Retired Army Maj. Gen. John Batiste, right; retired Army Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton, center; and retired Marine Col. Thomas Hammes
Photo:Mark Wilson -- Getty Images
The Republican Congressional Majority has refused to hold any oversight hearings on the Iraq war to date, so Democrats, chaired by Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND) of the Democratic Policy Committee held one yesterday. Republican Senator, Trent Lott (R-MO) has threatened to punish them. "They better stop this. This will be the last one or there will be retribution" said Trent.
Three retired generals and one retired colonel called for the resignation of Donald Rumsfeld.
WaPo Three Retired Officers Demand Rumsfeld's Resignation
In testimony before the Democratic Policy Committee today, retired Maj. Gen. John R.S. Batiste, who commanded the 1st Infantry Division in Iraq in 2004 and 2005 and served as a senior military assistant to former deputy defense secretary Paul Wolfowitz, charged that Rumsfeld and others in the Bush administration "did not tell the American people the truth for fear of losing support for the war in Iraq."
He told the committee, "If we had seriously laid out and considered the full range of requirements for the war in Iraq, we would likely have taken a different course of action that would have maintained a clear focus on our main effort in Afghanistan, not fueled Islamic fundamentalism across the globe, and not created more enemies than there were insurgents."
Joining his call for Rumsfeld to resign were retired Army Maj. Gen. Paul D. Eaton, who was responsible for training Iraq's military and police in 2003 and 2004, and retired Marine Col. Thomas X. Hammes, who served in Iraq in 2004 and helped establish bases for the reconstituted Iraqi armed forces.
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid and Sen. Byron Dorgan talk before the start of Monday’s Democratic Policy Committee hearing on oversight of the Iraq War.Photo by Bill Clark/Roll Call
Who's playing politics with the lives of our troops? Who's refusing to ask for oversight of the wars currently being fought by our troops? Which party is trying to get answers that WE want? And which party is stalling until after the upcoming elections to ward off further bad news, even if it kills more troops?
Lott and other Republicans are upset that Democrats have gone outside the committee process to highlight the Iraq war before the November election.“They’re abusing the system,” Lott said. They're not. They're legally entitled under Senate Rules to meet in the Dirksen building...but they'll meet outside Congress if the Republicans force them out.
"Republicans support the war but don't support the troops.Democrats support the troops but don't support the war."-Randi Rhodes, September 26, 2006
This isn't the first time high ranking military officers have tried to support the troops, obtain necessary equipment and point out the flawed "leadership" offered by the Bush Administration via Rumsfeld.
In April these generals and others came forward to ask for Rumsfeld's resignation but Bush supported Rumsfeld
Several retired military commanders, including one (Batiste) who turned down a promotion to lieutenant general to leave the Army, have recently made statements urging Rumsfeld’s ouster.
April Interview-Batiste Video from Crooks and Liars
Several retired military commanders spoke out against Rumsfeld in April