Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.) on Wednesday sharply criticized David Petraeus, the commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, and signaled agreement with an assessment from a Rolling Stone editor who likened the commander's performance to that of Charlie Sheen.
Woolsey said the Congressional Progressive Caucus Peace and Security Task Force held a briefing on Tuesday with Michael Hastings of Rolling Stone and other panelists, and on the House floor, she quoted Hastings as saying:
"General Petraeus is giving us the Charlie Sheen counter-insurgency strategy, which is to give exclusive interviews to every major network, and to keep saying 'we're winning' and hope the public actually agrees with you."
Woolsey complained specifically that while the July withdrawal date is rapidly approaching, Petraeus has offered only "bland and tone-deaf talking points" on how this might happen. Woolsey also said she does not see any sign that a massive troop redeployment is about to happen, and noted that officials appear to be walking back that timeline.
She noted that last year, Petraeus said July 2011 is the deadline for starting a process of returning control to the Afghans "at a rate to be determined by conditions at the time."
"With all respect to the general, Madam Speaker, that's an awful lot of weasel words," Woolsey said.
Petraeus was testifying in the House Armed Services Committee Wednesday morning.