By Rowan Wolf of Uncommon Thought Journal
Well, the last couple of days have been loaded with bad news for the Bush Administration. First there was the leaking of the National Intelligence Estimate. Then Senate Democrats held a “hearing” on the Planning and Conduct of the War in Iraq. Both had nothing complimentary for the administration.
In the NIE (which is still classified) the consensus of the 16 national intelligence agencies was that the war in Iraq had expanded and intensified terrorist activity and membership. In other words, Iraq was not making us “safer.” This is hardly a ringing endorsement for “fighting them over there so we don’t have to fight them over here.” No matter what the Administration says, nor Chertoff, nor Negroponte, overrides the fact that all of the intelligence agencies agreed (even those under Negroponte). Oh my, how do we talk that one down? Making the argument that this is only a small part of the overall NIE, does not change the importance of that one component.
However, even more damning, though much less publicized, is the Senate Democrats hearing. I strongly encourage everyone to listen to the testimony of Major General John R.S. Batiste (U.S. Army Retired), Major General Paul D. Eaton (U.S. Army Retired), and Colonel Thomas X. Hammes (U.S. Marine Corps Retired). Here is the link to the compiled highlights of the hearing, and here is access to various clips from the hearing.
Major General Batiste’s last assignment before he retired was as “commanding general of the 1st Infantry Division from August 2002 to June 2005” in Iraq. Major General Eaton’s last post before retiring was responsibility for establishing the Iraqi security forces. Colonel Hammes’ served in intelligence, and expeditionary assignments including stabilization operations in Iraq. In short, these are men of rank and substance with direct top echelon experience in Iraq.
In General Batiste’s testimony he stated:
“Bottom line, in the short term, our nation is in peril, our Defense Department’s leadership is extraordinarily bad, and our Congress is only today, more than five years into this war, beginning to exercise its oversight responsibilities. This is all about accountability, and setting our nation up for victory. There is no substitute for victory, and I believe we must complete what we started in Iraq and Afghanistan. Donald Rumsfeld is not a competent wartime leader. He knows everything except how to win.”
“Secretary Rumsfeld’s dismal strategic decisions resulted in the unnecessary deaths of American service men and women, our allies and the good people of Iraq. He was responsible for America and our allies going to war with the wrong plan and a strategy that did not address the realities of fighting an insurgency. Secretary Rumsfeld built his team by systematically removing dissension. America went to war with his plan. To say that he listens to his generals is disingenuous. We are fighting with his strategy. He reduced force levels to unacceptable levels, micromanaged the war, and caused delays in the approval of troop requirements in the deployment process, which tied the hands of commanders while our troops were in contact with the enemy. At critical junctures, commanders were forced to focus on managing shortages, rather than leading, planning and anticipating opportunity. Through all of this, our congressional oversight committees were all but silent, not asking the tough questions as was done routinely during both world wars, Korea and Vietnam. Our Congress shares responsibility for what is and is not happening in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
Major General Eaton testified:
“Mr. Rumsfeld came in to transform the US military. To turn the Army into a lighter, more lethal armed force. In fact, Rumsfeld’s vision is a force designed to meet a Warsaw Pact type force more effectively – but we are not fighting the Warsaw Pact. We are fighting an insurgency: a distributed low-tech, high-concept war that demands greater numbers of ground forces, not fewer. Mr. Rumsfeld won’t acknowledge this fact. And he has failed to adapt to the current situation. He has tried and continues to fight this war on the cheap.”
This hearing is not making the news, and it is critically important that people know. Please take a look at the video and audio recordings of the hearing, and then spread them throughout your networks. It is clear that there is a major censorship going on despite the corporate media’s attempts to show the are not “lap dogs” any more. It is clear that little has changed in that regard.