what we, ourselves, have sown.

  4. willie  September 14, 2007 at 12:17 am

    Mr. Thompson represents the typical political writer of today; he sits and waits for any minor slip to pronounce the greatness of his investigative reporting prowess — what an absolute and total joke.

    I am sick of the division that exists amongst our people and I am fed up with the group of folks who represent themselves as reporters, but who spend the majority of their ink tearing down our leaders and our country.

    Thank God for General Petraeus and for the men and women of our military who are willing to place their lives in jeopardy to protect all Americans, even those as worthless as Doug Thompson.

    May God bless America and may God protect and direct the leaders of our great nation.

    Willie T

  5. ekaton  September 15, 2007 at 12:01 am

    Willie T, please enlighten us. How did attacking Iraq protect all Americans? Bush himself said Iraq had nothing to do with 911. Don’t argue “al qaida in Iraq” as that group did not exist until Bush attacked Iraq. Fighting them there so we don’t have to fight them here? How are they going to get here? Frankly I’d rather fight them here as the supply lines would be non existent and it would be a lot cheaper and far fewer American lives would be lost. Tell us how, also, attacking Afghanistan has protected all Americans. Bin Laden was allowed to escape at Tora Bora, and Bush said “Frankly I don’t think about him all that much.” Tell us exactly how attacking those two countries has helped us.

    Kent Shaw

  6. willie  September 14, 2007 at 12:33 pm

    Hey Kent, how about taking a few very deep breaths before you have a coronary.

    No, I won’t address your questions because your questions have nothing to do with the subject matter which is General Petraeus, his testimony, and whether or not he is trustworthy.

    Why don’t you tell me why you are so upset that General Petraeus and Ambassador Crockett offer us hope and an opportunity to turn a disastrous situation into an honorable way out? Why Kent, tell me WHY!!!

    All you liberals are the same — any good news for America is terrible news for you. Be honest Kent, REALLY, BE HONEST — You and your cruddy liberal friends Hope With All Your Hearts That We Lose Our Tails In Iraq, Don’t YOU!?! DON’T YOU!!!

    Willie T

  7. ekaton  September 14, 2007 at 3:30 pm

    Although I am registered as “no party affiliation” I am most likely one of the very FEW liberals who choose to comment on these articles. So, “all you liberals” wouldn’t really apply as far as these comments go. Just for the sake of discussion, here is the best definition of “liberal” I have found. I post this definition here from time to time and I always ask for anyone to post a definition of “conservative” and they never do so.

    lib•er•al

    Adjective

    1. Favoring political and social reforms tending towards democracy and personal freedoms for the individual; advocating reform or progress in education, religion, etc.

    2. Not limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas; not bigoted.

    3. Open to new ideas for progress; tolerant of the ideas and behavior of others; broad-minded.

    4. Describing Democratic forms of government, as distinguished from monarchies, aristocracies, oligarchies, fascism, etc.

    5. Forward looking, welcoming of new ideas without rigid reaction, advocate for the well being of the people – their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights, their civil liberties.

    con•serv•a•tive

    adjective

    ??????????????

    Come on folks, let’s see a good definition. Feel free to jump in here Willie T. Just try to keep the invective to a minimum, as we reserve that for conservative media darling Ann Coulter.

    — Kent Shaw

  8. willie  September 14, 2007 at 5:55 pm

    Sorry Kent for mislabeling so many of the people in America as liberals, and I must admit, by your fine definition you nailed me. What I should’ve labeled you as is a bonifide Socialist or maybe a Communist sympathizer or maybe even a trader.

    Please forgive me,

    Willie T

  9. Carl Nemo  September 17, 2007 at 1:32 am

    Yo Willie T…

    Ref: Willie’s reply to Kent
    *****

    “What I should have labeled you as is a bonifide Socialist or maybe a Communist sympathizer or maybe even a trader.”

    *****
    What’s wrong with being a socialist? The U.S. is already a socialist state with womb-to-tomb care for it’s citizens that we cannot afford as a nation.

    How about communism? We deal with Red China and most households in America are loaded with Red Chinese made products from washcloths to leaded toys for their kids. Even dad’s weedeater is made in China. Our reps in DC, your heroes think Red China is AOK when it comes to deal-making that destroys America economically.

