WaPo's False 'Aha' on Palin, Iraq, and 9/11

I guess if the press can't find anything substantive to throw up against Sarah Palin, making stuff up will have to do.

A front-page article by the Washington Post's Anne Kornblut crows over what the reporter claims is a gaffe by GOP vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin:

FORT WAINWRIGHT, Alaska, Sept. 11 -- Gov. Sarah Palin linked the war in Iraq with the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, telling an Iraq-bound brigade of soldiers that included her son that they would "defend the innocent from the enemies who planned and carried out and rejoiced in the death of thousands of Americans."

The idea that Iraq shared responsibility with al-Qaeda for the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, once promoted by Bush administration officials, has since been rejected even by the president himself.

Kornblut must have missed the news that Saddam Hussein, who was in power in Iraq on 9/11, is not only not in power, but also quite dead -- executed by the current, totally unrelated Iraqi government. "The war in Iraq" morphed from an operation to overthrow Hussein and capture or neutralize his lieutenants to a war against an Al Qaeda insurgency at least four years ago.

Bill Kristol at the Weekly Standard blog (HT Hot Air Headlines) responded strongly just after midnight:

Kornblut’s interpretation of what Palin said is either stupid or malicious. Palin is evidently saying that American soldiers are going to Iraq to defend innocent Iraqis from al Qaeda in Iraq, a group that is related to al Qaeda, which did plan and carry out the Sept. 11 attacks. It makes no sense for Kornblut to claim that Palin is arguing here that Saddam Hussein’s regime carried out 9/11—obviously Palin isn’t saying that our soldiers are now going over to Iraq to fight Saddam’s regime. Palin isn’t linking Saddam to 9/11. She’s linking al Qaeda in Iraq to al Qaeda.

People can debate how intimate that connection is, and how much of the fight in Iraq is now against al Qaeda in Iraq--but it’s simply the case that Palin is not saying what Kornblut says she is, and that the Washington Post is, right now, leading its paper with a clear distortion of what Palin said.

Kornblut appeared to feel the need to take on a job Democrats wouldn't do yesterday:

On any other day, Palin's statement would almost certainly have drawn a sharp rebuke from Democrats, but both parties had declared a halt to partisan activities to mark Thursday's anniversary.

Nice try, Anne. No sale.

We see yet another reason why WaPo's circulation, along with most other traditional newspapers, continues to decline.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.

Foreign Policy Iraq 9/11 Media Bias Debate Campaigns & Elections 2008 Presidential Military Events Major Newspapers Washington Post Sarah Palin

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