Senator McCain revised and extends his Letterman remarks:
“Last evening, I referred to American casualties in Iraq as wasted. I should have used the word, sacrificed, as I have in the past. No one appreciates and honors more than I do the selfless patriotism of American servicemen and women in the Iraq War. We owe them a debt we can never fully repay. And America’s leaders owe them, as well as the American people, our best judgment and honest appraisal of the progress of the war, in which they continue to sacrifice.
“As I have said many times, I believe we have made many mistakes in the prosecution of the war. With a new Commanding General and a new strategy, we are now trying to correct those mistakes, and I believe we have a realistic chance to succeed.
“That does not change the fact, however, that we have made many mistakes in the past, and we have paid a grievous price for those mistakes in the lives of the men and women who have died to protect our interests in Iraq and defend the rest of us from the even greater threat we would face if we are defeated there.”