Sen. Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic front runner for president, got bust by a woman in a New Hampshire audience for not reading the 2002 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) report.
The exchange went like this:
After fielding many questions ranging from mental health care to veteran affairs at a Town Hall Meeting in Hampton, NH, Sen. Hillary Clinton received a heated question about Iraq. A woman had traveled from New York to ask Sen. Clinton if she had read the report given to her in 2002 on intelligence and the Iraq war [a reference to the NIE].
Clinton said she had been briefed on the report, and the woman screamed back, “Did you read it?” Notably uncomfortable, the Sen. Clinton repeated that she had been briefed. This exchange went back and forth about three times.
The woman sat down and Sen. Clinton lapsed into campaign mode and said, “If I had known then what I know now, I never would have voted to give this President the authority.”
While there’s no question that a U.S. senator has a tremendous amount to read and keep up with, what’s critically important here is, the National Intelligence Estimate is the Holy Grail of the Iraq war. Contained in its pages is the very foundation for Bush’s justification to invade Iraq: weapons of mass destruction.
Sen. Hillary Clinton was forced to admit she didn’t bother to read the report, instead she was “briefed” on its contents.