Clinton, Petraeus and MoveOn: Giuliani smells a rat

Memo to the mayor: It's worse than you think.

By Tim Grieve
Published September 14, 2007 9:28PM (UTC)
main article image

So first MoveOn calls Gen. David Petraeus "Betray Us," and then Hillary Clinton says that the reports Petraeus and ambassador Ryan Crocker have provided Congress "really require the willing suspension of disbelief."

Hey, a guy like Rudy Giuliani can connect the dots.


In a full-page ad in the New York Times today, Giuliani's campaign lumps the MoveOn ad and Clinton's questions together under the category of "The Democrats' Orchestrated Attacks on Gen. Petraeus."

Orchestrated? We asked Clinton spokesman Phil Singer if either Clinton or her campaign had "anything at all" to do with the MoveOn ad. His one-word answer: "No." Does Giuliani have any proof to the contrary? Not so far as we can tell. It's just that Giuliani has a sense for these things -- he used to be a prosecutor! -- and he noticed that Clinton's questioning of Petraeus followed up on MoveOn's "abominable" ad in a "very, very coincidental way."

Memo to Rudy: It's worse than you think. We've checked the hearing transcripts, and it turns out that Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel is totally in cahoots with MoveOn, too. When Hagel had his chance to put questions to Petraeus this week, he said that there were "way too many disconnects" and some "bright-line contradictions" between what Petraeus was reporting and what we've all heard from the GAO, the Jones commission, the National Intelligence Estimate and the seven NCOs who wrote that Op-Ed in the New York Times.


See that? First MoveOn's ad says that Petraeus' views contradict "every independent report on the ground situation in Iraq," and then Hagel says there are "disconnects" and "bright-line contradictions."

It's like you say, Mr. Mayor: "Very, very coincidental."

So here's what you've got to do, sir. Now that you've said that Hillary Clinton is "maybe" free to disagree with Petraeus' "tactics" but has "no right to disagree with his integrity," you've got to pay a visit to Hagel and tell him the same thing. But watch yourself; we hear that this guy can handle himself. He has made five trips to Iraq -- something you somehow haven't found time to do even once. And while you were racking up deferments in the late 1960s, Hagel was serving as a squad leader in the infantry in Vietnam.


But it's like you say in your ad, sir. "These times call for statesmanship, not politicians spewing political venom." And as soon as you're done giving this Hagel fellow the what-for, you can tell that to the U.S. troops you once blamed for losing track of 380 tons of ammunition in Iraq.

Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

MORE FROM Tim Grieve

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

2008 Elections Hillary Rodham Clinton Iraq War Rudy Giuliani War Room