It was the most important Congressional report session after the Vietnam war. We were glued to our television sets to hear the top US military commander, Gen. David Petraeus and US Ambassador to Iraq, Ryan Crocker give their testimony and report the situation in Iraq. You could see the tension and stress on both their faces. That very morning the New York Times carried a full page ad calling the top US General, ‘Gen betray-us’. We could feel the high tension that hung heavily in that room, and more so over the General himself, even while sitting in the comfort of our own home. Facing not only the committee but thousands of US soldiers and millions of people in America and elsewhere, the General was about to speak on the conditions on Iraq and war strategies. All eyes were on him as he was signaled to begin his report, which by all means is controversial in the first place. The albatross certainly hung around the general’s well buttoned neck. Then, when he was just about to reach for the microphone, he wasn’t able to speak!
Why?? Because his mic wasn’t working. So, much for the most important Congressional report session of the the past two decades! We did expect voicing of protests and loud demonstrations (all of which were there) but definitely not the silence of the microphones.