- Mississippi abortion law can’t be enforced
- Teacher who survived Sandy Hook has book deal
- Jury awards Jesse Ventura $1.8M in case vs. ‘American Sniper’ author Chris Kyle
- Government OKs Arab-owned company to operate U.S. cargo port
- Defense lawyer: McDonnell’s wife had ‘crush’ on CEO
- Chinese hackers stole ‘huge quantities’ of sensitive data on Israel’s Iron Dome
- House unveils bill to speed deportations of illegal immigrant children
- Californians protest middle school for hiring white man to teach cultural studies
- Killer’s sentencing overturned because mother couldn’t find seat in courtroom
- Hillary: ‘Dead broke’ comment was ‘inartful,’ but insists it was ‘accurate’
Hillary, Kerry join against Pentagon
Question of the Day
Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and John Kerry yesterday announced a bill to force the Pentagon to begin planning how to withdraw from Iraq, fighting back after a top Defense Department official said that publicly talking about pulling out “reinforces enemy propaganda.”
After calling earlier this year for a briefing on how the Pentagon would withdraw its troops, Mrs. Clinton received a reply by letter this week that she said amounts to “impugning the patriotism of any of us who raise serious questions.” She said she will ask the defense secretary to intervene and repudiate the letter, written by Undersecretary Eric S. Edelman.
“I sent a serious letter on a matter of national security to the secretary of defense, and in return received a political response,” said Mrs. Clinton, who has been touting her Pentagon request in her presidential campaign.
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said he would look into the exchange.
“I had not seen Senator Clinton’s reply to Ambassador Edelman’s letter until today. I am looking into the issues she raised and will respond to them early next week,” Mr. Gates said, adding that he supports both congressional oversight and congressional debate on Iraq.
In his letter, Mr. Edelman, a former ambassador to Turkey, defended the new U.S. security strategy and then said talking about withdrawal publicly is a bad idea.
“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,” wrote Mr. Edelman, who Mr. Bush placed in his current post using a recess appointment after Senate Democrats stalled his nomination in 2005.
Mrs. Clinton has publicized her request for the withdrawal plan, including making it part of an antiwar video she released on her Web site this week and flagged to Iowa voters.
“You can’t just snap your fingers and say ‘OK, it’s time to leave.’ You have to plan it. In fact, I’ve begun to put pressure on the Defense Department and Joint Chiefs of Staff to let us know what they are planning,” Mrs. Clinton tells a group of Iowa voters in the video. “The Pentagon has not been willing to do that planning.”
Yesterday, Mrs. Clinton said the administration has failed to plan for many key steps in the war, and her worry is the administration is now failing to plan for a withdrawal.
She said she wants to make sure there’s no political pressure from the White House — and she mentioned Vice President Dick Cheney’s office in particular — to avoid planning. Mr. Edelman was a national security assistant to Mr. Cheney from February 2001 to June 2003.
A White House spokesman said officials there would not comment on a letter from the Pentagon to the Senate.
Mr. Kerry, who made his mark as a Vietnam veteran opposing that war, compared Mrs. Clinton’s fight with the Pentagon to his own fight back then, saying in both cases they started asking tough questions and the people in power, “they come after you.”
- Boehner rules out impeachment: 'Scam started by Democrats'
- Obama: 'Not a new Cold War,' but new Russia sanctions announced
- Federal judge grants 90-day stay in D.C. gun case
- Obama thanks Muslims for 'building the very fabric of our nation'
- GOP Senate candidate: Obama needs to visit Central America
- Smugglers, rainstorm combine to poke holes in border fence
- Murdered teen texted boyfriend: 'OMG ... I think I'm being kidnapped'
- D.C. seeks to stay judge's order allowing gun owners to carry in public
- Kerry's credibility questioned as fighting in Gaza rages
- Jury awards Jesse Ventura $1.8M in defamation case
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world