Sunday, March 30, 2003

Dowd twists Rumsfeld's words. The old saying about columnists is that they're entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts. Today the New York Times' Maureen Dowd twists Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's words, making him appear to be saying the opposite of what he actually said at the Friday Pentagon briefing. Here's Dowd:

Rummy was beginning to erase his fingerprints. "The war plan," he said, "is Tom Franks's war plan." Tommy, we hardly knew ye.

Here's the full context of what Rumsfeld actually said:

The war plan is Tom Franks's war plan. It was carefully prepared over many months. It was washed through the tank with the chiefs [the Joint Chiefs of Staff] on at least four or five occasions....

It has been through the combatant commanders. It has been through the National Security Council process. General Myers and General Pace and others, including this individual, have seen it in a variety of different iterations. When asked by the president or by me, the military officers who've reviewed it have all said they thought it was an excellent plan.

Indeed, adjectives that go beyond that have been used, quite complimentary.

Nor did Rumsfeld disagree when General Richard Myers, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called Franks's plan "brilliant."

Maybe Dowd considers herself just a cheap entertainer at this stage of her career, but there's no excuse for this kind of disingenuousness. Rumsfeld may be in a heap of trouble (and he should be), but he clearly has not walked away from General Franks's plan.

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