Anyone covering Capitol Hill knows that congressional hearings can be deadly — deadly boring and deadly predictable.
But when a reported Iraq war veteran exploded into a House Armed Services Committee hearing this month as Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta was reading his prepared remarks, for a split second it was like a test to see if someone blinked. Better yet, it was a test to see if anyone was human enough to respond.
One person reportedly burst out laughing, right after the veteran, who was screaming “We murdered people! I saw what we did to people!” was dragged from the room by security. But the rest of the chamber was silent, faces turned stoically forward. The vet was followed by two silver-haired antiwar women decrying the war. They were also manhandled out of the room in short order.