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Tuesday, December 5, 2006
Finkelstein Misleads on Murtha's 'Megalomania' (?)
Topic: NewsBusters

Mark Finkelstein is just not gonna admit that Rep. John Murtha has a point about the situation in Iraq. From Finkelstein's Dec. 4 NewsBusters post:

'Today' invited John Murtha in for a victory lap this morning, and the Dem congressman from PA responded with breathtaking megalomania seasoned with anti-Americanism. Calling America "the enemy" in Iraq, he preened over having been "way ahead" and demanded the US now "take my advice."

Finkelstein then repeats himself, throwing that M-word out again: "Murtha later took his megalomania one step further. After calling the United States 'the enemy' in Iraq, he claimed 'it's time to take my advice.' " But Finkelstein's claim that Murtha "call[ed] the United States 'the enemy' in Iraq" is taken out of context. Here's what Murtha actually said, according to the video attached to the item:

MURTHA: We're adding to terrorism because we're the occupiers. We've become the enemy, and we're caught in a civil war. Who's paying the price --

MATT LAUER: But if you have a weak government there that can't quite protect its own people, doesn't it become a safe haven for terrorism?

MURTHA: It's the opposite. They'll get rid of the terrorists. The terrorists are there because of us. There was no terrorism before we went it. There was no Al Qaeda. There was no weapons of mass destruction. They have come there because the United States is the target. We're inciting terrorism by being in Iraq. We need to change direction, we need to redeploy our troops, and a very small percentage of people in this country are paying the sacrifice. It's easy to sit back here, Matt, and say "Stay the course." It's chaos already. We lost nine or 10 people over the weekend, Americans, and the Iraqis been killed -- mass killings by the Iraqis, so it's time to take my advice.

As you can see, what Murtha said is a lot different that what Finkelstein claimed he said. And it certainly isn't "megalomania"; such demonizing makes it hard to take Finkelstein seriously, however much he likes to tout that he "recently returned from Iraq" (where he used his platform to attack imaginary claims that American politicians want "abrupt withdrawal" of U.S. troops from Iraq).

Posted by Terry K. at 9:27 AM EST

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