Had Petraeus been sworn in, his testimony would have occurred under oath, and the lies he told today would have qualified as perjury.
Am I speculating? No. There is absolutely no doubt that Petraeus lied -- even before he started talking about Iraq.
As McGovern describes it (with my emphasis):
Petraeus tried to square a circle in his very first two paragraphs.If not the Pentagon or the White House, which chain of command was Petraeus talking about? Oh, never mind.
In the first, he thanks the committees for the opportunity to “discuss the recommendations I recently provided to my chain of command for the way forward.” Then he stretches credulity well beyond the breaking point -- at least for me:
“At the outset, I would like to note that this is my testimony. Although I have briefed my assessment and recommendations to my chain of command, I wrote this testimony myself. It has not been cleared by, nor shared with, anyone in the Pentagon, the White House, or Congress.”
Despite the many shortcomings obvious in his carefully constructed fiction, Petraeus was showered with accolades by both Republicans and Democrats.
Why would the Democrats be so agreeable to having smoke blown up their backsides? Because, as Chris Floyd explains,
he has provided them with an excuse for not doing anything to stop the war, or even slow it down ...