Petraeus Proving To Be A Political Hack

Update [2007-8-31 12:42:9 by Big Tent Democrat]: See Kevin Drum's piece on this. Actually, he has a number of excellent posts today.

I have been extremely careful in not labelling General David Petraeus as essentially becoming a political hack for the Bush Administration's Iraq policy. I have argued that he will deliver a soldier's report, one intent on shoring up support for a mission he believes in and feels he can accomplish. I have always argued he can not be, by definition, an honest evaluator of his own strategy and performance. That just seems common sense to me. But it is becoming increasingly clear, for even someone like me that really does not want to believe it, that General Petraeus and his operation have chosen to become political hacks doing the bidding of the Bush Administration and Republicans. This story in the Washington Post provides damning proof of what Petraeus has become:

The sheets of paper seemed to be everywhere the lawmakers went in the Green Zone, distributed to Iraqi officials, U.S. officials and uniformed military of no particular rank. So when Rep. James P. Moran Jr. (D-Va.) asked a soldier last weekend just what he was holding, the congressman was taken aback to find out.


In the soldier's hand was a thumbnail biography, distributed before each of the congressmen's meetings in Baghdad, which let meeting participants such as that soldier know where each of the lawmakers stands on the war. "Moran on Iraq policy," read one section, going on to cite some the congressman's most incendiary statements, such as, "This has been the worst foreign policy fiasco in American history."

The bio of Rep. Ellen O. Tauscher (D-Calif.) -- "TAU (rhymes with 'now')-sher," the bio helpfully relates -- was no less pointed, even if she once supported the war and has taken heat from liberal Bay Area constituents who remain wary of her position. "Our forces are caught in the middle of an escalating sectarian conflict in Iraq, with no end in sight," the bio quotes.

"This is beyond parsing. This is being slimed in the Green Zone," Tauscher said of her bio.

It is impossible to believe that this was done without General Petraeus' approval. He is now a full fledged political hack. Frankly, there seems no point to his even testifying now. Might as well let some BushCo flunkie deliver the Bush Report. Petraeus has no credibility whatsoever. The big September Report is now a meaningless Bush Administration photo op.

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    Wow, the United States military (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 11:19:52 AM EST
    has commanders playing obviously political games and spinning.  Not going to say it hasn't happened in the past but on paper with witnesses like this?  Soldiers in uniform are supposed to be apolitical and many soldiers pride themselves greatly on keeping the voter and their personal political beliefs if they have them out of away from their duty and their job.  This happening is going to be somewhat mind blowing for many old soldiers, there are some things you just don't do while wearing the uniform and one of them is play politics......but I guess that's out the window now.  Just terrific!  I think Petraeus always sort of liked being called a good bureaucrat for a soldier but he went too far with this, he could choke on this.

    You are such a fair-weather friend. I thought you (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by oculus on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 12:52:36 PM EST
    liked this guy!

    I thought he was a fair General (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 07:13:47 PM EST
    but still a General.  Now I think he is a general jerk.

    I wonder what he was paid for his soul? (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Edger on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 01:23:12 PM EST
    Something equally worthless?

    He won't feel this for awhile (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 07:23:48 PM EST
    but when he does.......ewwww.  He's pretty young, in ten years when Iraq is fully written on the wall and people talk about this incident in Iraq he will be running away from candor instead of toward candor.  But for now he will bow to his naked emperor in blindness.

    devotedness (none / 0) (#2)
    by judyo on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 11:46:20 AM EST
    After a number of tries, they've gotten a "commander" with an acceptable level of prostitution.

    Why the shock (none / 0) (#3)
    by Saul on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 12:07:07 PM EST
    To think there would be some honest report on the war coming from Petraeus or from anyone in this administration is like sayin "Oyea and then I woke up"  I said it from day one of the surge, that Petraeus was hand picked for good reason.  " You come back and give us the report we want and we might have some sugar daddies for you general"

    bad strategy (none / 0) (#5)
    by Stewieeeee on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 01:11:13 PM EST
    people can spend the next 18 months debating petraeus' integrity.

    The debate on that is over (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Edger on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 01:57:56 PM EST
    Wait until a few of his peers let him know (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 07:16:23 PM EST
    what they think about this.  It'll be behind closed doors but I don't think I want to see it when one General calls the other General a dirtbag.

    So you will (none / 0) (#11)
    by Wile ECoyote on Sat Sep 01, 2007 at 08:19:11 AM EST
    not be commenting on the General's upcoming appearance?  Good.  

    I have to point out, that in my 24 years and 9 months service, when ever a congressman showed up to the ship, station, post, etc, handouts were made in order to inform the personnel of things like how to pronounce the names, what committees they are on, where exactly their districts are etc.  In return the congressmen expect several of the troops from their districts to be at their disposal for photo ops of the reps and sens eating with them in the chow hall, promoting one of two of them, giving out good conduct medals, etc.  

    Were you given misleading (none / 0) (#12)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Sep 01, 2007 at 09:19:51 AM EST
    and inaccuate bios?  My husband in 18 years in the Army has never been given a bio on any visiting Congressperson.