September 11th, 2007
11:46 AM ET
15 years ago

Lawmakers seek to condemn Petraeus 'betray us' ad

Gen. David Petraeus listens to opening statements Monday before testifying at a congressional hearing.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, introduced a Senate resolution Tuesday condemning's recent attack on Gen. David Petraeus in a New York Times advertisement. The move comes the same day the top U.S. general in Iraq is set to testify before key Senate committees.

The measure was offered as a nonbinding amendment to the transportation appropriations bill currently on the floor, and but was ruled “not germane” and will not be put to a vote.

Before the ruling, Senate Democratic Whip Richard Durbin, D-Illinois, gave a speech critical of the ad, calling it “a poor choice of words,” but he defended the group’s right to place the ad. He added that Democrats should not be held accountable for all the words and actions of anti-war groups.

The resolution follows a similar one introduced in the House Monday by Minority Leader John Boehner, who called the liberal advocacy group's advertisement "despicable" and said it should be "condemned by all members of Congress, including the Democratic leadership."

The ad in question displayed a large black-and-white picture of Petraeus with the caption "General Petraeus or General Betray Us?" Below the picture, the ad alleged the general would likely be untruthful in his testimony on Iraq for political reasons.

Several Democrats joined Republicans in condemning's ad Monday, but the group’s executive director said he stood by it.

"Every major independent study and many major news organizations cast serious doubt on Petraeus' claims," said Eli Pariser, executive director of Political Action Committee.”

- CNN’s Ted Barrett and Deirdre Walsh

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soundoff (42 Responses)
  1. Bob, San Francisco, CA

    General Patraeus does seem like an honorable and respectable man. However, he was sent over to make something look good in this god-awful mess we've created. Of course we don't want to see American humiliated, but we've already humiliated ourselves time and time again with everything the Bush administration has done (invading a country not tied to 9/11, unabashed arrogance to environmental and scientific concerns, etc.)

    Maybe the wording in the ad was a bit harsh, but the message is true. And a government amendment to censor speech? That's an ugly can o' worms. The Repubs have already shot themselves in the foot time and time again by preaching values.

    September 11, 2007 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  2. Jan from Wood Dale, IL

    It's funny how no one seems to object to the TV ads that support the continuation of the war in Iraq by using disabled soldiers and the family members of dead soldiers and their implied reference that the war in Iraq is connected to the attack on 9/11. I guess it's harder to wave a TV screen than a newspaper.

    September 11, 2007 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  3. Carrol Ann, Newport, Maine

    Sorry ~ if John Kerry is fair game so is Petraeus! What goes around comes around ~ eventually!!!!

    September 11, 2007 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  4. Amy, FL

    Jan from Wooddale,

    Great point. I have heard and seen that ad and I find it dispicable. Did the good senator from Texas include an admonishment of that horrible ad in his bill today? Of course not. The double standards are amazing (well not so much anymore, getting used to the dumbed down constituency).
    So sad, and scary.

    September 11, 2007 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  5. Evan Esteves, Boca Raton, FL

    Call this congress the worst rated congress in history all you want...The fact is Americans are STILL not going to vote you Republicans back into the majority...

    September 12, 2007 01:38 am at 1:38 am |
  6. Lyons Steve

    Petraeus seems to me to have offered up the most honest assessment from a military official yet.

    Petraeus is a Bush lackey (wrote a B.S.-stuffed editorial supporting Bush before the '04 elections) and the author of Bush's surge(or, his middle finger salute to the Americans who had just voted to end the war in 11-06), who was only appointed because Bush wanted to remove all of the OTHER generals who told him the Iraqi war was lost.

    He's another Bush war liar. It's as plain as the nose on your face.

    Do you people like you even understand the word "reality" or "facts"? Do you understand that MOST OF IRAQ is under no control of anyone at all, least of all the U.S.? Do you understand that every time you hear a report about the war, it's actually about BAHGDAD?

    Do you get it that only 10%, by the most widely hysterical estimates, of the "terrorists" fighting in Iraq are from Al Queda? It's Shiite, Suunis and others, in the same sectarian violence soup that's been for thousands of years.

    Do you understand that the "democracy" in Iraq is non-existent? Do you ever wonder why their constitution is actually a theocracy, since it states within itself that Islam is the ultimate authority? Sorry about that last question. I'm sure you don't even know what I'm talking about.

    Do you wonder why George Bush allowed that travesty, the Iraqi constitution? Are you even aware of the news story on this point about Bush allowing this constitution to happen?

    Here's the most honest assessment of the military situation you'll EVER hear from ANYONE:

    Bush and his henchman are in a holding pattern. They have no intention of doing anything, cowards that they are, until a new, likely Democratic president, takes over.

