Is John Hinderaker Nuts?

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"Is John Hinderaker Nuts?"

Today, Powerline’s John Hinderaker wrote a post entitled “Is Murtha Nuts?” He claims that during an appearance today on Face the Nation “pretty much every ‘fact’ that Murtha hysterically tossed out is wrong.”

Hinderaker then proceeds to “fact check” Murtha’s appearance, which for him seems to mean using words like “absurd” and “unbelievable.” But actually, it’s Hinderaker who, with remarkable consistency, gets it wrong. Here’s Hinderaker vs. the facts —

Hinderaker: “Murtha’s suggestion that the administration said Iraq had nuclear weapons is absurd. (Why don’t talk show hosts ever seem to call Democrats on these wild misrepresentations?)”

Vice President Cheney, Meet the Press, 3/16/03:

We know that based on intelligence that he has been very, very good at hiding these kinds of efforts. He’s had years to get good at it and we know he has been absolutely devoted to trying to acquire nuclear weapons. And we believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons. I think Mr. ElBaradei frankly is wrong. And I think if you look at the track record of the International Atomic Energy Agency and this kind of issue, especially where Iraq’s concerned, they have consistently underestimated or missed what it was Saddam Hussein was doing.

Hinderaker: “Murtha claims the unemployment rate in Iraq is 60%, which is unbelievable on its face. This is a figure that is sometimes cited on far-left blogs, which I suspect are Murtha’s source.”

Voice of America (federal government news service), 2/8/06:

Although the Iraqi soldiers say they joined the army to fight terrorism and defend Iraq, in a country with an estimated 30 to 60 percent unemployment rate, the contractor says money is also a big incentive.

Hinderaker: “‘Water production, only 30 percent of the people getting water.’ This seems pretty obviously false; otherwise, 70% of the population would be dead.”

Brookings Institution, Iraq Index, 3/2/06:

Hinderaker: “Murtha says 80% of Iraqis ‘want us out of there.’ This too is silly, if by ‘out of there’ Murtha means that 80% agree with his call for immediate withdrawal.”

Brookings Institution, Iraq Index, 3/2/06:

Hinderaker: “Likewise his claim that there is ‘no al Qaeda connection.’ In light of everything we now know, that statement can only be described as ignorant.”

Washington Post, 6/17/04:

The Sept. 11 commission reported yesterday that it has found no “collaborative relationship” between Iraq and al Qaeda, challenging one of the Bush administration’s main justifications for the war in Iraq.

Please email Mr. Hinderaker at powerlinefeedback@gmail.com and tell him to correct the record for his readers. (Please be polite.)

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