Oops. Left-Wing Think Progress Misquotes Laura Bush

In a post on Wednesday (6/20/07), left-wing site Think Progress blared a headline, "Laura Bush Falsely Claims That 'Many' Iraqi Refugees Have Been Welcomed Into The U.S."

The problem? Mrs. Bush didn't say that. Quite simply, an intern at the site (with a wishful ear, maybe?) misquoted the First Lady when she was discussing World Refugee Day in a segment on CNN. Here's what Think Progress says that Mrs. Bush said:

"We welcome many of those refugees, both from Iraq and Afghanistan into the United States."

Think Progress then cites a recent Baltimore Sun article that reports that the U.S. has only welcomed 69 Iraqi refugees so far this year. That would be fair enough, except ...

If you listen to the segment, which Think Progress provides (!), you can clearly hear what the First Lady actually said (emphasis from me, not her):

"We will welcome many of those refugees, both from Iraq and Afghanistan into the United States."

Mrs. Bush certainly did not say that many Iraqi refugees "have been welcomed" into the U.S.

The headline and the transcript at Think Progress are both erroneous. It looks like the site owes its readers a correction.

P.S. - It should be noted that what Mrs. Bush said is a goal of the administration. The Baltimore Sun article reported that the U.S. has pledged to take in 7000 Iraqi refugees this fiscal year. (Unfortunately, as Think Progress points out, the U.S. has only welcomed 69 so far. But the article discusses recently implemented "enhanced security screening procedures" at the DHS that "refugee advocates have applauded.") Also, an Iraqi news outlet reported this week that U.S. under Secretary of State Paula Dobriansky said that the U.S. has a "moral duty" to accept refugees. "She confirmed that the United States will receive around 7000 Iraqi refugees before the end of the current year," reported the network. Indeed, as the Sun article states, "America has a long and proud tradition of resettlement and is still the largest refugee resettlement country in the world ... In the last several months, the U.S. government has begun to show signs of recognizing the scale of the [Iraqi refugee] crisis and the need for broader humanitarian action."

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