General Petraeus speaks: His quote: “This is my testimony…I wrote this testimony myself.”
There is no middle ground here. None. Zip. Zilch.
As we told you late last night, Move On org has bought a full page ad, seen here, in the NYT, headlined "General Petraeus or General Betray Us? Cooking the books for the White House".
From Pete Hegseth, Executive Director of the non partisan group, Vets For Freedom. They are a group of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans:
MoveOn.org Calls Petraeus a Traitor
Do Democrats in Congress agree?
by Pete Hegseth
09/09/2007 5:28:00 PM
Tomorrow--as General David Petraeus provides his Iraq assessment to Congress--the antiwar group MoveOn.org is running a full-page advertisement in the New York Times under the headline: "General Petraeus or General Betray us? Cooking the books for the White House."
Let's be clear: MoveOn.org is suggesting that General Petraeus has 'betrayed' his country. This is disgusting. To attack as a traitor an American general commanding forces in war because his 'on the ground' experience does not align with MoveOn.org's political objectives is utterly shameful. It shows contempt for America's military leadership, as well as for the troops who have confidence in him, as our fellow soldiers in Iraq certainly do.
General Petraeus has served this country for over 35 years with honor, distinction, and integrity. And this is not just about General Petraeus. After all, if General Petraeus is "cooking the books," then the entire military chain of command in Baghdad, and all the staff, military and civilian, who have been working with General Petraeus are complicit, since Petraeus did not write his report in isolation. They are all, apparently, 'betray[ing] us.'
MoveOn.org has been working closely with the Democratic congressional leadership --as an article in today's Sunday New York Times Magazine makes clear. And consider this comment by a Democratic senator from Friday's Politico: "'No one wants to call [Petraeus] a liar on national TV,' noted one Democratic senator, who spoke on the condition on anonymity. 'The expectation is that the outside groups will do this for
General Petraeus was confirmed, unanimously 81-0, (that link is to the roll call vote) and given the job of heading up a new counterinsurgency strategy in Iraq back in February and he received his full compliment of troops a approximately two months ago.
Here are the credentials of General Petraeus which we showed you yesterday afternoon while showing you how the Democrats, (before Move On anounced their full page ad in the NYT), were already trying to discredit General Petraeus:
General David H. Petraeus assumed command of the Multi-National Force-Iraq on February 10th, 2007, following his assignment as the Commanding General, U.S. Army Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth. Prior to assuming command at Ft. Leavenworth, he was the first commander of the Multi-National Security Transition Command-Iraq, which he led from June 2004 to September 2005, and the NATO Training Mission- Iraq, which he commanded from October 2004 to September 2005. That deployment to Iraq followed his command of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), during which he led the “Screaming Eagles” in combat throughout the first year of Operation Iraqi Freedom. His command of the 101st followed a year deployed on Operation Joint Forge in Bosnia, where he was the Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations of the NATO Stabilization Force and the Deputy Commander of the US Joint Interagency Counter-Terrorism Task Force-Bosnia. Prior to his tour in Bosnia, he spent two years at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, serving first as the Assistant Division Commander for Operations of the 82nd Airborne Division and then as the Chief of Staff of XVIII Airborne Corps.
General Petraeus was commissioned in the Infantry upon graduation from the United States Military Academy in 1974. He has held leadership positions in airborne, mechanized, and air assault infantry units in Europe and the United States, including command of a battalion in the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) and a brigade in the 82nd Airborne Division. In addition, he has held a number of staff assignments: Aide to the Chief of Staff of the Army; battalion, brigade, and division operations officer; Military Assistant to the Supreme Allied Commander - Europe; Chief of Operations of the United Nations Force in Haiti; and Executive Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
General Petraeus was the General George C. Marshall Award winner as the top graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College Class of 1983. He subsequently earned MPA and Ph.D. degrees in international relations from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, and later served as an Assistant Professor of International Relations at the US Military Academy. He also completed a fellowship at Georgetown University.
