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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

A shout-out for Bob Graham

At last night's Democratic debate in New Hampshire, former Sen. Bob Graham was cited by Sen. Barack Obama as having learned important details about Iraq from the National Intelligence Estimate. The classified version of the NIE has become an issue in the presidential campaign because most senators, including Sens. John Edwards, Chris Dodd and Hillary Clinton, have said they did not read it, although they say they were briefed on it or read a de-classified version.

Here's the exchange:

WOLF BLITZER: Senator Obama, you didn't think the war was the right thing to do, even though you weren't in the U.S. Senate. You didn't have access to any intelligence information at the time.

Do you think someone who authorized the use of force to go to war in Iraq should be president of the United States?

OBAMA: I don't think it's a disqualifier. I think that people were making their best judgments at the time.

I will say on the National Intelligence Estimate that Chairman Graham -- Bob Graham of Florida, who at the time was the head of the Intelligence Committee -- cited that specifically as one of the reasons that he voted against it.

So obviously there was some pertinent information there.

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 2:26pm]


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