Bush lying again, this time on what Murtha actually said
Now, before some of the more tender sensibilities in the Corrente readership reach for their smelling salts, this is in no way a personal attack on Bush--it's just a statement of fact. Here's what Bush said in China:
I particularly want to discuss the position that Democrat Congressman John Murtha announced this past week. Let me start off by saying that Congressman Murtha is a fine man, a good man, who served our country with honor and distinction as a Marine in Vietnam and as a United States Congressman. He is a strong supporter of the United States military. And I know the decision to call for an immediate withdrawal of our troops by Congressman Murtha was done in a careful and thoughtful way.
That's the setup. Now, the pitch:
I disagree with his position. An immediate withdrawal of our troops from Iraq will only strengthen the terrorists' hand in Iraq, and in the broader war on terror. That's the goal of the enemy. They want to break our will in Iraq, so that we leave and they can turn Iraq into what Afghanistan was under the Taliban, a safe haven for terror, a place where they can plot and plan attacks against America and freedom-loving countries around the world.
One small problem. What Bush says is Murtha's position, is not Murtha's position. In fact, Bush sets up a straw man. Here's how Murtha's resolution actually reads:
"It's time to bring them home," Murtha said.
His resolution says the United States should "pursue security and stability in Iraq through diplomacy."
"The deployment of US forces in Iraq, by direction of Congress, is hereby terminated and the forces involved are to be redeployed at the earliest practicable date," the text says.
It also calls for the deployment of a "quick reaction US force" in the region.
So, Bush claims Murtha said "immediate"; Murtha actually said "earliest practicable" (and advocated a reaction force into the bargain).
Now, I suppose if I didn't want to sound Shrill, I could say that Bush "mischaracterized Murtha's position," or go into the usual kind of he-said, she-said routine.
But isn't it simpler---and more truthful--just to say that Bush lied?
Bush is "Lowering the temperature of the debate"? By lying? Don't make me laugh---because it hurts.