Thursday, July 19, 2007

A test for Gates

By Creature

Today the Associated Press obtained a letter written by Undersecretary of Defense Eric Edelman in which he attacks Senator Hillary Clinton for being a responsible senator and for doing her job by questioning the Pentagon on their Iraq withdrawal plans:

"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."

As a neoconservative, and a former Cheney aide, Edelman's remarks are unsurprisingly familiar. As Jill notes: "This is what the Bush Administration has been doing ever since the 9/11 attacks: impugning the patriotism of anyone who dares to disagree."

Keith Olberman correctly concludes that this kind of talk from the administration is an attempt at laying the scapegoat foundation for a lost war on those who spoke out against it.

Hillary's people reacted promptly by calling Edelman's words "at once outrageous and dangerous." We are also being told that Hillary's response will be directly to Edelman's boss, Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

Big Tent Democrat boils it down: "His response is disrespectful, outrageous and he should be immediately fired for his unacceptable behavior."

Yes, he should be immediately fired. But will he be?

Will Robert Gates stand up to the vice president? Will daddy Bush's boy stand up to baby Bush's boy? Will old-school conservatism stand up to neo-conservatism? The outcome here will shed much light on who holds sway in today's White House.

If Cheney is pulling the strings you will see an administration dig-in and defend Edelman. If Gates is in charge you will see an immediate firing and something close to an apology issued to Senator Clinton. I'm hoping for the latter, because the former doesn't bode well for the future of our democracy.

(Cross-posted at State of the Day.)

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  • And you know they aren't planning an exit strategy. Actually, when you think about it, that may be a good thing because you have to think that the Pentagon has been involved in some level of planning during this war on terror. It seems they just suck at planning!

    By Blogger cwilcox, at 11:18 PM  

  • Indeed it does not bode well and when you consider that under the July 17th Executive order, Bush is asserting the power to freeze the assets of anyone "interfering with the reconstruction" as well as the power to decide who is doing that, Such dissent as Senator Clinton has exercised can now be deemed punishable.

    How many dictatorial powers does it take before we start smelling the tyranny?

    By Blogger Capt. Fogg, at 11:18 AM  

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