Rep. Christopher Shays (R-Conn.), chairman of the House Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security, is breaking with his party to urge withdrawal from Iraq. Sort of. Shays, who is facing a tough electoral challenge from anti-war Democrat Diane Farrell, is expected to produce a timeline for withdrawal after holding a series of hearings next month. But Shays seems to think the main problem in Iraq is flaccid "political will on the part of Iraqis." The congressman believes establishing a timeline would firm up the Iraqis' will, but waffles when it comes to when the troops would actually be withdrawn. "It may be a timeline the American people don't want to hear," he said. "It may not be something that brings them [the troops] out quickly."
But Shays didn't mince words in his criticism of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. As Mother Jones Investigative Correspondent James Ridgeway reports in the current issue, Shays subpoenaed Rumsfeld in his committee's investigation of the Abu Ghraib abuses. Yesterday, Shays said Rumsfeld has made "huge mistakes" in Iraq, adding, "I haven't had faith in the secretary in a long time."