What Fresh Hell Is This?

February 14, 2007

Another Conservative Gets Caught

A few days ago it was local columnist Ruth Ann Dailey who was guilty of passing along debunked stories as true.

This time it's the President of the Center for Security Policy (and frequent guest on Fred Honsberger's radio show), Frank Gaffney.

Via Glenn Greenwald's column at Salon.com, we can see that Mr Gaffney begins his latest column with this quotation of Abraham Lincoln:
Congressmen who willfully take actions during wartime that damage morale and undermine the military are saboteurs and should be arrested, exiled, or hanged.
The quotation, though, has been shown to be a fake. Here's factcheck.org from August, 2006:
(there's even a Pennsylvania connection!):

Supporters of President Bush and the war in Iraq often quote Abraham Lincoln as saying members of Congress who act to damage military morale in wartime "are saboteurs, and should be arrested, exiled or hanged."

Republican candidate Diana Irey used the "quote" recently in her campaign against Democratic Rep. John Murtha of Pennsylvania, and it has appeared thousands of times on the Internet, in newspaper articles and letters to the editor, and in Republican speeches.

But Lincoln never said that. The conservative author who touched off the misquotation frenzy, J. Michael Waller, concedes that the words are his, not Lincoln's. Waller says he never meant to put quote marks around them, and blames an editor for the mistake and the failure to correct it. We also note other serious historical errors in the Waller article containing the bogus quote.

For the record Diana Irey retracted the quotation within hours of factcheck's posting of the above. Good for her.

My question is this: Here's a bit of information that's already shown to be false, and yet it's used as a weapon against the President's political adversaries - how long before Ruth Ann Dailey uses the Lincoln quotation and presents it as the truth?


Richmond K. Turner said...

Oh for crying out loud, Dave. Everybody gets a quotation wrong now and again, and thanks to the internet it's getting easier and easier to do. These things just take on a life of their own, and everybody believes that the quotes are accurate.

You can't tell me that Democrats haven't done the same thing. You can't tell me that you haven't done the same thing. I know I sure as hell have.

It sounds like an honest mistake, and one that was corrected in exactly the way it should be. What on earth is the big deal about it?

Anonymous said...

I would think that when you're calling for the EXECUTION of dissident members of Congress, you should make damn sure the quote is right. And when the quote was first shown to be false 6 months before, there's no excuse for using it.

No, wait. Was the Admiral being sarcastic????

Schmuck Shitrock said...

George W. Bush is a bumbling fool and Dick Cheney is nothing but a common criminal. -- Abraham Lincoln

Democrats-Lie said...

I don't remember any liberal Democrat getting outraged over Dan Rather's 60 minute "forged documents" fiasco.

Nope...silence was the "word" of the day.

But Ruth Ann makes a statement and "outrage" is the word of the day! Might I remind you people that the PG is minuscule in comparison to 60 Minutes? Where was your outrage then?

Why? Because when you're a Democrat, it's *just* different.