Earlier this month, Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) received a letter from Under Secretary of Defense Eric Edelman, who told her that her request for briefings from the Pentagon on the administration’s redeployment plans from Iraq was inappropriate:
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. … [S]uch talk understandably unnerves the very same Iraqi allies we are asking to assume enormous personal risks.
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates then wrote an apology letter to Clinton, stating, “I truly regret that this important discussion went astray and I also regret any misunderstanding of intention. … I emphatically assure you that [the Defense Department does] not claim, suggest, or otherwise believe that congressional oversight emboldens our enemies, nor do we question anyone’s motives in this regard.”
Today, CNN aired a preview of Larry King’s interview tonight with the Vice President, in which Cheney contradicts his Secretary of Defense and states that he agrees with Edelman. “I agreed with the letter Eric Edelman wrote. I thought it was a good letter,” said Cheney. Watch it:
Perhaps not surprisingly, Edelman has close ties to Cheney. He served under Cheney, then Secretary of Defense, in the first Bush administration. At that time, Cheney set up a “shop” to “think about American foreign policy after the Cold War, at the grand strategic level.” The project also included Paul Wolfowitz and Scooter Libby. From 2001-2003, Edelman served as a national security adviser to Cheney.
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