On Friday's The Situation Room, CNN's Jack Cafferty used his regular "Cafferty File" segment to attack President Bush for not reappointing Joint Chiefs Chairman Peter Pace out of fear of a tough confirmation hearing, tagging it a "gutless" decision. At about 5:08 p.m., as Cafferty set up his regular question of the hour about what it would take to end the war in Iraq, he lashed out at the absence of greater outrage from the American people, and suggested that American troops have "died for nothing" as he seemed to wish for the kind of protests of the Vietnam War era, which included "students tearing up college campuses," to happen again. Cafferty: "When it was going this poorly in Vietnam, Americans were in the streets demanding to be heard. Students were tearing up college campuses in an effort to head off being sent away to die for nothing. But not this time -- 3,503 U.S. troops have been killed in Iraq, and nobody does anything. ... It's no wonder the Bush White House gets away with this stuff." (Transcript follows)
Cafferty began his segment by remarking that in the future, historians would find that, in describing the Bush White House, "the word 'courageous' will be in short supply." As he described Pace as "expendible" to Bush, Cafferty referred to the expendibility of "so many others who have come between President Bush's nightmare and reality." Below is a complete transcript of Cafferty's 5:08 p.m. segment from the Friday June 8 The Situation Room on CNN:
JACK CAFFERTY: When the history of the Bush White House is written, the word "courageous" will be in short supply. Rather than face Senate confirmation hearings over his reappointment as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Bush White House has decided to simply throw General Peter Pace under the bus. You see, they don't want a lot of embarrassing questions asked of General Pace about the war in Iraq. So just sacrifice him and bring in somebody else to take the rap for a while. Absolutely gutless and oh so very typical. If the war in Iraq is such a great idea, and the "Decider" insists that it is, what's the harm in letting the nation's top military men answer questions about it? But instead, they take the easy way out. Never mind the impact on General Pace -- he's expendable just like so many others who have come between President Bush's nightmare and reality. The sad thing is nobody stands up and does anything about any of this. The Democrats caved in before the fight even got going, and they were elected to stop the war. The public seems content to complain, but not much else. When it was going this poorly in Vietnam, Americans were in the streets demanding to be heard. Students were tearing up college campuses in an effort to head off being sent away to die for nothing. But not this time -- 3,503 U.S. troops have been killed in Iraq, and nobody does anything. Everything's off the table. It's no wonder the Bush White House gets away with this stuff. Here's the question: What's it going to take to bring the Iraq war to an end?