Amidst all of the stretched statistics and spin General Petraeus has actually let slip a nugget or two of negativity -- only in those moments when he was caught off-guard and unrehearsed. Here's one.
It was on Tuesday afternoon, and while appearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, with his charts and graphs and stats, General Petraeus was asked a very simple question:
During the Q&A round at the armed services committee, Senator John Warner, the Virginia Republican who used to chair the committee and who has called for beginning a disengagement in Iraq, took a few sharp (albeit respectful) jabs at Petraeus, noting that one intelligence report after another has said that political reconciliation in Iraq could be a bridge too far. He then asked Petraeus a pointed question: "Do you feel that [Iraq war] is making America safer"?
Petraeus paused before responding. He then said: "I believe this is indeed the best course of action to achieve our objectives in Iraq."
That was, of course, a non-answer. And Warner wasn't going to let the general dodge the bullet. He repeated the question: "Does the [Iraq war] make America safer?"
Petraeus replied, "I don't know, actually. I have not sat down and sorted in my own mind."
It was only because he was caught unaware and unrehearsed, and in that position of having to answer a simple question, Petareus couldn't provide an answer.
How could the answer be anything but an obvious yes?
Because we aren't safer now. The need to "fight them over there" so that we're safer over here is just another Republican lie.
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