Edwards Contradictory Stories on Reading National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-lccVYgeOA]

During a Google Town Hall, John Edwards now states that he read the confidential National Intelligence Estimate before backing the Iraq War. (Hat tip to Politico.)

This raises the question of why was it stated last week that he hadn’t read the report:

Edwards spokesman Mark Kornblau emails that Edwards didn’t read the classified version. He adds, “As a member of the Senate Committee on Intelligence, he was regularly briefed on the information that appeared in the NIE, which is essentially a summary report.”

If this week’s version of the story is the correct one, and if he had read the report, it becomes even harder to understand why he supported the war. Bob Graham has often cited the fact that he had access to these documents as reasons why he opposed the war:

From my advantaged position, I had earlier concluded that a war with Iraq would be a distraction from the successful and expeditious completion of our aims in Afghanistan. Now I had come to question whether the White House was telling the truth — or even had an interest in knowing the truth.

On Oct. 11, I voted no on the resolution to give the president authority to go to war against Iraq. I was able to apply caveat emptor. Most of my colleagues could not.

Update: The New York Times reports “A spokesman for Mr. Edwards said the candidate had ‘simply misunderstood the question’ and noted that Mr. Edwards had read only a declassified version of the intelligence report.”

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