    What’s wrong with “traders”? They all have viable jobs on Wall Street, Chicago’s commodity pits, the New York Mercantile Exchange and many folks trade goods, services and even securities via their computer terminals many losing their butts, but some making out.

    Oh, I’m sorry you meant traitors. Gee, the only traitors I can think of are in Congress, the White House, the Supreme Court and even a few high level general grade officers too. I personally don’t know any rank and file traitors. In fact in my 62 years I’ve never run across a genuine ordinary citizen/traitor…!

    Thanks for your comments Willy T. A human mind is a terrible thing to waste. I suggest you get your GED and educate yourself to the ways of the world before you walk out on the expressway of public discourse.

    Carl Nemo **==

  10. ekaton  September 14, 2007 at 11:52 pm

    Communist? Socialist? Oh, please. That is so adolescent. Medicare, certainly a socialist program, operates with an overhead around 4%. Our private health care system operates at around 35% overhead. Would I like to see Medicare expanded to cover everyone, yes I would. Does that make me a socialist? Because I am the first to condemn our open borders letting anyone and everyone into the United States, some of them undoubtedly carrying weapons of mass destruction, some of them contagious diseases. But wait! That would seem to plant me firmly within the conservative camp. Now what? Oh my gosh? NOT open minds!! Oh Please!! Not That!!

    Kent Shaw

    PS – Yes I AM a trader. Currently available for barter is one Fender Telecaster, one Gibson Les Paul, a Mesa Boogie amp, four or five hundred vinyl albums in great shape, four or five hundred CD’s in great shape, a set of golf clubs, and a few other items. So yes, all of the above is available to anyone in exchange for items of equal value. YES! I AM A TRADER!

  11. ekaton  September 14, 2007 at 11:59 pm

    PS — Well put, Carl Nemo.

    — Kent Shaw, 58-year-old-ex-something-or-other.

  12. keith  September 15, 2007 at 2:11 am

    Willie,

    While I, too, sometimes grow weary of the “divisions” that exist among our people, I have also come to realize that such “divisions” are one of the few remaining positive indicators that our Constitutional form of government is still alive…if not altogether well.

    Democracy is, by design, a messy business. If you want strict conformity with no “divisions”, then I suggest you may want to seek out one of the many dictatorships still thriving on our planet. There, being a “non-conformist” (or speaking out against the government) will often earn you a trip to the nearest jail…or worse.

    And our forefathers also made the provision for a free press in our Constitution PRECISELY so as to encourage the kind of dissent you are now accusing Mr. Thompson of fomenting. That is, they envisioned that a free (and thereby critical) press corps would help insure that those elected to high office in our land would continue to be accountable to the people who elected them.

    So, here again, I view the fact that such published dissent… in all its many forms…is still being allowed in our nation as yet another indicator that our Constitutional form of government still lives.

    And, like you, I, too, am immensely proud of our men and women in uniform who are, this night, standing guard in many faraway places. But it is critically important for us to remember that the absolute WORST thing our leaders can do to our brave soldiers, sailors airmen and marines is to place them into combat situations where their lives are being wasted for no clear military purpose.

    Or, to put it another way, when the quite noble goal of “protecting all Americans” becomes merely a convenient catch phrase for the continued government-sanctioned mass murder of our own (or another nation’s) citizens for no clear military purpose, then the cause for which they are fighting can no longer be morally justified before anyone’s God.

  13. Doug Thompson  September 15, 2007 at 8:40 am

    Willie T:

    Our posters are welcome to express opinions and disagree with what I write but we do not allow anyone here to call other posters on this web site names. I suggest you stick to FreeRepublic. They like that sort of stuff over there. We do not.

    –Doug

  14. ekaton  September 16, 2007 at 12:26 am

    I love to watch Ann Coulter on television and scream my fool head off at the TV screen. Big Brother has me well trained to vent in that harmless fashion. Anyhow, I vent that way. And try to keep it civil here. And fail. But its the thought that counts. I’ve been around the block too many times by this ripe old age to accord any respect to anyone calling me or anyone else names. I try to remember to not do so myself. I was put on this earth to learn patience. Negotiating modern day traffic in this nation of 400 million is one way to do so. Commenting in public requires patience and courtesy in an ideal world. It ain’t ever gonna be an ideal world.

