September 9th, 2007
11:53 AM ET
7 years ago

Questions on Petraeus credibility before report

Petraeus is to deliver a report on the progress of the troop 'surge' in Iraq this week.

(CNN)–With the long awaited Iraq progress report set to be delivered this week to Congress by General David Petraeus, and Ambassador Ryan Crocker, the Sunday morning political talk shows were full of debate about what the report may ultimately say.

On Monday, the liberal advocacy group MoveOn.org, is set to publish an ad in the New York Times that claims Petraeus is not giving an objective, independent view of the situation on the ground. The ad says 'General Petraeus or General Betray us? Cooking the books for the White House."

On ABC's 'This Week,' moderator George Stephanopoulos, asked GOP presidential hopeful John McCain what he thought about the attacks on Petraeus' credibility. "I know this man, and many people know this general. He's not going to allow politicization of the dedication and service that not only he is providing, but the brave young men and women under his command."

"He served his country with honor and distinction," the Senator from Arizona said, "and if we have to sink to that level to besmirch the reputation of a very fine and wonderful American, then I lament the level of dialogue. I hope that my Democrat friends will not be guided by move.org."

Over on 'Fox News Sunday,' moderator Chris Wallace asked Senator Dianne Feinstein about recent attacks on Petraeus' credibility. "Well, I don't think General Petraeus has an independent view in that sense," the Democrat from California said. "General Petraeus is there to succeed. He may say the progress is uneven. He may say it's substantial."

"I don't know what he will say," Feinstein said. "You can be sure we'll listen to it. But I don't think he's an independent evaluator."

Petraeus, the top American military commander in Iraq, will deliver a progress report, written by the White House, to Congress this week. Ryan Crocker, the U.S. ambassador, will deliver his assessment on political progress there.

– CNN Political Desk Editor Jamie Crawford


Filed under: Congress • Iraq • John McCain • moveon.org
soundoff (43 Responses)
  1. Tom, Washington DC

    I'm not a fun of this president and regret my decision to support the war. However, there's something wrong with attacking Gen. Patraeus this way. Referring to him with 'betray us' is, first of all, immature–something to be expected from the left–but more significantly, suggests that he's placing politics over his service. In other words, MoveOn.org is questioning his patriotism. Isn't that a tactic decried by the left over the last seven years?! Many folks in the military may be happy with this war, but I have doubts that they will support the left’s smearing of a highly decorated and credentialed professional.

    September 9, 2007 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  2. Bill, Streamwood, IL

    I hope at least one congressman or congresswoman will ask General Petraeus point blank if anyone from the White House tried to influence what is in the report and/or how the information is presented.

    I trust the General as an officer and a gentlement to give me a truthful answer. It is the people working in the White House I do not trust.

    September 9, 2007 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  3. JC, Motor City, MI

    Wasn't the time to question this guys credibility BEFORE he was confirmed 81-0?? Yea votes included Dodd, Binden, Clinton, Obama, Harry Reid and even Ms. Feinstein. They must have liked something about the guy.

    When we start to draw down the troops next year, who will take credit? Dems, Republicans? Does it matter anyway?

    It doesn't take an idiot to know what this guy is going to say...some improvements, some things holding steady and some things have gotten worse. His explanation will just be a little less concise.

    Just becuase he says something that suggests there are signs of improvement does not mean it is "cooking the books of the White House."

    I'm not here to pimp Mike Huckabee but in the debate last week I think he made a very good point. It doesn't matter if Bush, Clinton or Edwards or anybody else that voted to send us to war was wrong. We are there and we need to win!

    Winning should not be a negative thing – not for Dems or Republicans. It should be the only thing for all of us.

    September 9, 2007 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  4. jack b. - los angeles ca.

    give the man his right to speak before prejudging him

    September 9, 2007 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  5. Cary - Lowell, IN

    What possible motivation would General Petraeus have for not being completely upfront and honest?

    September 10, 2007 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  6. Lew Waters, Vancouver, Washington

    Pre-emptive denigration of the report and the man they unanimously voted to lead the Troops and give it?

    I don't think it is General Petraeus with the "credibility problem."

    September 10, 2007 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  7. Steven Jandreau, Tucson, Az

    On Sept. 26, 2004, Gen. Petraeus wrote that things were looking up for the Iraqi Army.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A49283-2004Sep25.html?referrer=emailarticle

    WHY BELIEVE HIM NOW?

    September 10, 2007 05:40 am at 5:40 am |
  8. Christian, Tampa FL

    The very fact that the White House has even touched this presentation means that it's tainted and subject to extreme doubt.

    I want to have faith in our military leaders, but I can't when the Administration sticks its dirty claws into everything.

