"It's shocking," Jon Stewart says. It certainly is. On the new 'Daily Show' (weeknights, 11PM ET on Comedy Central), Jon welcomes retired general Hugh Shelton as his guest. Shelton is the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and he has written a new memoir -- in which he makes startling allegations about U.S. military conduct.
General Shelton alleges that a cabinet member in the Clinton administration was willing to kill a U.S. pilot to provoke war with Saddam Hussein and Iraq. The general states that in 1997, airmen were flying over Iraq each day, and were facing ground artillery fire from Iraqi forces.
A Clinton aide then came up with this "clever" plan: "Fly one of our [aircraft] low enough so that Saddam could actually shoot it down." Once the plane and the pilot were shot down, the U.S. would have an excuse to attack Iraq.
This was Shelton's response to the suggestion: "My fist clenched; the hair on the back of my neck stood up. ... I gritted my teeth and said [to the aide], 'I'll be willing to do that, as soon as I can get your ass qualified to fly low enough and slow enough to do it.'" The 'Daily Show' audience gave unanimous applause to these remarks. But the general doesn't claim that rushing to invade Iraq was a uniquely Democratic concept -- he says it was a bipartisan error.
Elsewhere in his book, he states that the 2003 Iraq War was begun by the Bush administration based on "a series of lies," plus "the worst style of leadership" that he had ever witnessed. Gen. Shelton considers the Iraq War to be a "fiasco." ... Thus far, the war in Iraq has cost over $740,000,000,000 -- but the cumulative cost could be between two and three trillion dollars. The war has caused the death of over 4,400 American troops, and left more than 31,000 wounded.
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