Pentagon criticizes Hillary Clinton for raising questions on Iraq

PENTAGON (AP) -- There are some harsh words for Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton coming out of the Pentagon Thursday.

They come in a response to questions Clinton posed in May about how the US plans to eventually withdraw troops from Iraq.

Undersecretary of Defense Eric Edelman says the questions reinforce what he calls "enemy propaganda" that the US will abandon its allies in Iraq.

In a copy of the response obtained by The Associated Press and dated two days ago, Edelman calls the question "premature" and says it "unnerves" those Iraqis who've been asked by the US to assume personal risks.

A Clinton spokesman calls Edelman's answer "outrageous" and "dangerous." He says the Democratic presidential front-runner plans to take the matter to Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

Two months ago, Clinton publicly pushed the military to begin drafting withdrawal plans to ensure they could be implemented safely.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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