Tuesday, February 22, 2005


Rumsfeld Schools California Congresswoman

Joe Fairbanks, over at The Stanford Review, has the following amusing exchange. The original post links to the full transcript.

Yesterday, Defense Secretary testified before the House Armed Services committee on a wide range of issues and, not surprisingly, the issue of Iraqi troop levels came up. California Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (D-CA 47) accused Rumsfeld of misleading the people by providing incorrect, inflated statistics on the number of trained Iraqi troops. Read the transcript and it becomes clear Sanchez is showing herself to be embodiment of Democratic partisanship by misleading the American people with numbers she fully knows are outdated. The exchange was as follows (edited for length, entire transcript is linked above):
SANCHEZ: And unfortunately, as I said, this committee has had a hard time assessing where we really stand with the Iraqi army as an effective fighting force.
Over the past year, we've received incredibly widely fluctuating estimates of that. And I think you have a real credibility problem on this issue.
RUMSFELD: Fluctuations of what?
SANCHEZ: The fluctuations of -- the numbers that you bandy around about how many troops we really have out there that are Iraqi police, et cetera, et cetera.
RUMSFELD: [I]n the materials we provide you, there are, I think, 12 or 15 different categories. There are police, civil intervention force, emergency response, border enforcement, highway patrol, dignitary protection, special police commandos for the interior department, army, national guard, intervention force, special operations, air force, navy for the military.
Now, you say we bandy around numbers. They're not my numbers. I don't invent them. They come from General Petraeus. If you look up there, what you'll see is that the numbers originally, as I said in my remarks, included site protection people. And that dropped it by about 70,000.
We originally talked about on duty only, then we changed it and said trained, then we took the site protection out.
This has all been perfectly transparent to everybody. There's no bandying at all.
And now we're saying trained and equipped, just in the ministry of interior and defense. They are Petraeus' numbers.
SANCHEZ: I have Petraeus' numbers. They're different than your numbers, by the way.
RUMSFELD: Well, what's the date? They aren't different because these came from Petraeus. He may have two sets of numbers, but they are not different if the date's the same.
The date on my paper here is February 14th. What's yours?
SANCHEZ: December 20th.
RUMSFELD: Not surprising there's a difference.

Unfortunately, this type of grandstanding, hoping to generate soundbites or tv coverage, with a total disregard for any facts has become the norm. Voters were not fooled by Democrats who kept reciting "2.4 million jobs lost" long after it became clear that there was no such loss of jobs. Hpefully, they will not be fooled by the "there's no problem with social security" line, either.

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