***9/19 Update: I have issued a retraction for this post as new information has come to light contradicting some of the original information reported.***
I don’t want to believe it, but it is indeed true – as per Obama’s own national security spokesperson Wendy Morigi (emphasis added):
In the New York Post [link here. -ST], conservative Iranian-born columnist Amir Taheri quoted Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari as saying the Democrat made the demand when he visited Baghdad in July, while publicly demanding an early withdrawal.
“He asked why we were not prepared to delay an agreement until after the US elections and the formation of a new administration in Washington” Zebari said in an interview, according to Taheri.
“However, as an Iraqi, I prefer to have a security agreement that regulates the activities of foreign troops, rather than keeping the matter open” Zebari reportedly said. â€¦
Obama’s national security spokeswoman Wendy Morigi said Taheri’s article bore “as much resemblance to the truth as a McCain campaign commercial.”
In fact, Obama had told the Iraqis that they should not rush through a “Strategic Framework Agreement” governing the future of US forces until after President George W. Bush leaves office, she said.
A rightfully outraged Ed Morrissey responds:
Which is exactly what Taheri wrote.Â Barack Obama went to Iraq and interfered with the diplomatic efforts of the elected United States government, in a war zone no less, by telling the Iraqis to stop negotiating with the President.Â How exactly does that make Taheri’s column untruthful?
It wasn’t enough for Obama to fail at forcing the nation into a defeat in Iraq when he opposed the surge.Â Now he has interfered with our efforts to stabilize Iraq and provide for its security after the surge succeeded in keeping Iraq from falling into a failed state.Â And when he got caught working for failure and defeat, he tried making it into a smear against John McCain.
That’s not leadership America needs from a Senator, let alone a President.Â The Senate should investigate this as a gross violation of the Constitution and the separation of powers between the branches of government.
Peter Kirsanow at NRO’s Corner blogÂ has some suggestions as well:
Andy McCarthy and Matt Franck are right to advise against invoking the Logan Act regarding Obama’s alleged negotiations with Iraqi officials. Andy argues, correctly I think, that the matter should be handled politically, i.e., the McCain campaign should draw voters’ attention to it and let it be a factor in the electoral process.
If what Taheri claims is true, however, Obama’s actions are of sufficient gravity that more formal, albeit still political, actions are indicated. At minimum, the Senate should consider investigating the allegations (heck, Congress doesn’t seem to have any hesitation investigating the likes of Blackwater, Halliburton, etc for alleged transgressions of arguably lesser magnitude), not with an eye toward impeachment (Matt: query whether the House has the authority under Article II to impeach a senator — I’m not aware of any precedent) or even censure, but to 1) verify the claims, 2) determine the extent to which U.S. interests may have been compromised, and 3) suggest appropriate remedial action.
What do you think?
I should note, BTW, that I haven’t seen the first McCain response to today’s news yet via email.Â If they don’t hammer this issue in the coming days, then of a lot of people with Team McCain don’t know whatÂ in the worldÂ they’re doing.Â The mediots won’t want to explore this story, of course,Â but the McCain campaign sure as hell should.
Related, via Tom Maguire: Barack Versus Barack On Iraq.
Update – 2:04 PM: The McCain camp did respond to yesterday’s report with this, but still nothing – yetÂ – on today’s news.