Summary: A Washington Post article asserted that Gen. David Petraeus "did not toe the White House line completely" during his recent congressional testimony regarding progress in Iraq, citing as evidence an exchange between Petraeus and Sen. John Warner in which Warner "[a]sked [Petraeus] whether fighting in Iraq makes the United States safer, as Bush argues, [and] he answered, 'I don't know.' The article did not report that Petraeus backtracked later in his testimony, embracing the White House position that the United States has "very serious national interests in Iraq" and that "achieving those interests has very serious implications for our safety and for our security."
Also during the hearing, before Bayh's questioning of Petraeus, Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC) asked Petraeus if the sacrifices being made to fight the war in Iraq are "worth it to us." Petraeus responded that "the national interests that we have in Iraq are substantial. An Iraq that is stable and secure, that is not an Al Qaeda sanctuary, is not in the grip of Iranian support, Shi'a militias, that is not a bigger humanitarian disaster, that is connected to the global economy. All of these are very important national interests." Graham then asked: "Would that be a 'yes'?" Petraeus replied: "Yes, sir."