Friday, July 20, 2007

Hillary Fights Back


I'm not even a fan of hers, but this is awesome, and just exactly what needed to be said:

In an unusual challenge to a Defense Secretary from a sitting Senator, Hillary Clinton has just written a sharply worded letter to Defense Secretary Robert Gates, demanding that he personally account for a Pentagon official's assertion yesterday that Clinton's public questions about the U.S.'s troop withdrawal plans were aiding the enemy.

"I request that you describe whether Under Secretary Edelman's letter accurately characterizes your views as Secretary of Defense," Clinton wrote to Gates, in a reference to Undersecretary of Defense Eric Edelman's criticism of the Senator yesterday.

"I would appreciate the courtesy of a prompt response directly from you," continued Clinton in the letter, which has been obtained by Election Central.

Senator Clinton's letter, which will be mailed to Gates this morning, is a response to the news yesterday that Edelman assailed Clinton in a private letter for raising questions about troop withdrawals.

Edelman wrote: "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.

In her response, Clinton renewed her request for information about troop withdrawal plans, sharply questioned Edelman's assertion, and questioned whether it represented the views of Gates and the Pentagon.

"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," Clinton wrote. "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."

Joe Gandelman has a terrific post -- which I just saw now -- on what Ben Smith aptly called a "gift" from Defense Undersecretary Eric Edelman to Hillary Clinton.

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