    The ever and always redundant,

    — Kent Shaw

  15. CheckerboardStrangler  September 16, 2007 at 4:03 am

    “Petraeus wiped out the last illusion of Bush’s debacle in Iraq. He callously removed any hope that thousands of American men and women in uniform died for any legitimate purpose.”

    —I am relieved to hear from Petraeus.
    I dont believe that he removed our hope with callous disregard because from those with callous hearts we either hear nothing or we hear baldface lies, so with that in mind I would daresay that he said what he said as an act of mercy, perhaps his only one.

    And so, like a terminal patient, flatlining on the ER table, Petraeus pronounced “time of death” on the US purpose in Iraq.

  16. CheckerboardStrangler  September 16, 2007 at 4:06 am

    What I want to know is how Bush can dare to start planning for “beyond his presidency”.
    I think it’s time someone sat him down and let him know that once he leaves office, he no longer has any right to decide what will take place “beyond his presidency”.
    If anything it might be wise for any who take his place to erase completely his legacy of lies, death and destruction.

  17. bryan mcclellan  September 16, 2007 at 9:41 am

    It will be impossible to erase the Hash mark that smirk has left while wearing Uncle Sams underwear.He’s made it clear that his successor will have to turn the tidy whiteys inside in true frat boy fashion to avoid a wash.He cares not that all the shit he leaves behind will be exposed when he’s Paraguay bound…All Patraeus is to him is another dingleberry to add to his already enormous collection.

  18. ekaton  September 16, 2007 at 12:12 pm

    Don’t expect the Democrats to be in any particular hurry to repeal the “PATRIOT” Act, the military commissions act, the authorization to use military force act, or to restore habeas corpus anytime soon. Don’t expect them to rescind the series of executive orders which give the president dictatorial power in the event of an emergency anywhere in the world as defined by and when declared by the president. Too much unconstitutional power has been claimed by the current president and I can’t imagine Hillary or Barack wanting to give up even a tiny fraction of that illegal authority. The two parties are the same party. The Clintons and Bushes are the greatest of friends. So are the Bushes and the Saudis. So are the Bushes and the bin Ladens. The Bushes allowed the Saudis and the bin Ladens to fly out of the U.S. before the rest of the air travel system was allowed to come back online after 911. Wake up Americans. Wake up.

    Kent Shaw

  19. ekaton  September 16, 2007 at 12:22 pm

    “All Patraeus is to him is another dingleberry to add to his already enormous collection.”

    Correct, and so obvious to everyone but Petraeus, apparently, who has decided to suck up to Bush, and continue to follow clearly illegal orders. A real general would tell Bush he was out of his #^<+!]? mind, read him the riot act, and then resign. Because the invasion of Iraq was illegal, every following order is illegal.

    The generally redundant,

    — Kent Shaw

  20. Bill Robinson  September 12, 2007 at 9:11 am

    So, let’s leave!
    Bush does not care how many Americans he kills. He cares how much money he and Cheney can steal. His goal is to be the richest man in America, and if the war goes on for ten years and Bush lives that long, he will be.
    Get us out of Iraq now and impeach the two traitors in the White House.
    Enough is more than enough already.
    Bill Robinson

  21. TRUTH 101  September 12, 2007 at 10:06 am

    ANYONE betting that GWB didn’t figure out (all by himself anyway) what Doug did.

    After 24 years service myself it should be perfectly clear to all that ANY military man’s or woman’s mission, the overall number one mission, is to be completely and totally supportive of the Commander in Chief, NO MATTER WHAT, at all times in all public statements, no matter if they are on worldwide television or in a public meeting of more than three people. Think what you want, fine, but make no statements that contradits the CIC, EVER !!

    So yes, this report written and approved by the White House was basically a preview of what the President will say on TV. Why do you suppose that just days before the General’s testimony, GWB makes a ” surprize” ( Give me a break” ) visit to Iraq to “assess” the situation himself ( ahem !!) and then starts talking cuts before the General opened his mouth and spoke his first word to Congress.

    IS ANYONE REALLY BUYING THAT NONSENSE ? I AM AFRAID TOO MANY ARE !!

