July 23rd, 2007
09:16 PM ET
7 years ago

Clinton: The Pentagon called me 'unpatriotic'

(CNN) - Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton said more Republicans need to join Democrats to force the Bush administration to bring an end to the war in Iraq, saying she was called "unpatriotic" for demanding the Pentagon prepare for an eventual withdrawal.

Clinton was asked whether Democrats had not used their majorities in Congress to order the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the 4-year-old war in order to avoid blame for an American defeat. The New York senator and former first lady said Democrats have "tried repeatedly" to win Republican support for setting a timeline for withdrawal, only to see GOP senators block the efforts in the Senate.

"In fact," she continued, "I asked the Pentagon a simple question. 'Have you prepared for withdrawing our troops?' In repsonse, I got a letter accusing me of being unpatriotic, that I shouldn't be asking questions. Well, one of the problems is that there are a lot of questions that we are asking but we're not getting answers from the Bush administration."

The letter, from Undesecretary of Defense Eric Edelman, told Clinton that "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." The senator, who has been criticized by Democratic activists for voting to authorize the invasion of Iraq in the first place, has used to controversy to engage in a high-profile fight over the war with the Bush administration.

She added, "It's time for the Republicans to join us in standing up to the president to bring our troops home."

- CNN Iowa Producer Chris Welch

Filed under: CNN/YouTube Debate
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Nykee, Coleman, MI

    Thank you Hilary for speaking openly like that. It's nice to hear that an actual politician is reacted to normally, as if i was to ask the same question.

    July 23, 2007 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  2. Prov, RI

    Pentagon called her "unpatriotic" because she raised a legitimate question, and they did not have an answer! They will call anyone unptriotic if you disagree with them. They will tear you apart if you disagree with them.

    July 23, 2007 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  3. Mark Lodes, St. Louis, MO

    My little brother sits in on video conferences with the Pentagon from Baghdad. If you want the truth on the situation there, and if a plan for exit had been examined, I can ask him for you, or you can ask him yourself. He's just a civilian contractor, but I sure hope he's included in any such plans.

    July 24, 2007 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  4. Anonymous

    Clinton makes me sick!

    July 24, 2007 07:07 am at 7:07 am |
  5. Cyrus Varzi, London

    Regarding the unpatriotic comments, this is from Hermann Goering:
    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    I am deeply saddened to see the Bush Administration repeatedly using Nazi propaganda tactics like these and others.

    July 24, 2007 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  6. Joe Shepard, Spring Lake North Carolina

    People who engage in "patriotic" dissent during times of conflict enjoy that luxury provided by men better than themselves.

    July 24, 2007 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  7. bprosserme

    And? Hillary is about as patriotic and any good commy.

    July 24, 2007 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  8. Jon, Sacramento ~ Ca

    If Hillary will show the letter where it specifically says "unpatriotic" – that would be grand. Otherwise this is just another "spin" from the Clinton machine.

    The letter Hillary received suggested her demands for open discussions of withdrawal was "premature" and will embolden the terrorists.

    I guess the pentagon doesn't realize Hillary is running for President. How about we publish the time, date, and exact plan/procedures for the US withdrawal. Granted this would further endanger the lives of the men and women serving in Iraq... but hey.. Hillary will get what she wanted.

    July 24, 2007 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  9. Tom - Dedham, Mass

    You read my mind Jon, lets see the letter where they said that.

    Not going to happen because it never did, more Clinton lies and distortions.

    July 24, 2007 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  10. Allan Travis, Los Angeles, California

    One Democrat lies, and the Democrat mouthpiece media repeats it endlessly.

    Nowhere did the letter from the Pentagon call Hillary "unpatriotic."

    It did not even suggest such a thing.

    You can't be a Democrat without lying constantly. It's impossible.

    July 25, 2007 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |