“General Petraeus has a history of overstating the case for progress (in Iraq) for political reasons.”
“General Petraeus presented cherry-picked facts and misleading data to sell the idea that the surge (in Iraq) is working. There are too many distortions and omissions to list here, but here are some source that describe the ways in which the General stretched the truth.”
These are some reasons MoveOn.org has mentioned in a ‘rationale page‘ on its Web site to justify its decision to take out a full-page ad in The New York Times* smearing a general in active duty in our military during a time of war. The ad was titled: “General Petraeus or General Betray Us? Cooking the Books for the (Bush) White House”. The ad concludes that “Today before Congress and before the American people, General Petraeus is likely to become General Betray Us”.
MoveOn’s Eli Pariser, dubbing General Petraeus as a liar, defended the ad in a discussion on Hardball.
The U.S. Senate moved to condemn the ad. On 9/20/2007 The Senate voted to “express the sense of the Senate that General David H. Petraeus, Commanding General, Multi-National Force-Iraq, deserves the full support of the Senate and strongly condemn personal attacks on the honor and integrity of General Petraeus and all members of the United States Armed Forces.”
The vote was 72 YEAs, 25 NAYs and 3 no-votes.
24 (of the 25) NAYs were Democrats, including Hillary Clinton, Barbara Boxer, Christopher Dodd, Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, Harry Reid, and Chuck Schumer. The 25th NAY was Sen. Sanders (I-VT).
None of the Democratic presidential candidates supported the measure.
Sens. Joe Biden and Barack Obama skipped the Senate vote to condemn MoveOn. Senator Obama called the Senate resolution “a stunt“.
Though General Petraeus did not get Barack Obama’s support in the Sep. 2007 vote he was called to the rescue in a time of crisis. On June 23, 2010, President Obama installed General Petraeus as the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan. The move was hailed by ‘lame-stream media’ as ‘brilliant’.
Immediately after President Obama chose General Petraeus to replace General McChrystal, MoveOn.org removed its ‘General Petraeus or General Betray Us?’ ad from its web site. It also rushed to remove its ‘rationale page‘ from its web site.
Timing is undoubtedly a coincidence!
* The New York Times gave MoveOn.org a 54% discount to run the ad. It brought the price down from $142,000 to $65,000.