    This White House plays everyone that will pay the least bit attention as complete fools…and you know what, many of us are. We are told that if we do not believe what they say, every word mind you, we are unpatriotic, your not with us so you must be against us, and on and on.

    The problem is many American’s are buying what they are selling and that is the real shame of it all.

    Patreaus is a fine man no doubt and a very skilled person in his profession. But, now by this profession, is caught between being a four star military general, duty bound to support his Commander in Chief, no matter what he really thinks or feels, or find another job. In this White House with GWB as the CIC and Cheney as the “enforcer and top thinker, this certainly must be tghe finest example of a person, a good person caught between a rock and a hard place. Worse and entire career hangs on it. But, to be honest, it’s really always been this way. Just that this gang in Washington wanting absolute control of everything and a President that in my opinion likes to play the role but accept NONE of the responsibility, make Paterus’ or any other military man’s job almosrt impossible.

    He is still however human and being human can only take so much for so long whether it be Iraq or requiring to be supportive of an administration totally out of touch with the rest of the world.. My guess is that he will be retiring soon and the excuse will be that which I stated above. …but of course more focused on the conflict not on the required support he must give.

    Colin Powell was dumped because he disagreed with Cheney mainly the real Bush’s brain. It will or would happen to anyone who does not toe the PNAC or Administration line. That is what is wrong with America and this weak-kneed Congress basking in money, privilidge and power along with perks doesn’t want to rock the boat either, no matter what party they belong to.

    This is why we are in the mess we are in. PERIOD !!

  22. bryan mcclellan  September 12, 2007 at 10:16 am

    America,you are now six going on seven years old,WAKE THE F*#K UP.July 4th has been displaced with 911.The laws of the U.S. as well as those of reason were usurped on that fateful day in September and we are now tasked with overthrowing a dictator who has clearly committed crimes too numerous to count against us. By this time next year it will be too late to blow ballast and we will find ourselves eternally submerged in this sea of apathy and impotence.Our only recourse is a national strike,not the threat of one but an actual shut down across the board of all commerce that is of foreign derivative.We hold the real purse strings,stock up on food and apply 1099 tax forms to the boycott and we have a sure fire way to get everyones attention.Then we the people will do the dictating as it was meant to be in the first place.

  23. old_curmudgeon  September 12, 2007 at 10:49 am

    “…the General…admits in sworn testimony…”
    I did not see the beginning of the Senate testimony yesterday but the previous day in the House the General was not required to be put under oath. Did the Senate do so?

  24. Sandra Price  September 12, 2007 at 4:51 pm

    No one was sworn to tell the truth! I posted this information on another forum and nobody thought anything about it. The Bush Administration is unable to tell the truth, and apparently anyone under the CIC is not expected to tell the truth so why bother?

    I watched much of the testimony and found the GOP really trying to find a way out of this mess even out shouting the Democrats. We all know we cannot leave as we entered as we have destroyed Iraq. We tore it apart and how can we simply throw the remaining people into the arm of Al Qaeda? We even destroyed the Iraqi army and police and I can’t help but feel Bush knew this was a one way war, just like Vietnam.

  25. eric  September 12, 2007 at 4:57 pm

    You didn’t mention how later on in the day (around 5:50, IIRC) Evan Bayh mistakenly gave the General (who was clearly waiting for such an opening) the chance to readdress the question…an extremely stupid thing for Bayh to do (but not really surprising).

    Anyway, my point is that I would bet that it is the later, BS answer to the question that will be repeated by the WH and MSM. The stumbling, oh-crap-I-wasn’t-ready-for-a-real-question answer the General gave to Warner will only be mentioned on blogs that have audiences who already know the truth anyway.

  26. keith  September 12, 2007 at 7:11 pm

    Doug, General Petraeus’ response to Senator Warner’s question is not at all surprising to me. What’s more, he really shouldn’t have been made to “weasel out” of answering such a question in the first place (other than as a private citizen) because it really isn’t his job to make those determinations.

    All officers in the US Military are trained from the very beginning NOT to officially espouse their personal opinions on such policy questions. Throughout their careers, they are constantly reminded that their primary mission is to “fly and/or fight” and to win wars…period.

