Media Matters tracks today’s right-wing talking point.
Apparently in desperate search for a headline, ABC last night issued the following “breaking news” alert:
Breaking News from ABCNEWS.com:
HOUSE SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI TELLS ABC NEWS’ DIANE SAWYER SHE WON’T BLOCK FUNDING FOR MORE TROOPS IN IRAQ
Watch ‘Good Morning America’ for the full interview.
In fact, Pelosi said nothing of the sort on Good Morning America. She merely repeated her stated view that she does not support cutting funds to U.S. forces already in Iraq.
Pelosi told Sawyer, “[W]e will hold the president accountable. He has to answer for his war. He has dug a hole so deep he can’t even see the light on this. It’s a tragedy. It’s a historic blunder.” Asked about reports that President Bush has already begun increasing U.S. troop levels by 3,500 soldiers, Pelosi said, “The president knows that because the troops are in harm’s way that we won’t cut off the resources. That’s why he’s moving so quickly to put them in harm’s way.” Watch it:
The White House hit back against Pelosi today. Administration spokesperson Dana Perino claimed Pelosi’s comment was “poisonous,” adding, “I think questioning the president’s motivations and suggesting that he, for some political reason, is rushing troops into harm’s way, is not appropriate, it is not correct, and it is unfortunate because we do have troops in harm’s way.”
But earlier this month, a senior Pentagon official admitted to NBC News that “this surge option is more of a political decision than a military one.”
Full transcript: Read more
“Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice made a deal with Arab leaders this week: Washington will show an interest in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the Arabs will say they support the new U.S. strategy for Iraq,” Reuters reports. “But the actions on both sides of the deal are largely cosmetic or rhetorical, because the parties are either unable or unwilling to deliver, Arab analysts and diplomats say.”
The good news, in terms of foreign policy, about Democrats winning elections is that they’re not Republicans. The bad news is that some Democrats are Tom Lantos, chair of our House Foreign Affairs Committee, so you wind up with congressional Democrats attacking Iraq Study Group members from the right, coming out firmly against negotiating with Syria or Iran. Democratic hawks are probably sensible enough to not actually want to see a bigger regional war, but they’re certainly not going to do anything to stop it from happening.
We already do have leverage over Iran.
New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman was one of media’s most vocal advocates for the invasion of Iraq. On Feb. 5, 2003, he said, “I think I get this war, and, on balance, I think it is a risk worth taking.” On March 9, 2003, he added, “Regime change in Iraq is the right choice for Iraq, for the Middle East and for the world. Mr. Bush is right about that.”
Yesterday on NPR’s On Point radio show, Friedman began attacking liberals when a caller asked him about his early support for the invasion of Iraq. He sarcastically said that next time, he’ll “be a better liberal” and “will view the prospect of Arabs forging a democracy as utterly impossible. They’re incapable of democracy.” Listen here:
Friedman’s attacks on war critics have always been misplaced. On Jan. 22, 2003, he attacked liberals for failing to recognize that “regime change in Iraq is not some distraction from the war on Al Qaeda,” and on June 4, 2003, he said that “the failure of the Bush team to produce any weapons of mass destruction” was not an issue with which the country should be concerned: “It was the wrong issue before the war, and it’s the wrong issue now.”
Transcript: Read more
The White House Correspondents Association denies telling comedian Rich Little to back off President Bush and the Iraq war. “I cannot be more clear that we never mentioned Iraq, we never gave him any guidelines,” says Steve Scully, president of the WHCA. “The only thing we told him is that we want to follow the policy of the Gridiron Dinner, which is ‘singe, don’t burn’.”
With less than a week before Bush’s 2007 State of the Union address, concerned parties are speculating over what the President will announce in regards to climate change. The problem is that no matter what he says, he will do nothing.
He is expected to call for a serious boost in our ethanol supply and consumption, but in terms of a climate change policy? The White House has gone so far as to outright DENY its intention to cap emissions.
Well, what about the state of our atmosphere? Of the Arctic sea ice or the Greenland ice sheet? What about the state of the union in 2050?
Last year, the “addicted to oil” comment was supposedly added last minute, so let’s just hope (feverishly) that he puts a final cap on the State of the Union by capping carbon dioxide emissions. Failing to do so would render the speech–and his presidency–irrelevant.
From Terry McAuliffe’s new book: “Asked by Cherie Blair what Americans thought of her husband, McAuliffe responded that ‘most people think you’re a lap-dog for President Bush.’ Cherie Blair then elbowed her husband and said ‘See, Tony, I told you so.’”
As many as eight U.S. Attorneys are leaving or being pushed out of their positions by the Bush administration. Several of these prosecutors are working on high-profile cases, such as Carol Lam, who ran the investigation into the corruption of former Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham (R-CA).
The San Diego Union-Tribune has noted that Lam appears to be the “victim of strong-arm political pressure from Washington, where officials apparently wanted to hand her job to a partisan operative.” U.S. Attorney Bud Cummins, who was pushed out by the Bush administration in December, was replaced with a “37-year-old protege of White House political adviser Karl Rove.”
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has denied political motivations behind the resignations, recently telling Congress, “Nothing could be further from the truth.” He added that they were a “sign of good management” by the Bush administration.
But these replacements are not the first time the administration has punished U.S. Attorneys for going after White House allies. In 2002, U.S. Attorney Frederick A. Black launched an investigation into Jack Abramoff’s “secret arrangement with Superior Court officials to lobby against a court reform bill then pending in Congress.” On Nov. 18, 2002, Black issued a grand jury subpoena to the Guam Superior Court to turn over all records involving the lobbying contract with Abramoff. The administration swiftly punished Black:
A day later, the chief prosecutor, US Attorney Frederick A. Black, who had launched the investigation, was demoted. A White House news release announced that Bush was replacing Black.
The timing caught some by surprise. Despite his officially temporary status as the acting US attorney, Black had held the assignment for more than a decade.
An internal Justice Department investigation concluded that the White House did not improperly retaliate against Black for raising allegations against Abramoff. But the probe into Abramoff’s activities in Guam died shortly after Black stepped down. Congress needs to question the White House about whether the Cunningham investigation will meet a similar fate when Lam resigns.
American Progress Senior Fellow Scott Lilly has more.