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Hillary Clinton, NIE And Iranian Revolutionary Guard

The recent NIE report on Iran can’t sit well with Hillary Clinton. In September, Clinton signed the Liberman-Kyl Amendment calling Iran‘s Revolutionary Guard a terrorist group which fueled Bush and Cheney’s war drums. Clinton probably signed the bill to build her hawkish stance for the general election; however, it appears that her judgment on the amendment and her political chess game failed her.

Is it possible that Clinton didn’t know about the 2003 halt to Iran‘s program? I doubt it. When you look back over the recent month’s things just seem to suggest the opposite. For months Bush and his inner circle have been saying that Hillary will be the democratic nominee. Is that because she’s voting to keep the current policies in place and to keep her many military complex contributors happy? Hillary was the only democratic Senator running for president that signed the Liberman-Kyl amendment. What did the other Senators know that Hillary didn’t or that she chose to ignore.

Clinton, who sits on the Senate Committee on Armed Services, should have had more information than other Senators before she voted on the Iran‘s Revolutionary Guard. The committee’s covers the following:

  • Aeronautical and space activities peculiar to or primarily associated with the development of weapons systems or military operations; the common defense; the Department of Defense, the Department of the Army, the Department of the Navy, and the Department of the Air Force, generally; maintenance and operation of the Panama Canal, including administration, sanitation, and government of the Canal Zone; military research and development; national security aspects of nuclear energy; naval petroleum reserves, except those in Alaska; pay, promotion, retirement, and other benefits and privileges of members of the Armed Forces, including overseas education of civilian and military dependents; selective service system; and strategic and critical materials necessary for the common defense.
    Comprehensive study and review of matters relating to the common defense policy of the United States.

Sen. Jim Webb who also sits on this Senate Committee in Armed Services found it very difficult to vote for the Liberman-Kyl Amendment;

  • On the Senate floor today, Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) made an impassioned appeal to his fellow senators, declaring that the Lieberman-Kyl amendment on Iran should be “withdrawn” because the “proposal is Dick Cheney’s fondest pipe dream.” Webb cautioned that the “cleverly-worded sense of the Congress” could be “interpreted” to “declare war” on Iran. He continued:
  • Those who regret their vote five years ago to authorize military action in Iraq should think hard before supporting this approach. Because, in my view, it has the same potential to do harm where many are seeking to do good.
  • “At best, it’s a deliberate attempt to divert attention from a failed diplomatic policy,” said Webb. “At worst, it could be read as a backdoor method of gaining Congressional validation for military action, without one hearing and without serious debate.”
  • Webb said that amendment’s attempt to categorize the Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp as “a foreign terrorist organization” would, for all practical purposes, “mandate” the military option against Iran. “It could be read as tantamount to a declaration of war. What do we do with terrorist organizations? If they are involved against us, we attack them.”
  • He also slammed the lack of debate and examination that was accompanying the amendment, saying “this is not the way to make foreign policy”:
  • We haven’t had one hearing on this. I’m on the Foreign Relations Committee, I’m on the Armed Services Committee. We are about to vote on something that may fundamentally change the way the United States views the Iranian military and we haven’t had one hearing. This is not the way to make foreign policy. It’s not the way to declare war.

So how did the experienced Hillary Clinton get it so wrong?

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