June 15th, 2010
02:29 PM ET

Petraeus escorted from hearing after apparent fainting

[Updated at 2:28 p.m.] Gen. David Petraeus "is feeling much better," spokesman Col. Erik Gunhus said. "It appeared that he fainted."

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[Updated at 11:11 a.m.] Gen. David Petraeus, the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, is doing better after being escorted from a congressional hearing, he told CNN's Dana Bash.

"I'm going ok. I just got a little dehydrated," Petraeus told Bash after the congressional hearing was adjourned. "I ate a couple of bananas and drank some water. I ddn't eat breakfast this morning."

Petraeus was smiling, holding what looked like a cup of water.

Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morell told Bash that Petraeus had looked pale, but after he began to eat and drink the color returned to his face.

Petraeus was appearing at a congressional hearing on progress on the war in Afghanistan, but it was adjourned for the day after the incident.

[Updated at 10:57 a.m.] Gen. David Petraeus, the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, was escorted from a congressional hearing room after apparently choking, but later returned to the hearing to applause.

The hearing, however, was called off for the day.

[Updated at 10:36 a.m.] The commander of U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan was escorted from a congressional hearing room after apparently choking during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing Tuesday.

Sen. Carl Levin, chairman of the Armed Services Committee, said Gen. David Petraeus, the commander of CENTCOM, appears to be doing “very much better."

He is eating and “probably didn’t have enough to drink before coming in here this morning.”

"We will make a decision hopefully in a few minutes as to whether we're going to proceed this morning or not," Levin said.

[Posted at 10:30 a.m.] Opening a hearing on Afghanistan, Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI), the chairman of the Armed Services Committee, questioned the progress and planning for U.S. efforts in Afghanistan.

Opening the hearing, Levin, D-Michigan, questioned the ratio of U.S. and NATO troops to Afghan troops, urging for a faster ramping up of Afghan security forces.

"Progress towards the goal of Afghans taking the lead in operations has been unsatisfactory. Today operations in Afghanistan are excessively dependent on coalition forces," Levin said.

Levin said in the coming campaign in Kandahar, there is a plan to have one Afghan service member for every two international troops. He called instead for a one-to-one ratio, with Afghan forces in the lead.

His Republican counterpart, Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, said in his opening remarks that the key trends were going in a "bad direction, perhaps even signaling a mounting crisis."

"Hoping for success on the arbitrary timeline set by the administration is simply unrealistic," McCain said, calling for the president to say the U.S. will stay in Afghanistan until there is success.

Prepared remarks from Petraeus said progress is being made even as the security violence has gotten more intense.

The surge of U.S. troops into Afghanistan is ahead of schedule, but the situation on the ground will get more difficult before it gets better, he warned. "I noted several months ago ... the going was likely to get harder before it got easier. That has already been the case, as we've seen recently," his prepared remarks said.

All 30,000 additional U.S. troops ordered by President Obama last year will be in place in Afghanistan by the end of August, according to Petraeus.

Troops had originally been scheduled to be in place by September.

In the prepared remarks, he told the congressional panel Tuesday that increasing the size and capability of the struggling Afghan National Army and police forces are back on track, but there is more work to be done.

Under Secretary of Defense Michele Flournoy also argued that progress has been made.

"We are regaining the initiative and the insurgency is beginning to lose momentum," she said in her opening statement, but noted outcome is "far from determined."

soundoff (98 Responses)
  1. LiveFreeor

    LiveFreeor.....just DIE will you? You really are a pebble-brained, nimrod. Ungrateful American. The Golden Rules do not apply in this dog eat dog world of ours. We have the biggest military in the world and we must use it, whatever the cost, to take whatever we please. It will bankrupt us to maintain this vast empire of ours, but in the name of promoting Democracy, fighting Terrorism and ending Communism, we must press on!!

    June 15, 2010 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Sudas

    I wish him well,i admire him loads, he is a good man and he knows what he is doing, and very smart.
    I want to say take care David, you saved Iraq from a big civil war and the Iraqi people elected a secular government and now the islamists want to hijak it, how much you have worked hard to make it possible for Iraq to survive will be vanished in these days unless someone support them.

    June 15, 2010 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Frank Rizzo

    Some Washington insiders are saying that the General is suffering from Type One Diabetes, and today's incident was due to him having low sugar level. I would like to know if this true, he shouldn't be serving on active duty due to his medication condition.

    June 15, 2010 at 10:36 pm | Report abuse |
  4. missu

    He was probably chocking over something "STUPID" that, that warmonger John McCain was saying

    June 16, 2010 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Fiskare

    As a former Marine drill instructor told me today, "4 star Generals don't faint" (she was kind of adamant about it. I agree but I think its safe to say that the General experienced a momentary loss of situational awareness.

    June 21, 2010 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
  6. al47

    If you had to eat food from Haliburtan, you would choke too! I did, and it's messed me up for the rest of my life. Also the MRE'S I had to eat for 5 months. Not to mention the bottled water loaded with unneeded minerals, like calcium. This does not reflect a weak General or soldier. His career is impeccable! What have you, done for our country lately?

    June 22, 2010 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Caramoan Philippines 

    my sister suffers from panic attack and the doctor prescribed prozac on her.–

    October 20, 2010 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
  8. Keratin Hair Treatment ·

    my doctor recommends relaxation exercises do help my panic attack `

    November 9, 2010 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
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