Martha Raddatz Allows Leon Panetta to Dodge Question on Hillary Iraq Withdrawal Plan

August 14th, 2016 3:31 PM

Martha Raddatz, who was hosting ABC's This Week this morning, had a chance to score a major scoop but she blew it by failing to ask a very obvious followup question to former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. You can see the original question posed by Radddatz at the 3:32 mark of the video below about Panetta having supported a small number of American troops remaining in Iraq and where then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stood on this. This was followed by Panetta completely dodging the question on Clinton's position. However, instead of pressing Panetta on this, Raddatz avoided the obvious followup and instead went on to another unrelated question.

Sorry, Martha. You lost that very possible scoop due to failure to follow up on a question that was screaming to be answered.

MARTHA RADDATZ: Let's talk about Trump's comments that President Obama and Secretary Clinton are founders of ISIS. You know, he later said he was being sarcastic. But many Republicans think that the failure to keep troops in Iraq contributed to the rise of ISIS, and you, in your 2014 book, said you clashed with the White House over the issue saying "Those on our side of the debate viewed the White House as so eager to rid its of Iraq that it was willing to withdraw. To this day, I believe that a small, focused U.S. troop presence in Iraq could have effectively advised the Iraqi military on how the deal al Qaeda's resurgence."

Was Secretary Clinton on your side of the debate? And should she have pushed harder to keep the troops there?

Excellent question, Martha. Just where did Hillary stand on whether to keep a troop presence in Iraq? Unfortunately, Leon Panetta decided to play dodgeball with his non-answer.

LEON PANETTA: Well, I think we all made our positions clear. But, look, mistakes have been made in the war against terrorism going back to the 80s. Ronald Reagan when he sent the marines to Lebanon and 241 were killed by a bomb. You could -- if you were Donald Trump, you could label as father of violent terrorism.

I think what would be appropriate is for Donald Trump, instead of making an outrageous claim that somehow President Obama is the father of ISIS, which is a lie, he ought to present what strategy he would implement to defeat ISIS. Instead, he says he has a secret plan. And nobody knows what that plan is all about. That's what he ought to be debating.

Um, Leon. You still have not answered the question of what was Hillary Clinton's stand on whether or not to keep a contingent of American troops in Iraq. Unfortunately, Martha Raddatz displayed a startling lack of curiosity on this and followed up with an unrelated question.

Exit question: Who will be the reporter out there who will follow up on Martha Raddatz's question that Leon Panetta successfully dodged?