Joe Lieberman has probably become the single most poisonous Beltway voice when it comes to the war in Iraq. The Bush administration's principal rhetorical tactic for the last five years, of course, has been to equate opposition to its policies and criticism of the Leader with love of the Terrorists. But when it comes to the debate over Iraq, Lieberman -- time and again -- has managed to descend even further into the rhetorical sewer than the administration itself.
But yesterday, Lieberman reached what might be a new low. During the confirmation hearings of Gen. David Petraeus, Lieberman provoked this truly reprehensible exchange with Gen. Petraeus, as summarized by The Washington Post's Thomas Ricks:
Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.) asked Army Lt. Gen. David H . Petraeus during his confirmation hearing yesterday if Senate resolutions condemning White House Iraq policy "would give the enemy some comfort."
Petraeus agreed they would, saying, "That's correct, sir."
Using the terms to" give comfort" and the "enemy" in the same phrase has no conceivable objective other than to invoke accusations of treason. The Constitution's definition of "treason" is exactly that -- giving "Aid and Comfort" to the enemy. For Lieberman to purposely track the Constitution's treason language when describing opponents of the "surge" plan -- and to invite the new Iraq War Commander to agree with his accusation -- reveals so inescapably what Lieberman is. That's just the basest and most despicable smear one can imagine.