Another Gaffe by the Washington Post

As part of its campaign to discredit Governor Sarah Palin, the Washington Post carries a front page article this morning by Anne Kornblut that headlines, falsely: “Palin Links Iraq to Sept. 11 In Talk to Troops in Alaska.” The article begins:

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 the Iraqi government under Saddam Hussein helped al-Qaeda plan the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, a view once promoted by Bush administration officials, has since been rejected even by the president himself.

News flash to Ms. Kornblut: the Alaska National Guard isn’t going to Iraq to fight “the Iraqi government under Saddam Hussein.” Saddam is dead, and the government of Iraq is now our ally. The only organized opposition these troops will encounter in Iraq comes precisely, as Palin said, from “the enemies who planned and carried out and rejoiced in the death of thousands of Americans,” al Qaeda.

Kornblut’s claim that the Bush administration “once promoted” the assertion that Saddam “helped plan the [September 11 attacks]” is false, too.

The Post apparently realized that its page one story was dead wrong at some point, because it belatedly added this sentence to Kornblut’s text, as noted by Jennifer Rubin:

But it is widely agreed that militants allied with al-Qaeda have taken root in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion.

Of course, once the Post acknowledges that Governor Palin was talking about fighting al Qaeda, not Saddam’s defunct regime, the entire logic of its article (not to mention the headline) disappears, and the only remedy is to yank the article entirely. Evidently it was too late for that.

So what emerges is yet another false hit-job on Governor Palin. It is a continuation of a false hit-job that the Post and other media outlets perpetrated against President Bush over a period of years. Notwithstanding its now obvious falsity, the Post continues to crank out the same old attack, like a frog that has died but whose legs continue to kick, mindlessly.

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