Monday, September 25, 2006


Must Watch TV, Today (Monday) 1:30 Eastern

Stolen from Atrios: Democratic Policy Committee will hold an oversight hearing on planning and conduct of the War in Iraq TODAY, September 25, at 1:30 PM. Among those scheduled to testify are Major General John R.S. Batiste, U.S. Army (Ret.); Major General Paul D. Eaton, U.S. Army (Ret.); and Colonel Thomas X. Hammes, USMC (Ret.). The Committee is holding these hearings because the Republican-controlled standing committees in Congress have failed to do meaningful oversight of the planning and conduct of the war. Watch online at Via Atrios, CBS says: Retired military officers on Monday are expected to bluntly accuse Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld of bungling the war in Iraq, saying U.S. troops were sent to fight without the best equipment and that critical facts were hidden from the public. "I believe that Secretary Rumsfeld and others in the administration did not tell the American people the truth for fear of losing support for the war in Iraq," retired Maj. Gen. John R. S. Batiste said in remarks prepared for a hearing by the Senate Democratic Policy Committee. A second witness, retired Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton, is expected to assess Rumsfeld as "incompetent strategically, operationally and tactically ...." UPDATE from Phoenix Woman: I watched on RealPlayer -- missed most of Chuck Schumer's opening, but a kinda-sorta transcript (I mistook Eaton for Batiste early on) is right here; just look for my comments. UPDATE 2 from Phoenix Woman: A better transcript is here at DailyKos. The former brass' gist, while trying to avoid discusssion of whether invading was the right thing to do, is that: 1) Invading Iraq made us all less safe, 2) Rumsfeld wouldn't accept any plan that allowed for the proper number of troops needed to fight the insurgency we all told him would spring up, 3) We've lost three years' time in settling things (for which Rummy needs to go) and 3) In order to fix Iraq, we need to get serious about getting onto a war footing: No more tax cuts (in fact, Col. Hammes suggested undoing the ones we have) and be prepared to stay for another decade, or the Iraq civil war will become a regional war, Iran becomes Big Man On Campus, and gas shoots to well over $100 a barrel. (As if Bush would ever undo his tax cuts. He'd rather die first, I suspect.)

Anyone who believes we are winning in Iraq is now either painfully ignorant or delusional.

Which is why Mitch McConnell, being both, called it a "publicity stunt."

One thing that irritates me is that everyone, including CNN and people like Ed Schultz, is saying that this was a panel of congressional Democrats. In fact, it was a bipartisan panel, with one congressional Republican.
Crooks and liars has a clip of Gen Batiste up.

This is a great quote:
Congressional oversight committees have been strangely silent for too long, and our elected officials must step up to their responsibilities or be replaced. This is not about partisan politics, but rather what is good for our country.

Mitch McConnell doesn't know how to put country before party.
This was a very important hearing. It did seem that the capital sens and reps were impressed and taken aback by this testimony. This should be headline news for this nation. The incompetence and mendacity of this administration needs daylight shined on it.
Thanks Phoenix Women for posting the text over at Eschaton!

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