More on the question of Gen. Stanley McChrystal testifying to Congress, as the GOP leadership, Rep. Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) and now Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) all want, albeit for different reasons. Last month, when Skelton asked Defense Secretary Robert Gates to produce McChrystal, Gates spokesman Geoff Morrell replied that “the secretary believes his focus and attention should be there and not back here in — in a political process.” In an email just now, Morrell elaborated on that statement, updated it, and held out the prospect of hearings with McChrystal after the strategy and resource questions for Afghanistan have been settled. Morrell:
“Secretary Gates still believes General McChrystal’s focus right now should be on managing the war in Afghanistan rather than wading into the debate about it back here in Washington. There may be a time when he can add to the discussion beyond what his assessment already has, but the first order of business is for the President and his national security team to carefully consider the assessment and the way ahead. The department is working closely with Congressional defense committees to keep them informed of this process as it unfolds and our discussions with them will also determine what makes sense in terms of further briefings or even hearings once the President’s review of the assessment has been completed.”
In an email, aides to Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, say the senator agrees. From Levin spokeswoman Tara Andringa:
Senator Levin has said that calling General McChrystal, General Petraeus, and Admiral Stavridis in to testify at this stage would be premature. He has said that he will call military and civilian witnesses to testify before the committee once commanders in Afghanistan have made their recommendations, which they have not yet made, and after the recommendations have been reviewed by the chain of command.
Gates is the one who ultimately makes Defense Department witnesses available to the congressional committees, as McChrystal’s spokesman, Lt. Col Tadd Sholtis, underscored earlier.
MA-Sen: 150 Conservative Bloggers Fan Out, Looking for Scandals
BOSTON -- The mysterious Election Journal blog, which first released the infamous 2008 video of two bumbling New Black Panther Party members waving nightsticks
MA-Sen: 66 to 19
BOSTON -- That, via Alex Isenstadt and Josh Kraushaar, is the number that defined the Massachusetts Senate race more than anything else. From the primary
MA-Sen: A Text Message From Scott Brown
BOSTON -- Having signed up for Scott Brown’s text message service for election day, I just got this text: Are you about to have lunch? It’s a great time to
MA-Sen: Loyal Democrats Grouse About Coakley
BOSTON -- A little while after noon, a steady crowd of Democratic voters streamed into the Cathedral High School Gymnasium to cast votes for their party’s
MA-Sen Photos: ‘Paint the Town Red! Croakley’s Dead!’
Below are some photos of yesterday’s People’s Rally in Worcester, the rally that Brown held to counter-program the Obama rally in Boston. The crush of
MA-Sen: Brown Wins
BOSTON -- At 9:20, the first rumors of Scott Brown’s victory in the Massachusetts Senate race started to work around the room. A moment later, Doug Flutie
MA-Sen: Out-of-Staters for Brown
BOSTON -- A surprising discovery at yesterday’s People’s Rally in Worcester was just how many people had traveled into the state to assist, in whatever way,
MA-Sen: Republicans Celebrate Coakley’s Gaffes in Worcester
WORCESTER, Mass. - By the way, said Curt Schilling. One more thing. I am not a Yankees fan. The overflowing crowd at Worcester’s Mechanics Hall on
Net Investors Bullish on Palin’s Prospects for Staying on Ticket
Just for fun, the Internet prediction Website Intrade has opened a contract on whether Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will be withdrawn as McCain’s running mate.