Did General Petraeus Betray Us?

This week, United States Army General Petraeus testified in front of Congress that the US is making gains in Iraq and that we can actually pull some troops out (about 30,000) by mid-2008.

MoveOn.org has called Petraeus’s testimony a betrayal to the country and that he has fabricated the figures to make the White House look good:

General Petraeus testified in front of Congress that we are making progress in Iraq. He won’t admit what everyone knows: Iraq is mired in an unwinnable religious civil war. He is just trying to cook the books for the White House. So we are running an ad in the New York Times.

You can see the ad for yourself (pdf). Petraeus states, however, that his views are his alone and not the Pentagon’s or the White House’s.

MoveOn is clearly biased and is basing most of its accusations on statistics gathered from multiple sources, none of which have direct on-the-ground intel. Petraeus had this to say on the MoveOn critique and stats:

Some of it was just flat, completely wrong. The rest was at least more than arguable.

To see for yourself what General Petraeus presented to Congress, please check out these two files:

Although I can’t defend Petraeus’s stats, I have to at least have faith that a man on the ground in Iraq knows a hell of a lot more than a left-wing organization who’s hiding behind Washington Post and Associated Press reports. Furthermore, who is to argue that a General is betraying his country? Isn’t that defamation?

I agree with the views of one of my readers who has stated that accusing the General of betraying his country is treasonous conduct:

I cannot believe what moveon.org will be able to get away with. Impugning the integrity of any officer of the United States military without some proof of wrong doing should be punishable as treason, especially in time of war (or millitary action, as is the case in Iraq). To accuse a serving member of the military of betraying his country while he is serving said country on foreign soil is one of the worst, non-lethal actions I can think of we could condone.

I do not believe General Petraeus betrayed the United States. If anything, organizations such as MoveOn are the ones betraying the American public.

Thank you for reading.

6 thoughts on “Did General Petraeus Betray Us?”

  1. Wow..I got quoted by Ron! Woot! 🙂 Great commentary and excellent presentation of where to get the facts for those who missed the televised events.

    “I have to at least have faith that a man on the ground in Iraq knows a hell of a lot more than a left-wing organization who’s hiding behind Washington Post and Associated Press reports”– Amen is all I can say to that. And that is the crux of the entire thing. He has first hand knowlege no senator or reporter has at this time. To question him is okay to further one’s understanding. But Ms. Clinton and other organizations take it too far….to out right call someone a liar with out any proof is just plain wrong in my opinion.

    (Thanks for the link back and quote man. Hope all is going well with you!)

  2. We would all be wise to remember that Bush has always said that he would listen to the commanders in the field and then make his dicisions based on the information that they gave him.
    Bush has always said this but when his past commanders started telling him things that he did not like they were immeidiatly replaced with someone that would only make reports that would be pleasing to Bush.
    If an officer is more concerned with making Bush happy than he is with the well being of his troops and the country as a whole then we would be fools to simply assume that a man is honorable because he wears a uniform.
    23rd infantry div
    “AMERICAL” 68-70

  3. Hey Jim,

    I can’t read the General’s mind, so I’m not sure if he is just out to please Bush, but I agree that it is dangerous to only have “yes” people around you. And if staff were replaced because of bad news, perhaps it was due to performance. The SECDEF was finally replaced and now it seems some progress is being made.

    I don’t judge a person as honorable because of the uniform. But this General has frontline knowledge of the war (albeit, from brass perspective) whereas his critics have none.

    Thank you for weighing in.

  4. I think any general has a public duty to tell the Congress the truth rather than to follow the president or Pentagon’s line. General P. seemed unwilling to take on this role. This seems to be a product of the current climate in Washington, because time and time again leading military people retire and suddenly announce how wrong the policies are in Iraq. I think he did betray his duty as an employee of the American people. We need generals who are willing to be honest and who have the courage to risk their careers when it is necessary to serve their countries.

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