We may be about to witness a McCarthy-Army-Welch moment in the debate over Iraq. This time, the role of McCarthy is played by MoveOn.org, a liberal political group that launched its own attack on a respected US Army figure. In yesterday's New York Times, the day that General David Petraeus would give his long-awaited, congressionally mandated report on his military activities in Iraq, MoveOn.org ran a full-page advertisement that accused Petraeus of activities befitting a traitor. The advertisement alleges, without evidence, that Petraeus is not going to give his honest, professional assessment of the situation in Iraq but instead will be "cooking the books" to curry favor with the Bush White House. The heart of the advertisement is a juvenile pun on Petraeus's name: General Betray Us?
The MoveOn.org ad is vicious, and would garner comment even if it were merely one more primal scream in the coarse blogosphere debate over Iraq. But it is not an angry e-mail or blog entry. It is a deliberate attack on the senior Army commander, in a major daily newspaper, with the intention of destroying as much of his credibility as possible so that his military advice could be more easily rejected by antiwar members of Congress.
The attack was part of an elaborate effort to undermine public support for the Iraq war, and was foreshadowed by an unnamed Democratic senator who told a reporter, "No one wants to call [Petraeus] a liar on national TV . . . The expectation is that the outside groups will do this for us." The effort is funded by powerful special interests, and has all the trappings of a major political campaign.
When will Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama condemn this extremest group and refuse their support and RETURN their donations? To read the rest of the column click on the title for a link.
Have they no sense of decency, , at long last? Have they no sense of decency?