Skip to comments.Clinton Strikes Back at Pentagon Aide
Posted on 07/21/2007 2:24:49 PM PDT by Baladas
Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton on Friday accused the Pentagon of impugning her patriotism simply because she raised questions about U.S. planning for the eventual withdrawal of troops from Iraq.
The politically heated back-and-forth began Thursday with a sharply worded missive from Eric Edelman, undersecretary of defense for policy, to Clinton warning that such questions boost enemy propaganda.
Clinton pressed Edelman's boss, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, on Friday, asking if he agreed with his aide's charge. The New York senator said in a statement that Edelman had ducked her questions and "instead made spurious arguments to avoid addressing contingency planning."
Later in the day, in a conference call with reporters, Clinton called Edelman's argument "offensive and totally inappropriate," and said it was more evidence that smart military planning is being subverted by misguided White House strategies.
"I don't want to wake up and be surprised once again that what any of us would have assumed was absolutely accepted has been derailed or stonewalled by the White House because it doesn't fit the ideological or political agenda," she said.
She was joined in the conference call by Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., the 2004 Democratic nominee. The two plan legislation forcing the Pentagon to report to Congress about withdrawal plans.
Clinton said she and Kerry were "shocked by the timeworn tactic of once again impugning the patriotism of any of us who raise serious questions" about the Iraq war. Kerry accused the Bush administration of making "planning a dirty word and an alien concept."
Clinton first raised the issue of troop withdrawal planning in May, pointing out that whenever U.S. forces leave, it will be no simple task to transport the people, equipment and vehicles out of Iraq, possibly through hostile territory.
Edelman's tough response in a letter dated July 16 and obtained Thursday by The Associated Press was surprising in part because it came in correspondence with a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, which has oversight of the Pentagon.
"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 Clinton.
His letter does indicate the Pentagon might 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."
As she runs for president, Clinton 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, the undersecretary for policy at the Pentagon, is a former aide to Vice President Dick Cheney, and a public feud between him and Clinton may win her points among anti-war voters and liberal Democrats, a critical constituency in primary voting.
Among her top Democratic rivals, Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois has argued that he opposed the war from the start when he was serving in the Illinois legislature. John Edwards, the former North Carolina senator, has disavowed his 2002 vote giving President Bush the authority to oust Saddam Hussein's regime.
Her response to Edelman also suggests Democrats are still smarting from what they claim were rough Republican tactics during the 2004 presidential race. Democrats also directed some of their ire at then-nominee Kerry, contending that he did not respond quickly or forcefully enough to broadsides such as the unsubstantiated allegations from the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.
"A long time ago I learned what happens when you stand up to powerful people in a time of war," said Kerry, a decorated Vietnam veteran who later protested the war. If Clinton ultimately wins the White House, she may find herself overseeing a troop withdrawal from Iraq, but others have also raised the issue, including Republican Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana.
And stop questioning Madame Hillary's patriotism, will ya?
Great, non politically correct response to a defeatist, stupid question.
Way to go Eric. Give her both barrels. You’re right—Clinton is undermining our soldiers in Iraq.
Could it be because our friends, the Chinese Communists were given the secrets to our missile guidance systems thereby saving them a decade or so? Of course not. The Clinton Secretary of State Albright said that it was wrong for one country to have an edge given by this technology. It should be shared and indeed it was for a mere several million dollars supposedly contributed to husband Billy's campaign treasury.
Could it be because, of all nations, Communist China purchased the venerable Worthen Bank in Little Rock in order to be close to their valuable investments, Hillary and Billy?
Of course these events couldn't even come close to proving that the valiant senator is an anti-America hating communist in Little Bo Peep pink garb.
Clinton and the other horse’s ass Ketchup Boy can go straight to hell as far as I’m concerned.
Mrs.Fatpants being the hag that she is. She has never let the truth hinder her wants.
Think maybe it was Edelman’s mention of Somalia that really got her goat?
The Pentagon doesn’t get it! If Queen hillary doesn’t have their contingency plans, then how the heck can she approve of them! Sheesh!
And that’s what the thought of Hillary as POTUS is.
It's what liberals do when they can't debate the facts.
I never thought of that...I just figured it was the entire liberal meltdown that was thrown at her! (Was that a huckleberry pie?)
I would never question Hllary’s patriotism, since it is pretty clear that she has no patriotism to question.
Same for Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, John Murtha et al.
Just a side note here.
The left wingers at the AP practice unsubstantiated allegations as their stock in trade. Eye witness testimony from anyone attacking a Republican or the military, (in John Kerry's case), would be quite enough to tar and feather in story after story and they would NEVER call them unsubstantiated allegations.
The democrat double standard is always used to it's fullest potential with these so called "journalists" at the AP. They're really just democrat operatives, after all.
Patriots don’t go public with talk of surrender plans while others of a higher purpose in life are fighting and dying on the battlefield.
This woman is unfit to hold public office of any kind.
"Clinton Strikes Back at Pentagon Aide"
This erroneously and with malice misidentified Undersecretary Eric Edelman as a "Pentagon Aide". In polite circles this is known as an insult.
"Clinton first raised the issue of troop withdrawal planning in May, pointing out that whenever U.S. forces leave, it will be no simple task to transport the people, equipment and vehicles out of Iraq, possibly through hostile territory."
This is quite literally none of Senator Clinton's business. It is strictly a matter for the Executive Department. As Undersecretary Edelman accurately and appropriately pointed out:
"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."
And then AP gratuitously inserted the "Big Lie".
Democrats also directed some of their ire at then-nominee Kerry, contending that he did not respond quickly or forcefully enough to broadsides such as the unsubstantiated allegations from the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.
The Swift Boat Veterans for Truth fully substantiated their charges. Then-nominee Kerry (in my opinion a coward and traitor) not only failed to refute them but did not substantiate any of his wild claims of clandestine missions.
AP continues to prove itself an enemy of truth, freedom, and the Republic.
Just keep track of these endless gifts and remind the people of her turd like personality as the election goes forward.
Allow me to assist the Pentagon. Hillary Clinton has no patriotism. She thinks of herself first, and her country second. In fact, a lot of our “esteemed” members of Congress do that with regularity.
Yeah that cunning runt will make a great dictator.........simple crimes such as this “contempt of clintonista” event will get ya fired and never rehired ........
Doom on her and her handlers.......