    They're delighting in what they've accomplished, diverting the public's attention from creeping fascism in the executive branch (blatant in President Cheney's case), beefing up tax loopholes and criminal giveaways to large corporations – we are being ruled by a corporate fascism.
    The Bushies have tried to destroy Social Security and Medicare, tho $2 billion a week for the war doesn't bother the soulless creep one bit.

    There's your war, honey. Wake up.

    September 12, 2007 01:39 am at 1:39 am |
  7. Ivan, Chicago, Illinois

    Republicans kept repeating what they knew was a lie, that Gore invented the internet, so what are they complaining about now? The exercising of "FREE SPEECH" one on the "RIGHTS" guarenteed by our "CONSTITUTION".
    You republicans like to use 'FREE SPEECH', but try to quiet those who disagree with you.

    September 12, 2007 01:42 am at 1:42 am |
  8. David, Roseburg OR

    "the Iraqi children treat them like "kings". It helps keep the soldiers going and makes it worth it to know that your helping provide a future for these kids."

    Now that is right out scary, this person is thrilled that his heroic duty has these children treating him like a King, Now I understand the all volunteer army, they are doing this so they can be the lords of the world and have children bow down to them. You all need to really consider what motivates an all volunteer army. If these soldiers were drafted this "war" would have been over a long time ago.

    Please consider this too, a very large group of mercenaries are being paid by our government to operate in Iraq and are being paid three times the amount our soldiers are and we have no check and balances or any say over their actions. The group blackwater alone has thousands of "troops" over their, have their own aircraft and no accountability to anyone, not even our own generals. Please open your eyes and do some research and for a large percent of you please start using your spell check, it will do wonders for your statements being regarded by others.

    September 12, 2007 02:03 am at 2:03 am |
  9. James, Phoenix AZ

    Ivan ~ Chicago,

    You wrote, "You republicans like to use 'FREE SPEECH', but try to quiet those who disagree with you."

    Where has any Republican called for criminal prosecution of Moveon.Org? Certainly those that are offended by the ad have a right to express their outrage and can call for a condemnation of such a wreckless, despicable ad?

    Why do your liberals get your panties in a wad and scream about your "rights" being removed whenever conservatives use THEIR right to condemn organizations like

    September 12, 2007 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  10. Steve, Canandaigua, New York

    This IS a so-called "free country," still, isn't it?

    I can think and believe in my heart and guts that Petraeus has betrayed all of humanity by agreeing to act as figurehead and mouthpiece for Bush and Cheney, who are so obviously sociopaths and creeps.

    Why cannot any individuals or groups of individuals pay for an ad in AMERICA that permits them to share with their fellow citizens their beliefs and feelings and judgments? Should we all refrain from sharing our heartfelt beliefs with our next-door neighbors, too?

    Is this America, the once great "free country," where everyone could believe and say what they genuinely felt, even if their words offended government officials, who are nothing more than other neighbors and citizens, after all?

    Or is this former free country nothing but a shell of the democracy it once was before the sociopaths Rove, Bush, and Cheney destroyed our constitution and reduced our entire nation and the world to ONE BIG FLIPSIDE OF THE COIN THAT IS radical muslim, monotheistic, violent resistance to the proper course of evolution, rationality, and human intelligence? We truly need a revolution in this former wonderful alternative to the tyranny latent in human nature. We truly need to rise from the horrible regression of character and heart that the Republicans, with rare exeception, have taken us to. We have truly regressed.

    September 12, 2007 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  11. Neill C.

    We support you, General Petraeus, but you're a liar.

    Nice message.

    September 12, 2007 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  12. Dennis Scott, Amarillo Texas

    MoveOn.Org is an Anti-American organization full and mental midgets. They can not be held responsible for their lack of any intelligence.

    September 12, 2007 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  13. adam,westpointe,NY

    I'm glad none of you whining people are running our country and just judge everything by some bias media outlet no matter which way it's written, but really have no true idea of what is going on the highest and lowest levels.

    September 12, 2007 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  14. Erik, MD

    I agree with the ad. The Administration's credibility problem extends to anyone they've chosen to advocate its case. As long as General Petraeus is speaking for them, I'll take anything he says with a heavy grain of salt.

    September 12, 2007 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  15. Linda - Albany, NY

    Let's weigh this realistically...

    A (if I'm correct), a 4-star General's opinion over a bunch of desk-sitting pansies w/money opinion?

    I think the general's opinion has a bit more clout than

    So easy to point the finger when we aren't the ones on the front lines.

    September 13, 2007 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  16. Mark-Chattanooga, TN

    Liberals see no wrong with or even Micheal Vick killing dogs. But try to offer a prayer and you'll get the scolding of a lifetime.

    September 13, 2007 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  17. rich San Diego

    John Kerry is no war hero, under our Constitution and laws he is a traitor. He went to Hanoi during a time of war while still in the navy, his actions are still chargeable. Bill Clinton is a draft dodger – period. Flying a f-102 is a very dangerous job, most of pilots are still National Guard or Reserves members.

    September 14, 2007 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
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