Redi Takes on the Brass


Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called Marine Gen. Peter Pace, the outgoing chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, “incompetent” during an interview Tuesday with a group of liberal bloggers, a comment that was never reported.

Reid made similar disparaging remarks about Army Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, said several sources familiar with the interview.

This is a very odd piece. There’s no response from Reid. There’s no response from any of Reid’s spokespeople. There’s not even a pro forma “Reid was not immediately available for comment.” What’s going on?

Not knowing what Reid actually said, there’s no way to comment intelligently on this. I will say, however, that there’s nothing wrong in principle with criticizing high-ranking military leaders. Too many people (some deliberately, some not) conflate this with “not supporting the troops,” but that’s claptrap. General officers who support lousy policies deserve brickbats, and plenty of them have done just that in the Iraq war. If Reid has legitimate criticisms to offer, there’s nothing out of line about offering them.

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