The leader of U.S. forces in Iraq, General David Petraeus goes before two U.S. Senate committees today, offering a progress report on this sixth anniversary of the Nine Eleven attacks. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says he only heard portions of Petraeus’ report Monday before two House panels. Grassley says the general sounded very straightforward in his responses.
Grassley says: “Probably the most unsettling part of what I did hear was people that raised questions about whether or not he’d be ‘carrying water’ for the White House. Why would he bother to say that he wrote his own speech and didn’t clear it with anybody in the Defense Department or the White House and after he says that then people still say those things?” Grassley says he’s a bit surprised by the critics and it’s clear Petraeus is not a mouthpiece for the administration.
Grassley says: “Do they think that this general doesn’t have any integrity? Do they think he would lie on television to the American public? I don’t think he would. That’s unsettling about it, and all of that, as far as I’m concerned, kind of detracted from what he had to say.” As for the anniversary of the September 11th attacks, Grassley says he joins with other Iowans today in remembering the thousands of innocent victims who lost their lives on that historic morning.
Grassley says: “That day jolted our national conscience and it ought to be jolted quite often, not through the catastrophe that happened, but just for people to be reminded of the reality that we face a serious and sustained terrorist threat from Islamic extremists to the freedoms and values that we have defined as Americans for the last 300 years.”
Since Nine Eleven, Grassley credits the nation’s counter-terrorism efforts for having “kept the fight out of our back yard and on foreign soil. It’ll take a long-term commitment to defeat this threat.” Today, in particular, he reminds Iowans to remember the men and women who are “on the front lines on behalf of freedom.”