Awards and decorations earned by General Petraeus include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, two awards of the Distinguished Service Medal, two awards of the Defense Superior Service Medal, four awards of the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal for valor, the State Department Superior Honor Award, the NATO Meritorious Service Medal, and the Gold Award of the Iraqi Order of the Date Palm. He is a Master Parachutist and is Air Assault and Ranger qualified. He has also earned the Combat Action Badge and French, British, and German Jump Wings. In 2005 he was recognized by the U.S. News and World Report as one of America’s 25 Best Leaders.
Caught up now? Good.
Via Michelle Malkin we see that the GOP leadership has directly asked the Democratic leaders to stand up and be heard, to denounce Move On and their baseless accusations.
Will they? Or will they let their silence make them complicit with Move On in their disgraceful conduct and accusations against this General that has devoted his life to his country?
Update 10:45am Eastern.We also run across Jon Kyl's statement on this:
U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, this morning called on the Democratic leadership in Congress to condemn the full-page advertisement that appeared this morning in the New York Times suggesting that General David Petraeus is a traitor.
“Every American, including a Washington special interest organization like MoveOn.org, has the right to voice their opinion on the Iraq war. But to suggest that the four-star General leading the fight against al-Qaeda in Iraq has ‘betrayed’ his country is abhorrent.
“General Petraeus has dedicated his life to securing American liberty and protecting his fellow countrymen. He and all who serve under him are fighting al-Qaeda in Iraq to help ensure that we do not have to fight them here at home.
“This is an important moment for the Democratic leadership, which as the New York Times Magazine reported yesterday, has been working closely with MoveOn.org to coordinate opposition to the conflict in Iraq – will Democrats in Congress stand by and say nothing as their liberal allies attack the patriotism of our military commander in Iraq or will they condemn this disgusting personal attack on his character and integrity?
“There should be a full and honest debate on the war on terror. Americans can have that debate because the brave men and women in our military have fought and died to defend that right over the years. But hateful, personal attacks that call our military leaders traitors should be condemned. It is my hope that Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will disassociate themselves from this attack, condemn it, and cease further coordination with MoveOn.org.”
NOTE: The Politico newspaper reported Friday: “‘No one wants to call [Petraeus] a liar on national TV,’ noted one Democratic senator, who spoke on the condition on anonymity. ‘The expectation is that the outside groups will do this for us.’
National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Tom Cole issued the following statement today in response to a full-page ad in this morning’s New York Times by the extremist group MoveOn.org:
“It is bad enough that MoveOn.org has been trying to bully Members of Congress into a course of action that most experts believe would lead to catastrophe in Iraq and the death of tens of thousands in a regional sectarian war. But comparing an American general, who has spent his life serving and defending our country, to traitors like Adam Gadahn, Jose Padilla and John Walker Lindh goes too far.
“Moveon.org owes General Petraeus and every American in uniform an apology.
“This is a critical time for the future of our country and we ought to be working together to find a real solution, instead of turning the Iraq war into a political, partisan game. Democrats ought to reflect on whether or not they want their party associated with the tactics of an organization that spends its time, resources and credibility attacking the character of the men and women who defend its right to engage in such egregious activities.”
Congressman Bill Shuster, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, released the following statement on Move-on.org’s attack ad against General David Petraeus:
“Move-on.org’s ad is an outrageous affront to our military commanders and to the men and women under their command. General Petraeus is regarded as a respected, resolute and responsible leader who was unanimously confirmed by the Senate. His perspective on our progress in Iraq should be welcomed with an open mind.
In running this despicable ad, Move-on.org and their facilitators at the New York Times have carried the anti-war fringe to a new low. I call on my Democratic colleagues to put an end to this political theater and reject the ad immediately.
It is well known that Move-on.org holds significant power over Democrats in Congress. If their leadership fails to reject this ad, it will prove to the American people exactly whose interests they are serving in Congress and whether they are more invested in our defeat than our victory in Iraq.”
“It’s repugnant, but unfortunately not surprising, to see Moveon.org launch this despicable ad campaign against General Petraeus.
“The Senate had absolute confidence in General Petraeus when it unanimously confirmed him earlier this year. Because of organizations like Moveon.org and its affiliations with the leftist, liberal wing of the Democratic Party, the question arises whether this ad represents the stance of all Democrats.
