I first heard about this on The Daily Show, but it is a good story: http://www.nydailynews.com/front/story/351237p-299460c.html Mistakes' in Iraq By RICHARD SISK DAILY NEWS WASHINGTON BUREAU Friday, September 30th, 2005 WASHINGTON - The disputes and doubts over the Iraq war boiled over yesterday at a Senate hearing where the nation's top general admitted "we've made a lot of mistakes along the way." Under pointed questioning, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and three four-star generals said the number of Iraqi battalions able to fight on their own had dwindled from three to one, and that efforts to seal the Iraq-Syria border had failed so far. The Senate Armed Services Committee hearing came as five U.S. Marines were killed by a roadside bomb in Ramadi, about 65 miles west of Baghdad, bringing the total of U.S. troops killed in Iraq to at least 1,933. And three suicide attacks in Balad, north of Baghdad, killed at least 60 people and wounded 70 others. While owning up to "mistakes," Air Force Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, insisted he had never painted a rosy picture of the situation in Iraq. "I don't think this committee or the American public has ever heard me say that things are going very well in Iraq," said Myers, who retires today after 40 years of service. Rumsfeld acknowledged insurgents had infiltrated the ranks of the Iraqi police and army, but said it was the same "problem that's faced by police forces in every major city in our country - that criminals infiltrate and sign up to join the police force." Senators from both parties challenged the Pentagon leaders' overview that the U.S. was making steady progress in Iraq. "We can't even secure a 6-mile road from the airport to Baghdad. We just don't see the success of the strategy you described," Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) told the generals. The most heated exchanges came between the usually courtly Myers and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who spent 5-1/2 years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. McCain questioned U.S. offensives on cities "where we go in, we take control and we leave, and the bad guys come back again." Myers, also a decorated Vietnam veteran, retorted that the Iraq struggle is "a complex situation that is not well-understood by folks who fought in Vietnam." A seething McCain, who has called for more U.S. troops to be sent to Iraq, shot back that Myers "seems to assume that things have gone well in Iraq," and that "support for our conflict there is not eroding." "Things have not gone as we had planned or expected nor as we were told by you, Gen. Myers," McCain said. At a Washington conference, Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte, a former ambassador to Iraq, said, "Much more could still be done in terms of finding out now what the nature of that insurgency is."