In a June 24 "Analysis" article by Glen Johnson, the Associated Press stated that Sen. John McCain "chid[ed] [Sen. Barack Obama] for never receiving a briefing from Gen. David Petraeus, commander of U.S. forces in [Iraq]." The article went on to quote McCain as saying: "Remarkable how someone can make an assessment of the situation without asking for a briefing from the commanding general." The AP reported the claims without challenging them -- it made no mention of the fact that Obama has twice questioned Petraeus on the situation in Iraq during hearings held by the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on September 11, 2007, and April 8, 2008.
In fact, the AP has issued several articles that noted Obama's presence and/or questions to Petraeus during the two hearings. For example, in a September 11, 2007, article, the AP reported:
In separate hearings conducted by the Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations committees, [Petraeus] and [U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan] Crocker were sitting in front of four other presidential hopefuls besides Biden. They are: Republican John McCain of Arizona and Democrats Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, Christopher Dodd of Connecticut and Barack Obama of Illinois."
And in an April 8 article, the AP stated:
Obama pressed Petraeus and Crocker on their standard for success in Iraq. The Illinois senator and Democratic front-runner said he worries that the goals -- completely eliminating al-Qaida and Iranian influences -- may be impossible to achieve and troops could be there for 20 or 30 years in a fruitless effort."
Further, in a September 11, 2007, AP "Analysis" article, Nedra Pickler quoted Obama asking Petraeus and Crocker during the Foreign Relations Committee hearing, "We are now confronted with the question: How do we clean up the mess and make the best out of a situation in which there are no good options, there are bad options and worse options?"
From the June 24 AP "Analysis" article:
Contact: Associated Press
More recently, McCain has taken to taunting his Democratic presidential rival, offering to escort first-term Sen. Barack Obama on a visit to Iraq and chiding him for never receiving a briefing from Gen. David Petraeus, commander of U.S. forces in the country.
McCain, like President Bush, views the war in Iraq as critical in the effort to prevent another terrorist attack on U.S. soil.
Obama has called instead for a withdrawal of U.S. troops, prompting McCain to scold him Monday by saying, "Remarkable how someone can make an assessment of the situation without asking for a briefing from the commanding general."
Obama responded Tuesday, saying McCain supported "one of the biggest foreign policy disasters in our history," the Iraq war.