For Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), a harshly worded letter she recently received from top Pentagon official Eric S. Edelman may well be the gift that keeps on giving. When Edelman recently responded to a Clinton request for a briefing on troop withdrawal plans from Iraq by accusing her of reinforcing "enemy propaganda that the United States will abandon its allies," the Democratic presidential contender made immediate political hay, insisting that the Pentagon disavow what she described as an outrageous political attack.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates tried to patch things up by acknowledging Congress must play its oversight role regarding the administration, but Vice President Cheney managed to stir things up again, telling Larry King on CNN Tuesday night that he thought Edelman, his former foreign policy adviser, had written Clinton a "good letter."
Cheney suggested Clinton was asking for operational plans from the Pentagon -- a contention Clinton dismissed in a new letter sent out this afternoon to the vice president.
"Your comments, agreeing with Under Secretary Edelman, not Secretary Gates, have left me wondering about the true position of the Administration," Clinton wrote in the letter, which was released by her office. "Therefore, I am writing to President Bush asking that he set the record straight about the Administration's position regarding the role of Congress in oversight of the war."
Stay tuned for Round Three.
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