The Cheney-Edelman Connection

by | Aug 1, 2007 | Stress Blog | 1 comment


Greg Sargent at the TPM Café just posted an important entry on Vice President Dick Cheney’s contribution to the contretemps between the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, Eric Edelman, and Sen. Hillary Clinton regarding the Pentagon’s contingency planning for withdrawing U.S. forces from Iraq. Sargent’s account — including Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ efforts to calm the dispute — offers a good summary of the current state of play. Briefly, in an appearance Tuesday on Larry King, Cheney characterized Edelman’s original response to Clinton, in which, among other things, he (Edelman, that is) warned 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,’ as a ‘good letter,’ thus implicitly contradicting the position taken by Gates, Edelman’s nominal superior.


All this is taking place in the wake of the still-unconfirmed reports by Robert Dreyfuss and Steve Clemons that Cheney’s senior Middle East adviser and Feith/Perle fellow-traveler David Wurmser will be leaving the vice president’s office for the private sector in August. While his wife, Meyrav Wurmser, the head of the Hudson’s Institute Middle East program, has hinted that David has been planning to leave for some time, his actual departure within 90 days of the appearance of the June 1 New York Times article that named him as the Cheney official who was quietly shopping attack-Iran scenarios to various Washington think tanks last spring suggests that it may not be altogether voluntary. If not, one wonders whether Gates is seeking Edelman’s removal, as the New York Times recently suggested was an appropriate response to the Clinton letter.