"Hey ladies!" whined Jerry Lewis and the Beastie Boys in adenoidal tones. Add Leon Panetta to that list.
He and Senator John McCain had a robust exchange. After McCain finished his round of questioning, it went to Joe Lieberman. I asked C.I. if Lieberman and Panetta were friends. They are. I wasn't surprised by his questioning and easy manner with Panetta. After Lieberman was Senator Scott Brown.
He asked Panetta to give his opinion on whether the US military should remain in Iraq.
Panetta offered a long song and dance response that finally got to the point at the end of his answer.
Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta: . . . only if the Iraqis agree that should happen.
I put Leon's whine in italics. Brown was so gathered and focused when he responded, "I'm not sure what your perception is about what others have asked . . ." Panetta sounded like a petulant child.
And Panetta and Dempsey both spun like crazy.
Dempsey said he'd take the question Brown was asking at the end above but he didn't. He went on and on about DoD contractors and third-country nationals. DoD isn't supposed to have any contractors in Iraq after December 31st, is it?
Brown raised the issue of cost and Dempsey side-stepped it saying he would take that "for the record." That means that long after the hearing is over and the press and citizens have gone home, an answer about cost will arrive at Brown's Senate office.
Scott Brown observed, "I think it's important to let the American public know [about cost] because I know when I was in Afghanistan talking to the soldiers who were deeply concerned about those drivers just throughout the post and from post to post getting upwards of $100,000 and you have a soldier that can do it for $20 - $30,000. And when we're trying to squeeze out every last dollar I think it's important to I would rather, quite frankly, be providing the tools and resources to our military personnel versus to contractors. So I would hope that you would look at that."
Brown noted the crackdown taking place in Iraq on Nouri's political opponents, them being arrested and held without charge. He asked Panetta, "Are you concerned with these types of arrests and whether it will either require us to have a larger foot print or how it's going to be effected by our footprint being reduced?"
Panetta responded, "I am concerned by the actions the Prime Minister took with regards to arresting the Ba'athists." Love how he just went with Nouri's language. These are, by all accounts, ex-Ba'athists.
Panetta then stated, "I think that -- and they're being held at this point without charges and that raises concerns about due process. At the same time, I have to say that the Sunnis -- and it's a reflection of what's happened in Iraq -- that the Sunni population there recognizes that even in light of that that their actions ought to take place through the actions of government. And they're bringing their pressure through the Parliament and through the government to try to change that behavior and I think that's what democracy should do." Yea! A victory!
Reality: Nouri is fighting those moves.
Panetta wants to sell political targeting as evidence of a democracy. He clearly thinks the Committee is composed of idiots.
Counter-Terrorism forces can "lock on" with an identified target?
When you know who the target is, who can't?
It was so obvious that C-T forces deserved a 70 or worse.And now here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"