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July 20, 2007


sent you a question under "with all due respect." AT anytime, any subject--I read you on everything--might you be able to give us a sense of what to do next? here or on FDL.
again, thanks for what you do and for doing it with such amazing cogency!

Is there a link to Hillary's response?

Senator Clinton is indeed shrewd. I keep hoping she is roping "the right wing conspiracy" who focused on her husbands hanky panky into a trap of some kind called ACCOUNTABILITY


TPM has it:



Oops. Sorry I forgot the link--it's there now, or follow WO's url.

from first rerad today:


*** War Games: Per yesterday’s AP, the Pentagon called Hillary Clinton’s questions about how the US plans to eventually withdraw from Iraq “enemy propaganda.” The article: “In a stinging rebuke to a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Undersecretary of Defense Eric Edelman responded to questions Clinton raised in May in which she urged the Pentagon to start planning now for the withdrawal of American forces.” On a relatively slow news day, the piece got plenty of play -- it even incensed the folks at Daily Kos, who lashed out at the Bush Administration. But to us, this was the most interesting part of the piece: “A copy of Edelman's response, dated July 16, was obtained Thursday by The Associated Press.” Who exactly leaked it to the AP? Does anyone think the Pentagon would have wanted it to get leaked? Whoever it was, the story only helped to brandish Clinton’s anti-war credentials, as well as make her look menacing to the Bush Administration. Mission accomplished. By the way, read the actual (private) letter from Edelman. It appears more bureaucratic than anything else -- as if it was never meant to make news.

emptywheel, I think this goes back to something you wrote about the "off-the-record-club." Back in July 2003 the Bush WH was still insulated by journalists who would publish the worst of their rants from anonymous sources. Thanks to progressive action, we've made great progress.

So, I gotta wonder when the Treasury will sieze Hillary's campaign accounts because she's making statements that could be seen as "undermining efforts to . . . promote political reform" in Iraq.

DemFromCT: who exactly leaked it to the AP?

Why not Hillary, or someone in her camp? Wouldn't that be your obvious response if somebody sent you one of these? Bullies often run away if you make them into a public laughingstock.

At this stage of the game, any chance to slam Bush or his minions for something new is great publicity.

Totally off-topic, but the CNN is reporting (h/t to the JMM media empire):

President Bush temporarily will transfer power to Vice President Dick Cheney while Bush has a colonoscopy Saturday.

To avoid thinking about how scary that is, let the jokes write themselves. The first thought that came to my mind is that Bush is at an extreme risk of getting his eye put out from that procedure...

Senator Kerry had this P.S. to an e-mail I received this morning:

"P.S. - You and I know damn well what happens at moments like this: the Administration attacks their opponents ruthlessly. They smear, they lie. Yesterday they went after Sen. Clinton. I stepped up to defend her. Tomorrow who knows which Democrat they'll attack. Here's what I'm asking you: I don't care if you have a horse in 2008, or who you're supporting. Anytime you see a Democrat get attacked, please step up and defend them."

Regarding Senator Clinton's letter to Gates, some say the Republics will win their war with Hillary. I don't think so for one minute. She's the fighter I want in the White House.

Senator Clinton is at the bottom of my preferred list of Democratic presidential candidates (which means that she's about 30 million slots ahead of any of the Republican candidates), but this episode makes me worry a bit less about her potential Presidency.

I think it is naive in the extreme to say that the Administration didn't want this letter to leak. Does anyone really think that the Administration would send a letter to {a Senator of the opposing party/ a Presidential Candidate/the spouse of Bill Clinton/the prime target of rightwing haters} accusing her of being a tool of enemy propaganda and expect that it will stay private? Don't forget, Edelman is one of Cheney's minions. I suspect Gates is just as much a target of this as Senator Clinton is. Cheney's got to get him back on board with the 'stab-in-the-back' line of attack.

TPM: Former DoJ Official Changes Testimony on Voter ID Law
By Paul Kiel, July 19
In April of 2005, Hans von Spakovsky... more

William Ockham | July 20, 2007 at 13:11

I agree WO. Intimide, rally the base, attack the biggest threat, get the minions in line.

I have to say this raises Hillary in my estimatation. Especially if someone from her campaign leaked the letter. The letter is outrageous on its face, but it gives Hillary the chance to play adult here and remind the little Peter Pans that failure to be planning for an exit (which the Military most certainly is, not being total idiots), is just one more example of their divorce from reality, incompetence and inability to think about waht happens if weverything doesn't magically work out. It simply reinforces the image of the neocons as dangerously deluded. Plus it drives a wedge between the "responsible" military and civilians and the neocons.

I'm no Hillary fan. She is my 3rd or 4th favorite candidate. But I keep hearing on financially oriented sites that more and more high rafter bats are talking to her, being impressed and quietly backing her because the GOP field is so hopeless. I worry about her not because I think she is unelectable, but because I think she IS electable, but she is an elitist and not enough of a populist for my tastes. One of the clear keys to getting back on the right track is reversing income maldistribution and increasing opportunity.

But moves like this make me more comfortable with what I see happening, because it means she doesn't shy from a fight.

Mimikatz, it isn't that Senator Clinton shies from a fight, it's that she chooses them wisely. She's the best fighter we have among the Democratic presidential wannabes. I don't know that Bill has been abused as much as his wife and she's still standing. I'm a great admirer of the woman.

So, Republics, bring it on.

My estimation of Hillary has risen too. But I still have a problem with her consitutional amedment on flag burning and I think her war policies would favor the defense industry. I'm willing to be convinced otherwise.

I'm with all you guys--Hillary's not my first choice. That said, I kind of think any of the front-runners will be acceptable (unlike the frontrunners--and even eventual nominee--in 2004). And stuff like this is one of the reason why.

As to who leaked it--I checked with ThinkProgress, which I thought might have had the letter before the AP. But they said no--it was the AP. Which would support the DOD leaked it story.

In any case, I'm glad Hillary responded as she did.

Long time non-fan of Hillary here as well, and yeah seeing this puts me at ease a bit. I still worry about her electability, but election day is a long way off.

The first thought that came to my mind is that Bush is at an extreme risk of getting his eye put out from that procedure...

I'd wondered if a little surgical slip might cause a speech disorder.

Part of my hesitation about Hillary has stemmed from a concern abou the heriditary Presidency we seem to be sidling up to, or have been for some time. But that aside, I've often wondered whether she might not have the biggest cookie of all baking for the VRWC. That would be a good thing.

The hereditary Presidency is by far my biggest concern with Senator Clinton (although I have substantial policy differences as well). Gates has weighed in and his response confirms my belief that this is another Cheneyite attempt to control the Administration's position:

Edelman was a recess appointment to this position, because he couldn't get past the committee. He took office in August, 2005. The appointment expired with the new Congress, just like that of the incompetent John Bolton. So, why is he still in this position?

Juan Cole and Fred Kaplan (@ Slate) have excellent posts, with more details on Eric Edelman's neo-con background and rejoinders to his belated and foolishly antagonistic response to a senior senator on the Armed Services Committee.

Given that we're in the middle of a highly contentious war and that the senator sent that letter might be the next president, Gates (his flag leadership concurring) would be fully justified in firing whomever sent it, even if it was the janitor. Since it came from a recess appointment more loyal to Cheney, Rumsfeld and Feith than Gates, Gates would be a fool not to rid himself of Edelman. Not doing so would also send the wrong signal to the top brass - that Rummy and Cheney are still in charge.

I hear Donny Rumsfeld needs another stenographer for his memoirs; his Pentagon-funded office is just down the road, so Eric wouldn't have much farther to drive.

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