Missouri Rep. Ike Skelton's Lonely Cry to Get General McChrystal to Testify
|U.S. Army troops in 2006 in Kunar province, Afghanistan.|
|General Stanley A. McChrystal|
Before the surge in Iraq, we had the Petraeus hearings, which were nothing if not informative, and helped form consensus. Two generations earlier, we had the Fulbright hearings on Vietnam, which were in their way the first formal, if deeply and inevitably contentious, airing of what was at stake there and what our position was.
Why are we not doing this now? Why are we treating Afghanistan almost like an afterthought, interesting and important but not as urgent a question as health care?
Fact is, a prominent Missouri congressman has been trying for months now to get McChrystal to testify before Congress.
On August 13, Skelton wrote a letter to Defense Secretary Robert Gates, requesting "that appropriate witnesses" appear before the commitee to discuss the ongoing war, which has claimed nearly 800 American lives. McChrystal, Skelton noted in his brief dispatch to Gates, "would be the most appropriate witness for this hearing." Skelton added that his committee would like to "host" the general next time he's in Washington.
More than two months later, Gates has not yet replied.
Asked why, Skelton told Riverfront Times yesterday: "I don't know. It's probably because Gen. McChrystal is not coming back for awhile."