Did Eric Edelman Steal Robert Gates’ Mail?

I’ve been following the little squabble between Cheney hack Eric Edelman and Hillary. There was his nasty letter and Hillary’s excellent response. Now Gates has entered the fray, embracing oversight and (backhandedly) slapping down the nasty Edelman.

I have long been a staunch advocate of Congressional oversight, firstat the CIA and now at the Defense Department. I have said on severaloccasions in recent months that I believe that congressional debate onIraq has been constructive and appropriate. I had not seen SenatorClinton’s reply to Ambassador Edelman’s letter until today. I amlooking into the issues she raised and will respond to them early nextweek. [my emphasis]

Now, I’m a little confused by that bolded line, explaining that Gates hadn’t seen Hillary’s letter. From the context, he appears to be referring to Hillary’s July 19 letter, the nasty-gram telling on Edelman. But that doesn’t entirely make sense. Of course he hadn’t seen Hillary’s letter until today (meaning yesterday). She only wrote it the day before.

Anne Kornblut reads that sentence differently.

In a statement, Gates said that he had not seen Clinton’s originalletter, but he added that he welcomes congressional involvement.

Now, again, the plain English reading of the sentence says Kornblut is wrong and Gates is just weird–that he must be referring to Thursday’s letter. But what if he’s not? That is, what if he never saw her May 22 letter?

After all, if there’s one M.O. that Cheney delights in, it’s in controlling the flow of information so he can impose his will even on his bureaucratic enemies. He had a spy in the White House (probably named Hadley) so he could know about everything that went to Condi. He had Bolton in State so he knew most of what went on in Powell’s camp. And as the recent WaPo series revealed, he was constantly hiding his tracks. So it would be pretty predictable for Edelman, the Cheney plant at DOD, to intercept a letter calling for a policy that Cheney opposed. Perhaps Edelman sat on it for two months–what is the explanation for the two months lapse in response, anyway? And then when he finally had to respond, Edelman responded with nasty accusations.

So is Gates trying to say that he never received Hillary’s original letter? As I said, plain English calls for a different explanation. But in Cheney-speak, another reading is quite possible.

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  1. Semanticleo says:

    I think the salient issue with this conflagration is the rapid and
    decisive challenge by H. That’s what we need more of. Is the learning curve too steep for us to reach the decibels of the RNC and it’s continuous ’slouch toward Bethlehem�

  2. Anonymous says:

    Have we seen any interaction between HRC and the ISG? What’s the chances that this is an attempt to head off the Cheney junta, with Baker and Big Dog helping HRC expose Cheney’s insidious and toxic processes, like intercepting all mail before it arrived at Dubya’s desk?

    Definitely merits close analysis – nice catch, EW.

  3. orionATL says:

    i hadn’t thought about it this way.

    but once gates’ recent comments had been published,

    i sure did wonder who, if not gates,

    could have authorized edelman the reply to clinton in a way so contrary to gates’ avowed style of interacting with congress.

  4. orionATL says:

    i hadn’t thought about it this way.

    but once gates’ recent comments had been published,

    i sure did wonder who, if not gates,

    could have authorized edelman the reply to clinton in a way so contrary to gates’ avowed style of interacting with congress.

  5. PrchrLady says:

    EW, this makes a LOT of sense. I just read next thread, and want to say, this Edelman guy is in it up to his neck… smells a lot of cow dung mixed in with all the chickenhawk shit… need to clean out the whole barn…

    hope to get a chance to see you when you are in Ypsi way,(you have been are a VERY busy lady!!! Go Marcey!) to have you sign my book… It should be mandatory reading for entrance into law school.. sort of the way some of the ’hard’ sciences are to med school… I ended up in hospital the night you spoke at WCDP, I was really looking forward to hearing you speak,and so sorry I missed it… M

  6. radiofreewill says:

    Will wonders never cease, divination, too!

    The shadow of information control reveals clusters connected at their roots.

    Cheney is the shadow of the bubble.

    Brava!

  7. Anonymous says:

    PrchrLady

    I’ll look you up next time I’m in the neighborhood! Sorry you missed the talk.

  8. mattsmom says:

    Why did it take nearly 2 months to reply to Senator Clinton? That seems a bit â€in your faceâ€.

  9. ecoast says:

    Edelman was recess-appointed in Aug, 05. Recess appointments are for one year and he has not been reappointed or confirmed by the senate. Edelman is in his job illegally.

  10. TeddySanFran says:

    Perhaps Kornblut has a source who encouraged her to read the sentence, plain on its face, another way?

  11. Anonymous says:

    ecoast: Recess appointments are for one year and he has not been reappointed or confirmed by the senate. Edelman is in his job illegally.

    Edelman was confirmed by the Senate in February of 2006.

    As the linked article says, recess appointments last until the seating of the next Congress, so they can be in effect longer than a year without Senate confirmation. This regime’s abuse of the procedure is just one of it many outrages and power grabs — but Edelman’s not the poster child for that abuse because he was confirmed by the Senate within six months of his appointment.