A reader wants to know what Drudge thinks is “exclusive.” I think the answer is pretty obvious: what’s exclusive is Drudge’s complete misinterpretation of what Clark said.
Drudge says that Clark “made the case for war.” That is the opposite of the truth.
Clark, in his testimony, made it clear that we ought to be ready to go to war, if Iraq failed to disarm and submit to inspections, but that war ought to be a last resort, and that in the absence of any imminent threat continued pressure short of an invasion was the better course.
I think it’s not time yet to use force against Iraq but it is certainly time to put that card on the table, to turn it face up and to wave it and the president is doing that and I think that the United States Congress has to indicate after due consideration and consulting our people and building our resolve that yes, this is a significant security problem for the United States of America and all options are on the table including the use of force as necessary to solve this problem because I think that’s what’s required to leverage any hope of solving this problem short of war.
Is that clear enough? Or is there some part of “I think it’s not time yet to use force against Iraq” or “solving this problem short of war” that Mr. Drudge needs to have explained to him more slowly?
In the course of arguing against going to war, or authorizing the President to go to war, right then, Clark brushed away a number of bad reasons against going to war before getting to the good ones. That’s called “intellectual honesty”: a virtue with which Drudge, like many of Clark’s critics, seems unfamiliar. Among grown-ups, saying “Argument X is a bad argument against Proposition Y” is not the same a saying “I think Proposition Y is true.”
Be sure to add Drudge to your bookmarks if you want exclusive misinformation delivered directly to your screen.
Kudos to both Tagorda and Maguire for crossing partisan lines to defend the truth, and to Glenn Reynolds for linking to Maguire. Intellectual honesty is a rare enough virtue in political discourse to be worth treasuring.
Second update: “A lie can get halfway around the world before the truth has its boots laced.” Lou Dobbs repeats Drudge’s lie, according to this account at MWO. (I encourage readers to use the MWO click-through to send emails to Dobbs and his boss.)
Ed Gillespie, chair of the RNC, is also repeating the lie, according to this Knight-Ridder story. The reporters, Dana Hunt and Drew Brown, do their job properly, reporting the false accusation and simultaneously documenting its falsehood.