Ron Paul has once again exposed gross negligence in the neocon ranks. This time, the target wasn't just any warfare-statist or empire-apologist: it was the top military commander in Iraq—one likely to assume some level of responsibility once the Bush regime decides to bomb and invade that non-aggressive nation.
During the April 8 congressional hearing on the surging situation in Iraq, the Texas Congressman posed 17 questions to General David Petraeus (commander of U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq) and Ryan Crocker (U.S. Ambassador to Iraq).* Each question packed more relevance to the American and Iraqi people than all the Petraeus-petting, warmongering non-questions slobbered by all those war propagandists posing as public servants, combined. Most of his hard-hitting and somewhat rapid-fire questions were on U.S. foreign policy, and therefore could have been plausibly passed off to higher-ups. But the last question was different: it was inescapably vital to General Petraeus' legal and moral obligations. It was loaded with huge implications the general either didn't realize or simply wasn't bothered by. (If, like me, you watched the exchange only once on video, or caught it in passing during live coverage, then you probably didn't get the full impact of the Congressman's public statement. Consider the following.)
"In your estimation, does the [Bush] administration have the authority to bomb Iran without further congressional approval?" Paul asked both gentlemen.
"Uh, Congressman, I'm the commander for Iraq, and I do not know, uh, the answer to that question, and it's not within my purview," Petraeus replied, revealing why he is incompetent and dangerous.
Crocker's response was basically the same as Petraeus', confirming why he is nothing better than a regime lackey. But just for good measure, Paul tactfully confirmed both respondents' distinctions:
And it should disturb us all.
"Well, it just . . . seems pretty obvious that, under our Constitution, that's the way it works—that we're supposed to confer with the Congress.
"And it would be spreading the war.
"We know . . . how the war spread in Vietnam without Congressional approval, and what that led to. So, it seems to me that . . . no, the administration does not have authority to bomb another country without getting authority from the Congress!
"So it disturbs me to no end that we can't get a flat-out 'no' on this question."
General Petraeus' duty as member of the U.S. military is the defense of the U.S. Constitution against all foreign and domestic enemies. For Petraeus, that means knowing whether an order he is given is unconstitutional. If he doesn't know whether an Executive command to invade or bomb Iran would be unconstitutional, then on what legal and moral criteria does he decide whether he should obey? (Petraeus would follow the order, either way—made evident by, among other things, his reply to that simple, relevant, and extremely important last question.) His self-serving response—a callous hand-washing of responsibility—goes a long way in forming my opinion of this "yesman" for the regime:
David Petraeus is not a competent defender of the U.S. Constitution, the U.S. Republic, and the People of the United States of America.
Even if Petraeus' and Crocker's testimonies were not submitted under oath, Petraeus' apathetic display still borders on self-incrimination. If he can not answer whether aggression against Iran ordered by the President would be constitutional, then at best, he has publicly demoted himself. Knowing the constitutionality of an act of state is precedent when defending the Constitution, one would imagine.
But the general shouldn't feel lonely; fraud-smashing is nothing new to Congressman Paul. In the past year alone, for example, he has taken down every GOP presidential candidate multiple times on various issues. Last Spring, he caused Rudy Giuliani to expose himself on foreign policy and the motives for suicide terrorism against the U.S. targets. Earlier this year, John McCain exposed himself as being a numbskull and a phony in economic matters.
Ron Paul is always exposing the beastly underbelly of the state—with little effort and maximum results—one leech at a time. And he's always cordial about it. Usually, it's the state-worshiping frauds who do themselves in. Paul will make a point or pose a question; his opponents will then show themselves to be unethical or incompetent, merely by responding.
Here are the other root-striking, fraud-exposing questions asked by Ron Paul on that day, in the order asked:
- Why should the American people continue to support a war that was justified by false information?
- What is moral about demanding even more needless sacrifice of American lives, merely to save face for the mistake of invading and occupying Iraq?
- Doesn't it seem awfully strange that the Iraqi government we support is an ally of the Iranians, who are our declared enemies?
- Are we not now supporting the Iranians by propping up their allies in Iraq?
- If Maliki is our ally and he has diplomatic relations with Ahmadinejad, why can't we?
- Why must we continue to provoke Iran, just looking for an excuse to bomb that country?
- Does our policy in Iraq not guarantee chaos in this region for years to come?
- It is estimated that up to 2,000 Iraqi soldiers refused to fight against Al-Sadr's militia. Why should we not expect many of the eighty-thousand Sunnis we have recently armed to someday turn their weapons against us, since they—as well as the Mahdi Army—detest any and all foreign occupation?
- Isn't it true that Maliki broke the cease-fire declared by Al-Sadr by initiating the recent violence?
- Is it not true that the current cease-fire was brokered by the Iranians, who also condemned the attacks on the Green Zone?
- How can we blame all the violence on the Iranians?
- Is it not true that, with the recent surge in the violence in Iraq, that the March attacks are now back at the same level as they were in 2005?
- Does Iran not have a greater justification to be involved in neighboring Iraq than we do, since it's 6,000 miles from our shores?
- If China or Russia were occupying Mexico, how would we react?
- Since no-one can define "winning the war," just who do we expect to surrender?
- Does this not means that this war will be endless, since our political leaders will not end it? That is, until we go broke. And maybe that's not far off!
* All quotations and bulleted items transcribed by DetainThis, from C-SPAN footage on YouTube