Today, National Security Network held a press conference call discussing John McCain’s erroneous assertion that Iran was “taking al-Qaeda into Iran, training them and sending them back” into Iraq. The hosts, including CAPAF’s Brian Katulis, VoteVets’ John Soltz, and NSN’s Ilan Goldenberg, also discussed what this misstatement says about McCain’s fitness to be commander-in-chief.
Weekly Standard writer Michael Goldfarb was on the call, and later wrote on the Standard’s blog that he “was struck by their insistence that Iran wouldn’t collaborate with Sunni extremists.”
That would be interesting, if it were true. Unfortunately for Goldfarb, we’ve got the transcript (see below) and the audio.
Contrary to Goldfarb’s assertion, none of participants on the call “insisted” that “Iran wouldn’t collaborate with Sunni extremists.” Moreover, Katulis specifically acknowledged that Iran had cooperated with the Sunni Taliban, something that Goldfarb himself acknowledges. As the recording reveals, Goldfarb was trying to elicit a specific response through leading questions. He failed to get the response he wanted, but went ahead and wrote the story he wanted to. The tape doesn’t lie.
In the call, Katulis stressed, and I stress it again, that arguing over whether Iran would refuse, as a matter of doctrine, to cooperate with Sunni groups is not the point. The point is that John McCain’s misstatement is typical of conservatives, who have, through inentionally deceptive language, constantly tried to elide the differences between groups with different goals and ideologies in order to create the illusion of a united Islamofascist enemy. In doing so, conservatives are practicing bad politics in the service of bad policy.
Transcript: Read more