“If not, it is time for the Democratic leadership to announce whether it stands with Moveon.org or whether it stands behind the general Democrats unanimously confirmed – and his military strategy – to carry out our mission in Iraq.
“We’re beginning to see real, measurable progress in Iraq since the increased troop levels earlier this year, and despite this fact, Moveon.org has chosen to engage in slanderous and partisan personal attacks on the commander of our troops on the ground. Because Moveon.org seems unable to contest the facts, it has instead chosen to attack the messenger because it doesn’t like the message.
“I can’t imagine any act more despicable than personally attacking our troops. I call on all of my colleagues, Democrats and Republicans alike, to repudiate Moveon.org and any organizations that launch personal and slanderous attacks on our brave men and women who’ve laid down their lives to protect our nation.”
The far left are encouraging and agreeing with slandering General Petraeus.
Red State is encouraging everyone to let your Democratic leaders know that they must either stand with MoveOn.org regarding this issue, or stand against these slanderous implications.
If you are as outraged by this disgraceful ad as I am, I urge all of you to call the Democrat leaders, call your Congressman, write letters to your local newspapers and make your feelings known.
There IS no middle ground and they must not be allowed to crawl under a rock and stay silent.
With that said, here are ways to contact your representatives and force them to take a stand, one way or another.
Sen. Harry Reid
528 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510-2803
Phone: (202) 224-3542
Fax: (202) 224-7327
Here is Harry Reid's Contact Form.
Rep. Nancy Pelosi
235 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515-0508
Phone: (202) 225-4965
Fax: (202) 225-8259
Here is Nancy Pelosi's contact form.
Rep. Steny Hoyer
1705 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515-2005
Phone: (202) 225-4131
Fax: (202) 225-4300
Here is Steny Hoyers Contact Form.
At a time when the NYT/CBS poll has shown that 68% of the American population trust our military commanders on the war, than they do congress or the administration.
Move on org has just overplayed their hand and the Democratic leaders must come out for or against this.
No middle ground.
We must insist on it.
Michael van der Galiën says they have crossed a line and then goes on to show how the far left (Daily Kos) shows that they have no respect for the military.
Kathryn Jean Lopez shows us where this desperation from Move on org is stemming from.
Captain's Quarters brings us the words of Colonel Joe Repya, who is a retired soldier, a veteran of Vietnam, Desert Storm, and Operation Iraqi Freedom...go read it.
I will be updating this with reactions as the day goes on and I will be sure to bring you any denouncement of this Move On org tactic from any politicians, Democrat or Republican....although the silence from the Democratic leaders up until now has been deafening.
[Update] 10:11 am (AZ timezone)Watching the political leadership make speeches before General Petraeus starts his testimony. The GOP are insisting that Democratic leaders denounce Move On orgs, head line of General Betray us. The Democrats are NOT denouncing them as of yet.
I guess they are more scared of losing Move On org's votes and money than they are for standing up for the man they voted into leadership of our military, UNANIMOUSLY, in February.
[Update] 10:14 am- Lieberman urges Democrats to denounce Move on .org:
Senator Joe Lieberman (ID-CT) issued the following statement in response to the Moveon.org ad attacking General Petraeus in today’s New York Times:
“The personal attack on Gen. David Petraeus launched today by Moveon.org is an outrageous and despicable act of slander that every member of the Congress — Democrat and Republican — has a solemn responsibility to condemn.
“General Petraeus has served his country honorably and selflessly for over thirty-five years. He has risked his life in combat and accepted lengthy deployments away from his family to defend our nation and its citizens from its enemies. For this, he deserves the respect, admiration, and gratitude of every American — not the disgraceful slander of Moveon.org.
“It has been widely reported that Moveon.org has worked closely over the past months with many members of the Democratic Party in coordinating their efforts to derail the strategy that General Petraeus has been leading in Iraq.
“I do not know whether the Democratic leadership was consulted in any way or informed by Moveon about this personal, political attack on General Petraeus. That is not the point. The point is that when partisan political attacks which have already divided and weakened our nation in many ways are directed at a non-partisan, non-political commander like General Petraeus, everyone has a responsibility to shout, “Stop. Enough.”
