Gee…..how so typical of our imperial President.
Your war isn’t going as good?? Just blast your political opponents as traitors and enablers of “the enemy” (from Time magazine).
The Pentagon has issued a stinging rebuke to Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton, arguing that she is boosting enemy propaganda by asking how the U.S. plans to eventually withdraw from Iraq.Under Secretary of Defense Eric Edelman wrote a biting reply to questions Clinton raised in May, urging the Pentagon to start planning now for the withdrawal of U.S. troops.A copy of Edelman’s response, dated July 16, was obtained Thursday by The Associated Press.“Premature and public discussion of the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq reinforces enemy propaganda that the United States will abandon its allies in Iraq, much as we are perceived to have done in Vietnam, Lebanon and Somalia,” Edelman wrote.He added that “such talk understandably unnerves the very same Iraqi allies we are asking to assume enormous personal risks.”
Clinton, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has privately and publicly pushed Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs Chairman Peter Pace two months ago to begin drafting the plans for what she said will be a complicated withdrawal of troops, trucks and equipment. “If we’re not planning for it, it will be difficult to execute it in a safe and efficacious way,” she said then.
Clinton spokesman Philippe Reines called the response “at once outrageous and dangerous.”
“Redeploying out of Iraq with the same combination of arrogance and incompetence with which the Bush administration deployed our young men and women into Iraq is completely unacceptable, and our troops deserve far better,” said Reines, who said military leaders should offer a withdrawal plan rather than “a political plan to attack those who question them.”
As she runs for President, the New York Senator has ratcheted up her criticism of the Bush Administration’s war effort, answering critics of her 2002 vote to authorize the Iraq invasion by saying she would end the war if elected President.
Edelman’s letter does offer a passing indication the Pentagon might, in fact, be planning how to withdraw, saying: “We are always evaluating and planning for possible contingencies. As you know, it is long-standing departmental policy that operational plans, including contingency plans, are not released outside of the department.”
Ahhhh…so that essentially means that Hillary Clinton (who, in case you haven’t heard, has been one of the biggest boosters of the war in Iraq, not to mention expanding the war into Iran, and who has done next to nothing as a Senator to stand by her newly found antiwar views)…is suddenly the moral equivalent of Cindy Sheehan as a dangerous al-Queda agent???
And what does that say for the overwhelming majority of the American people who consistently support a withdrawal from Iraq, Mr. Edelman?? I guess that they are traitors, too??
Hillary’s reaction so far: draft a nasty letter to Defense Secretary Robert Gates (Edleman’s boss) challenging him to either openly endorse or repudiate this “attack on my patriotism”.
[excerpt follows; taken from Talking Points Memo Cafe]
I am in receipt of a letter from Eric Edelman, the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy who wrote that he was responding on your behalf. Under Secretary Edelman’s response did not address the issues raised in my letter and instead made spurious arguments to avoid addressing contingency planning for the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq.As I noted in my original letter, “the seeds of many problems that continue to plague our troops and mission in Iraq were planted in the failure to adequately plan for the conflict and properly equip our men and women in uniform. Congress must be sure that we are prepared to withdraw our forces without any unnecessary danger.”Rather than offer to brief the congressional oversight committees on this critical issue, Under Secretary Edelman – writing on your behalf – instead claims that congressional oversight emboldens our enemies. Under Secretary Edelman has his priorities backward. Open and honest debate and congressional oversight strengthens our nation and supports our military. His suggestion to the contrary is outrageous and dangerous.[…]
I renew my request for a briefing, classified if necessary, on current plans for the future withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq or an explanation for the decision not to engage in such planning. I also renew my concern that our troops will be placed in unnecessary danger if the Bush Administration fails to plan for the withdrawal of U.S. Forces. Finally, I request that you describe whether Under Secretary Edelman’s letter accurately characterizes your views as Secretary of Defense.
OK….so it wasn’t so nasty, but you get the gist of it.
Fortunately for the rest of us, Keith Olbermann, being a journalist and a commentator, isn’t bound by the politician’s rules of comity and legalspeak. Fortunate, indeed…..because he unleashed the mutha of all smackdowns onto Wannabe King Dubya last night on his Countdown show….as his latest Special Comment. As a lead off. (KO usually concludes his shows with his Special Comments, so you know he must have been pretty pissed off….and you could see the smoke and fire spewing from every word.
Only problem I have, KO….it’s really not just Bush’s war…..Democrats like Hillary who voted down the line to fund this war and made no real attempt to end it should bear as much responsibility, too.
Either way…turn the sound up and feel the fire.
“Countdown with Keith Olbermann: Special Comment on Defense Dept. Slam on Sen. Hillary Clinton…and Us” (via YouTube; w/ hat tip to the Weasels Yahoo! Group)