Thursday, April 12, 2007

Bachmann changes her Iran story again: The Big Question blog

Congresswoman Bachmann has once again changed her position on the Iran comments she originally made to Lawrence Schumacher at the St Cloud Times.

Eric Black has a very long post that puts all of this together for us. It is an excellent account of what the Congresswoman has said the 3 previous times and her recent interview with a Christian radio station in the Twin Cities.
Frankly, the radio interview comes across as an effort to blame the
media in general and your obedient ink-stained wretch in
particular for whatever problems her original insupportable
claims caused for her.

Just another attempt by Bachmann to shift the blame to someone else and not take accountability for her own actions.

Why didn't she talk about this at all when she had 3 hours of air time at KTLK? She didn't take any calls, since it was probably pre-recorded, and could have controlled her message that way.
Bachmann has declined to be interviewed for this post, saying through her
spokesperson that she will stand on her earlier statements.

Of course she declined. She is praying vehemently that we forget about her 100 day reign of terror...

Here are some excerpts from the 4th version. Read this in its entirety here!

Bachmann: “And I said: What!? In 90 minutes to go from a reporter initially
questioning me to now it’s on Rush Limbaugh?

And what the Star Tribune did, which I think is wrong, is they went ahead and they posted a story without talking to me, on the Internet. It had gotten onto the Drudge Report. Drudge had gotten onto Rush. And all of a sudden you had a national story.

The thing that is awful, that’s difficult for people to understand is that once the media, the major media puts a spin on a story, you can’t change it. I mean it’s impossible. It gets repeated over and over.

The suggestion was made that I had suggested that there was a written agreement that Iran was going to divide Iraq. I did not say that.”

Bachmann's own words:

“They’ve already decided that they’re going to partition Iraq. And half of Iraq, the western, northern portion of Iraq, is going to be called…. the Iraq State of Islam, something like that. And I’m sorry, I don’t have the official name, but it’s meant to be the training ground for the terrorists. There’s already an agreement made. They are going to get half of Iraq.”

What can be distorted there? Those were her words.

Eric Black responds to Bachmann's Christian radio bit.

Is That a Fact? (All alleged issues of alleged journalistic malfeasance
aside, here are the main substantive problems with the radio interview and
the current state of Bachmann’s Iran-Iraq position. Bachmann has abandoned the
what-I-said-was-not-what-I-meant tone of the op-ed piece, and returned to her
earlier claim that what she said in the first place was true and correct, except
for a lack of precision and failure to give examples.

What she said in version one was that Iran had a plan with another
party — it’s now clear she had Al Qaida in mind – to divide Iraq in half
between them and set up a terrorism zone. That statement disappears in versions
two (the I-was-misconstrued press release) and four (the radio interview),
except for the vestigial assertion that the missing piece was true all
But even if we give up on Bachmann making a straightforward
retraction/clarification and sticking by it, there remains a fairly serious
problem with all of the versions: All of them include a statement that Iran
wants to see Iraq partitioned.

But is that a fact? Bachmann says that this fact has been widely
reported in the media. But it hasn’t been widely reported and Bachmann has
offered no evidence that this is so.

In the op-ed that ran in the Strib under Bachmann’s byline, the third
and best version of her position, she adduced some evidence (a
Reuters story)
that something called the Mutayibeen Coalition, which Reuters
described as linked to Al Qaida, had posted a video online in October of 2006 in
which the coalition “called for a separate Islamic state in Baghdad and other
areas with a large Sunni Arab population.”

This evidence is not overwhelming. But personally, from what I know of
the situation, it is not far-fetched that elements of Al Qaida would hope to
control the Sunni Arab portion of Iraq (nor that if Al Qaida did control such
territory, it could become a base for terrorism).

But the Iran piece of Bachmann’s case for “America’s adversaries are in
agreement that a divided Iraq benefits their objectives” is much weaker. And
bear in mind, this piece was written to redeem an original claim that Iran had a
plan and an agreement to divide Iraq.

The more the Congresswoman tries to run from this error in judgment, the more her integrity suffers.

I think most people would have been forgiving had she immediately come out and acknowledged her mistake. It happens to all of us.

But to continue to bury one's head in the sand and reject any premise of sanity and accountability shows the regard regard, or a lack thereof, for her constituents. Just listening to her on the radio a week ago now, not one constituent was able to call in and speak to her.

Regardless of all this, she will still be the toughest GOP candidate to beat in Minnesota in 2008. Dump Bachmann has a post up about Tarryl Clark and her unlikely run at Congress.

They also have coverage of Bob Hill's run as well.

Anyway, I'm all Bachmanned out for the day...

Thanks Eric!

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