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This is one of the most outrageous outgrowths of the extreme politicization of government under the Bush-Cheney regime.

WASHINGTON - The Pentagon told Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton that her questions about how the U.S. plans to eventually withdraw from Iraq boosts enemy propaganda....

"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," [Undersecretary of Defense Eric] Edelman wrote.

He added that "such talk understandably unnerves the very same Iraqi allies we are asking to assume enormous personal risks."

Clinton spokesman Philippe Reines called Edelman's answer "at once outrageous and dangerous," and said the senator would respond to his boss, Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

Edelman apparently got his diplomatic skills from the Dick Cheney school of governance. Since he's a former aide to Cheney, that seems likely.

That some lackey apparatchik in the Pentagon would dare to accuse a United States Senator of "boosting enemy propaganda" is an outrage. Not to mention a really stupid way to respond to one of the people who gets to decide your department's budget.

Considering that the Pentagon clearly went into Iraq with no real plan, it's safe to assume that they would also have no plan for a safe withdrawal of troops from Iraq. The lack of any kind of plan has been the hallmark of the Pentagon under Bush/Cheney, and given that track record, Clinton's question was more than appropriate.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 12:59 PM PDT.

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