“As a member of the Senate Democratic caucus, I therefore call on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to denounce Moveon.org in no uncertain terms for its vile attack on Gen. Petraeus. General Petraeus deserves no less.
“Regardless of our disagreements on the way forward in Iraq, the claim that one of our most decorated and accomplished soldiers — whom the Senate unanimously confirmed in his command — would "betray" his country is an insult to the honor of all of our brave men and women in uniform who are fighting today in Iraq.
“As we debate our Iraq policy in the days ahead, we should leave no doubt that Democrats and Republicans stand united behind our troops and the commander who is leading them. We must reject the slander of this brave soldier and patriot.”
[Update] 10:19 am- More reactions from the Washington Times:
Malkin is also live blogging the testimony.
Democrats stayed silent this morning despite the calls to denounce the ad.
House Minority Whip Roy Blunt, Missouri Republican, said, "Enough is enough. Moveon.org has gone too far with an ad that attacks one of our nation's finest generals."
Rep. Jeb Hensarling of Texas, chariman of hte Republican Study Comittee, said the ad was "classless" and called on Democratic leaders to denounce it.
"Though MoveOn has the freedom to opine as they choose, that does not preclude elected Democrat members of Congress from pushing back against such slanderous charges, no matter their opinion on the ongoing military efforts in Iraq," Mr. Hensarling said.
"The men and women serving our nation deserve our full respect and gratitude, regardless of one's political ideology," he said. "Though we live in a tumultuous world in which opinions are bound to differ, there is a right way and a wrong way to conduct oneself and there is a difference between class and classless."
Rep. John Carter, Texas Republican, called it a "shameful, disrespectful attack.
"Any member of Congress -- Republican or Democrat -- should denounce an attack that is so outright distasteful," he said.
Mr. Carter continued, "Now is the time to show our enemies that the security of our nation is more important than party politics and cheap shots from the home front. As Americans, we owe General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker the courtesy of listening to their honest report about what is going on in Iraq, and then we must work together to face the challenges that lie ahead in Iraq."
General Petraeus speaks: His quote: “This is my testimony…I wrote this testimony myself.”
[Update] 10:33am- General Petraeus stated that if progress continues along the lines they are seeing, there will be a draw down of troops to pre-surge levels by 2008.
FYI: Search engines still not showing any democrats denouncing Move On.org and their ad.
[Update] 10:42am- Petraeus is explaing his charts and showing how bombings and violence has declined significantly, especially over the last couple months and more so in the last weeks---- (Note from spree-the last weeks were deliberately left out of the GAO, the group that works for Congress and their recent report.)
[Update] 10:44 am- They are having more hecklers removed as they try to scream over General Petraeus as he is speaking because they do not like his report.
[Update] 10:46 am- He is speaking to Iraqi security forces and showing how they are completely engaged in securing Iraq and out of 140 Iraqi security forces, 95 of them are taking the lead in securing their areas with "minimal" Coalition help.
[Update 11:00am- General Petraeus finishes and more hecklers being removed and Skelton is now threatening that any more disturbances will prosecuted under the law....AFTER he let them to stay TO cause a disturbance.
[Update] 11:02 am- Ambassador Crocker is now speaking.
Crocker: "I will not minimize the enormity of the challenges and at the same time I will show that it IS possible for the United States to achieve their goals and the Iraqis are capable of learning to secure their own country."
[Update] 11:18am- Crocker discussed how on provincial levels political progress is being seen in Iraq. Also he discussed how Anbar tribes have been fighting against al-Qaeda. Talking about Iraq making some gains in rebuilding and economical gains.
[Update] 11:35am- Move America Forward is also live blogging the statements by General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker:
Finally. Gen. David Petraeus is speaking on the troop surge. Here’s a short synopsis:
* Tribal leaders are turning against al-Qaida
* Force levels will begin dropping soon.
* Huge drops in deaths of civilians, allied troops, violence and attacks, though the numbers are still not acceptable
* Coalition and Iraqi troops deal serious blows to al-Qaida
* Troop levels may be reduced by next summer and maintain current security.
* It is possible to meet America’s objectives over time.
“Security situation in Iraq is improving,” Gen. Petreaus said.
