Shelton and Cohen: Lying now, or lying then?

Excerpt from a 2000 press briefing given byGeneral Hugh Shelton and Secretary of Defense William Cohen: "Q: This is General Clarke's [sic] last visit to Kosovo today. Any word on how he has performed his job? Sec Def.: He has done an extraordinary job. General Clarke is one of our most brilliant officers. He undertook a mission that is perhaps one the most complicated and complex and carried it out successfully. As I mentioned in my remarks, this air campaign was the most successful in the history of warfare. We had over 38,000 sorties that were flown. We had only two planes that were shot down and no pilots lost. That is a record that is unparalleled in the history of warfare. So, General Clarke and his entire staff and subordinates and all who participated deserve great credit. Q: Why is he leaving office, then? Sec Def.: He is leaving because we have General Ralston who will become the new SACEUR. We are now replacing many of our CINCs throughout the world. Q: It is not a reflection on his performance? Sec Def: No reflection at all. He has done an outstanding job as the Commander-in-Chief of U.S. Southern Command, and he did an outstanding job here as EUCOM Commander and also as SACEUR. " You know, Shelton, Cohen, Franks and Schwartzkopf each owe Clark an apology.

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