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General David Patraeus' long-awaited testimony finally gets off to a very slow start, but the partisan wrangling had already begun. Today, he and Ambassador Ryan Crocker are  facing a joint committee of Congress; tomorrow they'll talk to the Senate. We update their testimony and hear the reaction from across the political spectrum. On Reporter's Notebook, Pakistan's former Prime Minister re-enters the country is deported almost immediately.

US commander in Iraq General David Petraeus (L) and US Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker (R) confer before testifying to a joint US House Armed Services and Foreign Relations Committee.
Photo: Tim Sloan/AFP/Getty Images

Main Topic General David Petraeus on Capitol Hill 42 MIN, 44 SEC

Before General David Patraeus or Ambassador Ryan Crocker said a word to a joint committee of Congress, Democrats and Republicans were exchanging partisan charges. Democrat Tom Lantos said he respected the witnesses personally, but felt they were sent to convince Americans that victory is at hand. Republican Duncan Hunter—a presidential candidate—said he was outraged that some of his colleagues had attacked the witnesses' credibility. When Petraeus finally got underway, he emphasized that he had neither been scripted nor told what to say by the White House or Pentagon. He said that improved security means US forces can be reduced sometime in the future. But the essence of the message has been telegraphed, and polls show public skepticism that either man is independent of the Bush White House. As the debate on Iraq continues, will the Bush Administration define its objectives?

Julian Barnes, Wall Street Journal (@julianbarnes)
Michael Abramowitz, Staff Writer, Washington Post
Michael O'Hanlon, Brookings Institution (@MichaelEOHanlon)
Dennis Ross, Washington Institute for Near East Policy (@washinstitute)
Eli Pariser, Upworthy (@elipariser)
Pete Hegseth, Executive Director, Vets for Freedom

Reporter's Notebook Former Pakistani PM Deported on Return from Exile 6 MIN, 15 SEC

Pakistan's former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif returned to the country today for the first time since 1999, when he was overthrown and exiled by General—and President—Pervez Musharraf.  Almost immediately, Sharif was deported back to Saudi Arabia after being charged with money laundering and corruption. Today's deportation defies a recent decision by Pakistan's Supreme Court, which affirmed that Sharif has the right to return. Haroon Rashid, chief reporter for the BBC's Urdu Service, has an update on Pakistan's developing political crisis.

Haroon Rashid, Chief Reporter for the BBC's Urdu service in Pakistan

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