Secretary Gates at Appropriations

March 29, 2007
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates is currently testifying before the Appropriations Defense Subcommittee.

Watch the hearing live >>

Subcommittee Chairman John Murtha gives his opening remarks:

Subcommittee Chairman John Murtha:

"Today, because of the Administration's mishandling of the war our United States military is weaker than it was five years ago. Our forces are stretched thin and are caught in what I consider an Iraqi civil war. It is a war that cannot be won solely by the United States military and one that can only be fought by the Iraqis. Our military is being forced by this Administration to abandon its own guidelines, well established guidelines that have been in effect for years."

Subcommittee Chairman John Murtha and full committee Chairman David Obey discuss the closing of Guanatanamo with Secretary Gates:

Chairman Obey:

"One of the most distressing things to me about this war is that one of the reasons we wanted to spread democracy, and we wanted to do that because democracy is about our values and our ideals. And yet we seem in the process to have violated those values, and then justified that violation of values on the grounds that we have important values that we want to spread around the world. So we're sort of chasing our tail logically."

Rep. Marcy Kaptur (OH-09) questions Secretary Gates on contracting in Iraq, in particular a contractor named Aegis, and under-equipped troops:

Rep. Kaptur:

"So I'm trying to get at the bottom of what's going on with this engagement, sir, and I would greatly appreciate just a straight answer. I'm trying to understand the whole by looking through the keyhole of this particular contractor. What is going on?"

Background on Aegis:

Iraq's Mercenary King

Robert Baer, Vanity Fair
April 2007