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Biden Blames Israel First

3:05 PM, Jun 1, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
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Elliott Abrams is rightly and eloquently outraged about this morning's New York Times article, which features Obama administration officials discussing sensitive and classified national security matters, for the sake of making the president look tough. The leakers—none of whom "would allow their names to be used because the effort remains highly classified, and parts of it continue to this day"—did no favor to our national security, or to efforts to stop Iran's nuclear program.

Biden and Israel

But it's interesting that one of them also, in passing, did no favor to Vice President Joe Biden. There's an account of a key meeting, recounted in some detail by a presumably very senior administration official who was there, at which a CIA briefer explained that it was thought that a modification in the Stuxnet code that some viewed as unfortunate had been done by the Israelis. Sanger writes that in fact "It is unclear who introduced the programming error." But at the meeting, Biden, we are told, "fumed. 'It's got to be the Israelis,' he said. 'They went too far.'"

Why might an administration official have gone out of his way to recount Biden's eagerness to blame Israel? It's one of Biden's few appearances in the whole article, and it's presented in a context where someone also went out of his way to explain to Sanger that it's unclear who really was responsible. So why the subtle attempt to make Biden look like an anti-Israel hothead—especially when there's a full-court effort underway to make Obama look pro-Israel?

One obvious possibility: Someone very close to Obama saw a chance to do his bit in the cause of easing the way for Biden's removal from the ticket.

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