Thursday :: Jul 19, 2007

Petraeus Loses His Shine


by Mary

Many people are pointing to Andrew Sullivan's comments noting that General Petraeus has severely damaged his ability to be seen as a credible impartial voice on Iraq.

If I were eager to maintain a semblance of military independence from the agenda of extremist, Republican partisans, I wouldn't go on the Hugh Hewitt show, would you? . . . I think such a decision to cater to one party's propaganda outlet renders Petraeus' military independence moot. . . .

But Petraeus is either willing to be used by the Republican propaganda machine or he is part of the Republican propaganda machine. I'm beginning to suspect the latter. The only thing worse than a deeply politicized and partisan war is a deeply politicized and partisan commander. But we now know whose side Petraeus seems to be on: Cheney's. Expect spin, not truth, in September.

Is this really surprising? After all, this is the same General Petraeus that helped Judith Miller when she was touring Iraq for WMD.

When Colonel Richard McPhee ordered MET Alpha to pull back from a search mission and regroup in the town of Talil, Miller disagreed vehemently with the decision - and let her opinions be loudly known. The Washington Post's Howard Kurtz reprinted a note in which she told public-affairs officers that she would write negatively about his decision if McPhee didn't back down. What's more, Kurtz reported that Miller complained to her friend Major General David Petraeus. Even though McPhee's unit fell outside the general's line of command, Petraeus's rank gave his recommendation serious heft. According to Kurtz, in an account that was later denied, "McPhee rescinded his withdrawal order after Petraeus advised him to do so."

It's too bad that everyone who becomes a big friend of Bush and Cheney finds their good name trashed after some time. But perhaps that's an indication of their bad judgment.

Mary :: 8:37 AM :: Comments (24) :: Digg It!