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Friday, November 16, 2007
Jeffrey Misleads on Clinton and NIE

In a Nov. 15 article, editor-in-chief Terry Jeffrey wrote that during a June Democratic presidential debate, CNN's Wolf Blitzer "challenged Clinton on her failure to read the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iraq that had been produced for Congress in the fall of 2002 specifically to give senators and representatives the intelligence community's best understanding of the situation in Iraq, before they had to decide whether or not to authorize the use of force in that country. Having not read the NIE, Clinton nonetheless voted to authorize a war." Jeffrey claimed that Clinton "gave a 189-word answer that did not directly answer the question" and that after asking the question again, "Blitzer still did not get a clear answer from Clinton." Jeffrey added that Blitzer "then went on to put the same tough question to former Sen. John Edwards, who also voted to authorize the war in Iraq without having first read the National Intelligence Estimate."

Missing from Jeffrey's article are the responses that Clinton and Edwards actually gave, which refute Jeffrey's suggestion that the only possible way to have given an informed vote on authorizing the use of force in Iraq was to have sat down and read the entire NIE.

Clinton responded that she "was thoroughly briefed. I knew all the arguments. I knew all of what the Defense Department, the CIA, the State Department were all saying. And I sought dissenting opinions, as well as talking to people in previous administrations and outside experts." Edwards responded: "I think it's true that I was on the Intelligence Committee -- and I don't think Senator Clinton was, but I was on the Intelligence Committee. I received direct information from that. I met with former high-level people in the Clinton administration who gave me additional information. And I read the summary of the NIE. I think I had the information I needed."

Such a misleading article by CNS' editor-in-chief coincides with other evidence that Jeffrey is taking CNS in a more aggresively biased direction. 

Posted by Terry K. at 12:21 AM EST

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