In March, Brett McGurk became Barack Obama's third nominee -- all three have been men -- to be the US Ambassador to Iraq.
Immediately problems were obvious. He was very young (not yet 40), he lacked administrative and management experience (but was being nominated to run the United States' mostly costly diplomatic mission in the world?), he did not speak Arabic and he had no accomplishments to speak of.
Last Wednesday, he went before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
How bad was it?
So bad that if you go to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee website to stream the hearing you see that note above.
It's not surprise that the Democratically-controlled Committee would attempt to bury the embarassment. As C.I. outlined in a series of reports on the hearing, McGurk didn't know what the hell he was talking about.
McGurk took credit for the surge. The only aspect of the surge that was successful was what Gen David Petraeus implemented and US service members carried out. That was not what McGurk and other civilians were tasked with. Their part of the surge? The military effort was supposed to create a space that the politicians would put to good use by passing legislation. It didn't happen. McGurk's part of the surge was a failure.
He revealed incredible ignorance about al Qaeda in Iraq and seemed unaware that, in 2011, then-CIA Director (now Secretary of Defense) Leon Panetta told Congress it amounted to less than 1,000 people or that in February of this year, the Director of National Intelligence declared that a significnat number (of that less than 1,000) had gone to Syria.
Though the press has reported for years about Nouri's refusal to bring Sahwa members into the process (give them jobs) and how he refuses to pay these security forces (also known as "Awakenings" and "Sons of Iraq"), McGurk told Congress that Nouri was paying them all and had given government jobs to approximately 70,000. (For point of reference, in 2008, Gen David Petraues told Congress there were approximately 91,000 Sahwa.)
Over three days, in consecutive snapshots, C.I. reported on the above.
Where's the rest of the press?
Where were they in examining the veracity of the statements that McGurk made to the Committee? No where to be found.
The press coverage was so bad, Peter Van Buren would observe:
Nobody cares anymore.
And though The Common Ills could report in Tuesday's snapshot about 2008 e-mails Brett "Blue Balls" McGurk sent out, the US mainstream press would ignore that news until Friday.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Barack Obama has nominated McGurk to be the Ambassador to Swingtown (as Isaiah's comic points out). Iraqi women and US women working for the embassy in Baghdad, be warned, something lechorous this way may be coming.