Friday, September 21, 2007

Sen. Hegel (R-NE): I can criticize Petraeus, but can't

OK, here's Chuck Hegel (R-Nebraska) criticizing Petraeus' testimony:

Maher: Isn’t a dirty trick on the American people when you send a military man out there to basically do a political sell-job?”

Hagel: It’s not only a dirty trick, but it’s dishonest, it’s hypocritical, it’s dangerous and irresponsible. The fact is this is not Petraeus’ policy, it’s the Bush’s policy. The military is — certainly very clear in the Constitution — is subservient to the elected public officials of this country.. but to put our military in a position that this administration has put them in is just wrong, and it’s dangerous.”

(Emphasis from Crooks and Liars) Very good, Senator Hegel. But if you can call what Petraeus was doing dishonest, hypocritical, dangerous, and irresponsible, why did you vote to condemn for saying something very similar? I guess the filthy masses shouldn't be allowed to express their opinions, even if they are the correct ones. Even Wes Clark seems to fall into the trap of this kind of thinking:

Matt Stoller: Chuck Hagel called his performance "a dirty trick on the American people... It's not only a dirty trick, but it's dishonest, it's hypocritical, it's dangerous and irresponsible." Admiral Fallon was reported saying that he thinks Petreaus is 'an ass-kissing little chickenshit" for the way he sucks up to politicians.' There are a lot of rumors that David Petraeus wants to run for President. My question is, um, is their criticism a mistake as well?

Wes Clark: Well, I think for Chuck Hagel, who's a sitting Senator who wants to criticize a General, that's fine. That's his right to do so. As far as Admiral Fallon was concerned, if he's got a personal quarrel with Petraeus, you know, that's between the two of them. Petraeus works for him, obviously he feels cut out and to some extent I've known situations like that, but, um, as for, it was a mistake.

Matt Stoller: But why can a sitting Senator criticize a General and millions of grassroots activists not do that? That's really what Moveon is, it's not like it's an entity.

Wes Clark: Moveon's an organization, and when it does that it distracts from the dialogue that the Senator's trying to have. [...]

(Emphasis mine.) All you filthy masses be quiet! The Senators are getting distracted, poor dears.


Blogger grishnash said...

From the entire article, I absolutely don't think that Wes Clark was trying to say that ordinary citizens shouldn't be critical of the military. It was a poorly worded statement, but the context of the rest of the interview that you linked to shows that the "that" in the "do that" that he doesn't want to do is only referring to the Petraeus/Betray Us pun.

His position seems to be that while criticism in terms of pointing out facts is fair game, he considers it a distracting Limbaugh-like tactic to make fun of someone's name, and wishes they'd just stuck to the statistics.

6:54 AM, September 21, 2007  

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