Lying or confused?

Unless effects precede causes, the Surge didn’t cause the Anbar Awakening, as John McCain claims it did.

Those seem to be the only two options.

John McCain told Kate Couric as a story designed to show that the Surge caused the Anbar Awakening:

Colonel McFarlane [phonetic] was contacted by one of the major Sunni sheiks. Because of the surge we were able to go out and protect that sheik and others. And it began the Anbar awakening.

But Col. (now General) McFarland told the story in September 2006. The Kagan-Pollack plan for the surge wasn’t published until that December, the President didn’t announce the surge until January 2007, and the first 20,000 additional troops weren’t in Iraq until mid-April.

So unless effects precede causes, McCain is full of it (again). Even his ” base” in the political press corps has started to notice how mistake-prone McCain is; at some point, they may even start to ask how many of the “mistakes” are deliberate deceptions. Either way, not good.

Footnote The more Presidential Obama looks, the more willing both the press and the public will be to recognize that McCain is simply not fit for the job, morally or intellectually.

Kudos to Spencer Ackerman for catching this one.

Update Joe Klein calls McCain’s latest slander against Obama”shockingly unpresidential”:

This is a clear choice that the American people have. I had the courage and the judgment to say I would rather lose a political campaign than lose a war. It seems to me that Obama would rather lose a war in order to win a political campaign.

Klein’s headline is “McCain Meltdown,” and Klein concludes:

This is the ninth presidential campaign I’ve covered. I can’t remember a more scurrilous statement by a major party candidate. It smacks of desperation. It renews questions about whether McCain has the right temperament for the presidency. How sad.

That’s the sort of story which, if repeated often enough, will sink a Presidential campaign. I’m glad to see that at least some of our political reporters can make the boast of e.e. cummings’s Olaf glad and big: there is some sh*t they will not eat.

Update Astoundingly, CBS decided to leave McCain’s misstatement on the cutting-room floor.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: