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General returns to Senate room after recess; hearing is then adjourned

Gen. David H. Petraeus, head of the U.S. Central Command, collapses while testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee on the situation in Afghanistan. (ASTRID RIECKEN, EPA / June 14, 2010)

A spokesman says the top U.S. commander in the Mideast became dehydrated. He had been answering questions on plans to draw down troops in Afghanistan.

Reporting from Washington —

By Julian E. Barnes

Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top American commander in the Mideast, appeared to faint Tuesday while testifying before the U.S. Senate.

As he was being questioned by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Petraeus slumped over, looked dazed and was assisted by aides who rushed to his side. A few seconds later, he quickly sat upright again and then left the room under his own power.

Twenty minutes later, after being examined by a doctor and having some food, a smiling Petraeus returned to the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing room.

A spokesman said Petraeus was dehydrated and became lightheaded. He had been traveling recently and was jet-lagged, the spokesman said.

Petraeus had been under intense questioning by McCain and the committee chairman, Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), on U.S. plans to begin drawing down forces in Afghanistan next year.

Both senators expressed concern that their aggressive questioning would be blamed.

“He hadn’t had any breakfast. He works long hours,” McCain said after the hearing, partly joking when he added, “It wasn’t my question.”

Returning to the witness table, Petraeus was greeted with a standing ovation.

Then Levin called off the session. Petraeus is scheduled to meet with the panel again Wednesday.

Last year, Petraeus received treatment for early-stage prostate cancer, therapy that he has said was successful. He has not been ill recently.

A fitness enthusiast, Petraeus prides himself on his endurance, not just at running but at challenges such as sitting through marathon congressional hearings. He sustained a broken pelvis in a parachute jump in 2000 and is said to suffer from back pain.

julian.barnes@latimes.com

Times staff writer Janet Hook in Washington contributed to this report.

SOURCE: Los Angeles Times, June 16, 2010.

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5 Comments

  1. janet on the 16. Jun, 2010 remarked #

    As Joan Rivers would say, “Please.” when faced with a tiny bit of criticism, the good general pulled a classic Victorian fainting spell.

  2. CROAK, BASTARD, CROAK!!!!! on the 16. Jun, 2010 remarked #

    It used to be so crass to wish ‘bad things’ on sick puppies, but in this case, this lying pile of putrid scum needs to die with a spirochete ridden, chancre ridden brain for the kind of crap he has foisted on not only Iraq, but the parents and loved ones of people in the U.S. who sent their sons, daughters, fathers, and mothers, to die in this as&hole’s wars!!

    Good! Now maybe the pile of merde won’t be on the f’ing ballot in 2012, if there’s even a United States left in 2012, which at this point, looks hightly doubtful.

    Yeah, I’m breaking the rule, but this scum, as well as other filth, have been the reason so many deaths have occurred, so I say; “paybacks are a B*TCH!!!”

  3. patraHEHEHEHE on the 16. Jun, 2010 remarked #

    I think you mean southern belle style..”why, I never..”

  4. Petraeus Pitstop HEHEHEHEE on the 16. Jun, 2010 remarked #

    I do believe the “man” has what is called a delicate constitution.

    the com”man”der of remote-controlled robot bombers, succombed and fainted; Southern Belle style..”why, I never..”

    prostate cancer treatment? ouch.. no rest for the wicked it seems.

  5. JIZZRAELI ASS PUPPET STYLE IS MORE LIKE IT!! on the 16. Jun, 2010 remarked #

    No, a treasonous whore for ISRAEL ass puppet style is more like it here, methinks!

    Hope his nutsack falls completely off him in those hearings!

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