Dems Gang Up on McChrystal

Posted on October 6, 2009. Filed under: America | Tags: , , , , |

ABC News’ Rick Klein reports: With members of Congress set to huddle at the White House this afternoon to discuss Afghanistan strategy with President Obama, leading Democrats are ratcheting up criticism of Gen. Stanley McChrystal for publicly discussing his recommendations to the president as part of the strategic review.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi last night told Charlie Rose that McChrystal should be making his arguments only in private.

“Let me say this about Gen. McChrystal, with all due respect: His recommendations to the president should go up the line of command. They shouldn’t be in press conferences,” said Pelosi, D-Calif.

Pelosi also had praise for Vice President Joe Biden’s view — that al Qaeda should be dealt with in Afghanistan through the use of more drone strikes and special forces, not additional troops.

“Let me say this: The vice president’s views are ones that widely shared,” Pelosi said.

This morning, Sen. Jim Webb, a former Navy secretary and a veteran, said it was “pretty odd” that McChrystal gave an interview to “60 Minutes” and spoke to a London think-tank about his recommendations, even as President Obama deliberates on the best way forward.

“At a time when people were meeting in the White House discussing Afghanistan, he was giving a speech in London,” Webb, D-Va., told MSNBC. “I thought that was pretty odd.”

At a forum last night, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Defense Secretary Robert Gates said decisions regarding troop strength should not be made as part of a public debate.

But Gates said his comments were “absolutely not” aimed at McChrystal, and he voiced his support for the general’s leadership in Afghanistan.

McChrystal’s grave assessment of the situation in Iraq was leaked to The Washington Post last month. The Obama administration has resisted calls from members of Congress to have McChrystal testify in front of Congress on his recommendations before the president makes up his mind.

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