This morning, the Washington Post has a story on how lawmakers are being “slimed in the Green Zone” when they travel to Iraq for congressional delegation trips. Reps. James Moran (D-VA), Jon Porter (R-NV), and Ellen Tauscher (D-CA) recently returned from such a trip. While there, Tauscher and Moran noticed sheets of paper that “seemed to be everywhere” in the Green Zone, “distributed to Iraqi officials, U.S. officials and uniformed military of no particular rank.”
The sheets of papers were short, thumbnail biographies of the two lawmakers. ThinkProgress has obtained copies of the bios for Moran and Tauscher. Instead of receiving the official bios readily available on the congressional websites, the U.S. troops were given new ones that cherry-pick the representatives’ “most incendiary” statements:
The bios also either ignore or completely misrepresent the lawmakers’ records. The Washington Post notes:
Under “latest Iraq vote,” Tauscher’s bio noted that she had voted in favor of legislation requiring the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq within 120 days of the bill’s enactment.
She did vote that way — in May. On Aug. 2, Tauscher voted in favor of her own bill, which mandates that troops be granted a leave from combat at least as long as their last combat deployment before being shipped back to Iraq. That vote might have been a little too popular with the soldiers she was meeting, Tauscher said.
Moran’s bio says that he “[v]oted NO on legislation requiring the withdrawal of U S troops from Iraq within 120 days of the bill’s enactment.” In reality, Moran voted “yes.” He also voted for Tauscher’s dwell-time legislation.
When Porter learned about his colleagues’ rap sheets, he stated, “I had never seen that in the past. That’s new. Now I want to see what they’re saying about me.”
ThinkProgress spoke with one of the delegation’s military escorts, Maj. Toby Patterson, who said that he didn’t know who made the bios or why they were created in the first place. He added that his office, the Marine Corps liaison for the U.S. House of Representatives, usually just uses lawmakers’ readily-available bios off of congressionalquarterly.com.
UPDATE: ThinkProgress has confirmed that the bios are prepared by the Strategic Effects (STRATEFF) office of MNF-I.