GOP Senator says with better intelligence South would have won US Civil War.

Published: Monday September 18, 2006

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At a closed door meeting of the Armed Services Committee, Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) said that with better intelligence the South would have won the Civil War, today's Roll Call is reporting.

Conflicting reports have emerged about what was said, one from a source to Roll Call's “Heard on the Hill” column, the other from a spokesperson for Chambliss.

According to Roll Call's source, Chambliss said, “We need better intelligence. If we had better intelligence in the Civil War we’d be quoting Jefferson Davis, not Lincoln.”

A spokesperson for Chambliss said the story wasn't correct and that what the Senator actually said said was, “If Gen. JEB Stuart had had better intelligence, we’d all be meeting in Richmond right now.”

Excerpts from the subscription-required article follow:


Either way you slice it, Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) argued last week that the South could have won the war between the states if the Confederates had just had better intelligence.

During Thursday’s closed-door Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on trials, interrogation and detention of foreign terrorism suspects, Chambliss made an analogy between the current war on terror and the Civil War. He made the point that history would have been altered dramatically if only the South had had better intel.

Democratic sources expressed outrage that he compared the Civil War to the Bush administration’s war on terror. "It’s a little disgusting" to be equating the two, one Democratic source said, adding, "You can’t figure out whether he didn’t understand the Civil War, or the war on terror, or both."


Not quite, according to Chambliss spokeswoman Lindsay Mabry. She says what he really said was, "If Gen. JEB Stuart had had better intelligence, we’d all be meeting in Richmond right now."