Premature drawdown would have devastating effects,” Petreaus said. (Are you listening Armchair Gen. Nancy Pelosi?)
Oh, and one other thing. Gen. Petraeus testified he did not allow the White House nor any Senator or even MoveOn.org to see his report before he handed it out on Monday.
So Sens. Durbin, Boxer and Clinton - you may go change your diapers now.
To our troops and their families: Hoorah!!!
As the Pink Scream of the Pepto Bismol babes, Code Pink, was shuttered (thankfully), Ambassador Crocker on Monday said a secure Iraq is attainable.
He is looking at the situation on the ground not from a military standpoint, but as a diplomat. Diplomacy is always tough in a war-torn country - even when that war is fruitful in its creation of peace.
Saddam Hussein left a legacy of fear between foes, friends, and even family, Crocker said.
“A new Iraq had to be built literally from scratch,” Crocker said.
“The past 18 months have further strained Iraqi society,” Crocker said.
Al-Qaida attacks and sectarian violence has gnawed away at Iraq, which is now a traumatized society, Crocker said.
Iraqi politicians need to step up to the plate.
On the good side, many leaders are ready to set aside their sect’s needs first for the sake of the country.
“The seeds of reconciliation are being planted,” Crocker said.
Oil and revenue sharing is important, but what is difficult about these laws is that it takes Iraq one step closer to federalism which not all Iraqis have embraced, Crocker said.
Iraqis are struggling with a horrific past. (Rep. Lantos should know this pain. And he should not look like somebody kicked him in the gut after Gen. Petraeus says U.S. is winning)
“We should not be surprised or dismayed that that Iraqis” are still struggling with these issues,” Crocker said.
Iraq’s five most prominent leaders have agreed on many issues and publicly addressed their desire for a long-term relationship with the United States.
They acknowledged a continued presence of America in their country (kind of like in Japan and Germany and Kosovo, eh, Sen. Kerry?)
[Update]11:45am- As much as I dislike Harry "Baghdad" Reid, I did say I would bring any statements against Move On.org and although Reid calls it a distraction, I have to be fair and say he is the first to "distance" himself with Move On or. for the attack ad against Petraeus. (Hat Tip to Hot Air)
WASHINGTON (CNN) — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid expressed frustration Monday with a new print ad attacking Gen. David Petraeus that is being paid for by a liberal advocacy organization on the same day the general is providing testimony before Congress on the situation in Iraq.
When asked early this morning if this was the right message for his party to send, the Nevada Democrat curtly answered “No.”
In a separate conversation, a senior Democratic leadership aide called the ad an “unnecessary distraction
Fair is fair and although he didn't denounce it as strongly as the GOP leadership has, he DID distance himself.
Another Hat Tip to Hot Air, YouTube video of Code Pink being removed after heckling General Petraeus.
Hot Air has something in his updates I did not mention so let me show you that here.
Duncan Hunter’s ripping on the Petraeus critics and mentions Lantos by name for impugning his testimony as the product of political operatives. He does a good job responding to Lantos’s point that Anbar is only 5% of the population, noting that it used to comprise 50% of the attacks. Now he’s analogizing the left’s opposition to the Iraq war with their opposition to the cold war. Heh. Hunter asks Skelton to stipulate that Petraeus’s and Crocker’s integrity should be stipulated to by the panel — and Skelton complies.
Good for Duncan Hunter!!!!!
[Update] 12:02pm- Ros-Lehtinen calls on the Democrats to distance themselves from the Move On or. ad again!!! Good for her.
[Update] I really cannot believe I have to actually say this, but, I DID say I would bring news of ANY Democrat that denounced Move On.org for the ad, so here goes.
“I don’t like any kind of characterizations in our politics that call into question any active duty, distinguished general,” Kerry told CNN, adding “who I think under any circumstances serves with the best interests of our country.”
Kerry called the MoveOn.org ad “over the top” and specifically noted that he did not like the wording in the text.
“I didn’t like the terminology,” he said. “I didn’t like it.”
Anyone else fall off your chair after reading that?
Fred Thompson thinks Democrats should return all Move On.org's donations too..LOL