    So, we should not be at all surprised when commanders like General Petraeus tell us that they focus on these “fly and fight” questions and NOT on whether the wars they are fighting are “right” or “wrong”, or whether or not they are (or are not) making our country “safer”.

    Under our Constitution, those are all policy decisions and determinations that are SUPPOSED to be made by the elected civilians placed in charge of our government by “we the people”.

    Now, some might argue there is something inherently wrong with that approach. And, given the blatant illegality of our current combat operations in Iraq and elsewhere, it certainly would appear to be so.

    However, by their steadfast refusal to take the responsibility for making such determinations (or to simply discount and then ignore them), our President and the Congress have now created a HUGE dilemma for our brave men and women in uniform who are now putting their lives on the line in such faraway places Iraq and Afghanistan.

    That’s because there is also a clause in our US military commissions and oaths of enlistment that states our warfighters are only bound to obey the “lawful” orders of those appointed over them. Just what is “lawful” (or “unlawful”) is not spelled out.

    And trying to make such determinations when one is under fire in a combat situation becomes particularly difficult. So, the natural tendency is to “shoot first and ask questions later”, hoping against hope that those persons appointed over you know the difference between a “just” and “unjust” war.

    Our Constitution makes the assumption that, collectively, our elected civilian leaders will only order our brave men and women into combat if the cause is just…and clearly “lawful”…along with the expectation that such elected representatives will be held directly accountable to the people (us) if they screw up.

    Clearly, for a number of reasons, that hasn’t happened in Iraq.

    It is also important to remember that, even the most senior military officer in our US military…the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff…is still appointed by (and serves at the convenience of) the President with the approval of Congress. And their job is merely to advise the Secretary of Defense, the Congress and the President on those matters directly relating to the strategy and tactics used by our military in employing that instrument of national power.

    Or, to put it another way, our military commanders have only the power of command that the so-called “national command authority” (the President and his or her civilian deputies) chooses to delegate to them.

    Reference is often made to the President as the “Commander in Chief” of our armed forces. That’s because, under our Constitution, he or she IS the “Commander in Chief” of our armed forces…both figuratively AND literally.

    The framers of our Constitution set our military up this way for a very good reason. They clearly wanted to place civilians directly in charge of our armed forces and therefore make it extremely difficult (if not impossible) for the military to grow so powerful that they could then take over the country and impose their own form of military dictatorship on the rest of us.

    And, so far at least, in our 211-year history, that has yet to happen. Clearly, our forefathers got at least THAT part of our Constitution right!

    What’s more, the framers of our Constitution (many of whom served in battle during the Revolutionary War) also well realized that our country’s men and women in uniform would have MORE than enough to worry about in future combat situations without ALSO having to worry about whether the wars they were fighting were “legal” or “just”.

    The fact remains that, as much as many of us believe the wars we are now fighting in Iraq and elsewhere ARE blatantly illegal (and/or damaging to our safety as a nation) these are all policy determinations that, under our Constitution, are for the President and the Congress to decide…NOT for our military commanders in the field.

    For that reason, Senator Warner’s pointed question to General Petraeus in yesterday’s hearing…while relevant to the discussion…was clearly out of line because he was directing it at the wrong person.

    That question SHOULD have been directed to his colleagues in the Congress and to the President…NOT to the General.

  27. Citroyen  September 12, 2007 at 10:38 pm

    I think the question was justified.
    Warner was asking Petraeus’ opinion. Patraeus gave an honest answer.
    An unscripted moment.
    Petraeus was also saying that it was not his business to know whether it made the USA safer. He simply is focused on achieving specific military objectives.

    It has constantly been asserted by Mr. Bush that the prosecution of the war in Iraq is making us safer. He has been asked that question. It is good to know that he cannot use General Patraeus to back him up.

  28. Irish77  September 12, 2007 at 7:01 pm

    I would venture to guess the real truth is more Americans have died than have been reported let alone all the innocent Iraqi citizens. But we probably will never know the truth. The other truth is that more people are dying than died on 9/11. Those who worked on the pile at ground zero are dying at a high rate from the toxic dust that covered the area. I am so sick of being lied to and seeing people mistreated by governments who don’t value human or other forms of life.

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