    September 10, 2007 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  9. Nancy ,Hinsville Ga

    My husband is in the U.S Army and i seen Mr. Hunter on talking about the marines but nothing about the Army they spend 15 months and less then 12 months at home with training maybe 3# at home it is funny that the paper put pure-tray-us because that is what alot of military people call him he is not for our love ones and it just make's me mad that they get on t.v and ask the troops about the war and know they can not talk bad about it so that just burn my -. this 15months is to much and then they are home way less then a year with all the training i am a (Rep) but it is sad that i am going to have to vote (Dem)because the (Rep) don't have what it takes to look out for our love ones it is time to bring our love ones home and if they really cared about the troops and there familey then bring them home a month early not three months later (rep) are hurting themselfs we want our husbands home and if it is voting the rep out that that is what will happen and trust me the troops can not say anything on the news but they can when it is time to vote. Thank you A Fed UP Army Wife

    September 10, 2007 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  10. HomeoftheBrave

    If our Liberal Congress attacked terrorist with the zeal they attack our war heroes. Iraq would be a paradise of freedom by now.

    Is there any wonder why this Congress is rated as the worst in American history?

    September 10, 2007 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  11. JB Hull, IA

    "Petraeus... will deliver a progress report, WRITTEN BY THE WHITE HOUSE"

    Well, that answers the credibility question.

    September 10, 2007 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  12. Jon, Sacramento ~ Ca

    The only thing die-hard liberals want to hear is bad news. IF there were any GOOD news from Iraq you would calling it a lie.

    Remember the attacks Hillary took for saying the surge was working?

    September 10, 2007 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  13. James, Phoenix AZ

    Jack Jett,

    You wrote, "General Betrayus will be out of a gig when this war is up. "

    It's Petraeus – unless you're apart of the liberal zealots at Moveon.Org. And Generals are reassigned to different assignments when their current orders are completed. Your suggestion he would "be out of a gig" shows you're uninformed.

    But don't let that stop you from posting!

    September 10, 2007 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  14. Jason; East Providence, RI

    Just as an aside, when he was originally in theater the first time, before his promotion, I heard his name once while I was watching TV and doing other stuff and I could have sworn I heard "General Betrayus" and I remember remarking to my brother what a poor name for a general and if he did betray us we couldn't say we wern't warned. But Im sure it was either my hearing or a person's poor pronuciation or both.

    "AS AN OLD AIR FORCE VETERAN I CAN TELL YOU ONE THING. PETARUS IS A 4 STAR GENERAL, SO WAS COLIN POWELL. BUSH AS COMMANDER IN CHEIF OF THE UNITED STATES FORCES IS A 5 STAR GENERAL. SO HE OUT RANKS THEM ALL. AND THEY WILL DO AS HE ORDERS THEM TO DO. JUST LIKE POWELL DID.IF IT IS LIGHT AND BUSH TELLS HIM IT IS DARK, HE WILL SAY IT IS DARK ALSO."

    Actually, there is a rank of 5-Star General that hasn't been used in dacades, and a 6-Star only used for Gen. Pershing in WWI and posthumously for Washington. The President is also higher then both these ranks, making him at-least 7 stars by your analogy.

    Anyway, I'm not so sure that Petreaus will follow Bush in lock step, after all Bush has pinned Iraq to Petreaus' legacy and Bush has really nothing to offer Petraeus at this point so I think Petraeus will do whats in his own interests at this point.

    September 10, 2007 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  15. Todd Skinner, Temple Hills, MD

    GEN Petraeus has over 33 years of service to our nation. He's put his life and the lives of his Soldiers on the line to protect this country and our way of life. It's a sad day in America when we question the integrity of the few who give so much in return for so little simply because their "assessment" doesn't align with some political ideology. It's not that MoveOn.org is wrong about the war. It's the principles by which they express that argument. GEN Petraeus validates his dedication to our nation every time he and his troopers go out to confront the enemies of this nation. He nor his troops asked to be in Iraq. It's our policy makers who should be held to account. In my opinion it's not a matter of whether GEN Petraeus has betrayed this country, but more likely that MoveOn.org has betrayed theprecious few who are willing to defend it.

    September 11, 2007 07:06 am at 7:06 am |
  16. John Evans, Dallas, Texas

    Jamie Crawford was wrong. The progress report came directly from Gen Petraeus and he delivered it to his chain of command, which delivered it to the White House.
    So much for CNN's credibility!!

    September 11, 2007 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  17. D. Roberts, Knoxville, Maryland

    Watching General Petraeus being questioned by congress made me laugh. It validates my reasoning for despising most politicians. I don't trust them!
    General Petraeus is in a place where the chicken littles in congress would never choose to be. I trust General Petraeus. And, I believe his analysis of the war in Iraq.
    General Petraeus, like President Bush is a strong, dedicated man who believes in America. I praise them for their work despite the arrogance of congessional leaders. General Petraeus is a man of honor who should consider the source when grilled by morons who they know best for America.
    Onward!

    September 12, 2007 04:45 am at 4:45 am |
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