White House wants to block Petraeus, Crocker from open testimony

With four weeks left until the deadline for a much-awaited update on Iraq, the White House is trying to limit or even prevent public testimony from two key figures in the war, the Washington Post reported Thursday.

White House wants to block Petraeus, Crocker from open testimony
With four weeks left until the deadline for a much-awaited update on Iraq, the White House is trying to limit or even prevent public testimony from two key figures in the war, the Washington Post reported Thursday.

In defiance of US Congress' requirements, the White House wants General David Petraeus, the commanding general in Iraq, and Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker to only speak behind closed doors to legislators, and intends to filter their written reports through its offices, the Post said, quoting senior congressional aides.

Instead, US President George W Bush is proposing that the public testimony to Congress be given by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and US Defence Secretary Robert Gates.

The September 15 deadline for the report has loomed large in the tense disagreement between the Democrat-controlled Congress and Republican White House over the future course of the war.

Many in Congress, including some Republicans, want to set a deadline for withdrawal from the conflict. But Bush has repeatedly asked for patience until Crocker and Petraeus could deliver their report on progress - or lack of it - after the sending of tens of thousands of more US troops to Iraq this year.

The White House has confirmed making the proposal to Congress to limit testimony from the two figures, but said Wednesday it didn't intend to shield Petraeus and Crocker from public scrutiny, the Post wrote.

The Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin is insisting on an open hearing with Petraeus.

"Americans deserve an even-handed assessment of conditions in Iraq. Sadly, we will only receive a snapshot from the same people who told us the mission was accomplished and the insurgency was in its last throes," House Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel was quoted as saying.

DPA
Last Mod: 16 Ağustos 2007, 12:51
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