The Washington Times - July 18, 2008, 03:47PM

The last 48 hours have seen the political war over the military war on terror grow heated — culminating this afternoon in John McCain’s campaign launching a new TV ad accusing Barack Obama of not doing his duty as chairman of a subcommittee with oversight on Afghanistan.

It started when Sen. Jim DeMint, the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Affairs subcommittee with jurisdiction over Afghanistan matters, sent a letter asking Obama, the chairman, to hold a hearing. DeMint blasted Obama for not having held one yet, despite having control of the subcommittee for 18 months.

Sen. Joe Biden, the chairman of the full committee and a former primary opponent to Obama, leaped to Obama’s defense, firing back a letter that said he’s handled Afghanistan matters at the full committee level.

The press then dug up the attendance records for Afghanistan hearings in the Senate Armed Services Committee, on which McCain is the senior Republican, and found he missed all six of that committee’s hearings.

Not to be deterred, McCain is now running this ad:

Got all that?  I guess the next response will be an ad from the Obama campaign, pointing to McCain’s own record of missing Afghanistan hearings.

Stephen Dinan, national political correspondent, The Washington Times