Another brilliant commentary from Mr. Olbermann:
“It is one of the great, dark, evil lessons of history that a country, a government, a military machine can screw up a war seven ways to Sunday; it can get thousands of its people killed; it can risk the safety of its own citizens; it can destroy the fabric of its nation; but as long as it can identify a scapegoat, it can regain, or even gain, power…A scapegoat, sir, might be forgivable, if you had not just happened to choose a prospective presidential nominee from the opposition party.”
Olbermann’s anger here is inspired by a letter written to Senator Hillary Clinton after she “asked the Pentagon to detail how it is planning for the eventual withdrawal of U.S. military forces from Iraq.” according to the Associated Press.
The AP reports: “Eric Edelman, the Defense Department’s undersecretary for policy, offered a sharply-worded response, saying such discussions boost the enemy. ‘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.'”
Wrote Clinton: “I request that you describe whether Under Secretary Edelman’s letter accurately characterizes your views as Secretary of Defense…Rather than offer to brief the congressional oversight committees on this critical issue, Under Secretary Edelman – writing on your behalf – instead claims that congressional oversight emboldens our enemies,” Clinton wrote. “Under Secretary Edelman has his priorities backward. Open and honest debate and congressional oversight strengthens our nation and supports our military. His suggestion to the contrary is outrageous and dangerous.” (full letter here)
In related news, Think Progress reports on a new Congressional Research Service report that says the Iraq war has cost $450 billion to date: “Further, if Congress approves the Bush administration’s latest supplemental funding request, the total cost of the war will exceed $550 billion by October 1 of this year — fully ten times greater than the Bush administration naively predicted in February 2003.”