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A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Sorting Murky Issues on the POW Swap

Sorting Murky Issues on the POW Swap

A lot of gray area surrounds the political rhetoric about the White House’s decision to swap Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl for five Taliban figures detained at Guantanamo.

Rand Paul’s Bin Laden Claim Is ‘Urban Myth’

Rand Paul’s Bin Laden Claim Is ‘Urban Myth’

In two recent statements, Sen. Rand Paul made the unsubstantiated claim that the U.S. government once “armed” and “funded” Osama bin Laden. The CIA and several of its top officials deny that the U.S. ever recruited, trained, armed or funded bin Laden during the Afghan war over Soviet occupation in the 1980s. Bin Laden himself has denied it. …

False Claims in Final Debate

False Claims in Final Debate

In the third and final Obama-Romney debate, the candidates again contradicted each other, while each offered incorrect or twisted factual claims. President Obama erred when he accused Mitt Romney of saying during the 2008 campaign that “we should ask Pakistan …

Homestretch Fact-Stretchers

Homestretch Fact-Stretchers

In the homestretch to Election Day, both sides stretch the facts in their TV spots. President Obama greatly exaggerates his differences with Mitt Romney over troop withdrawals from Iraq and Afghanistan, while Romney repeats a false claim that the president plans a $4,000 tax increase on “the middle class.”
First the Obama ad, and its multiple exaggerations:
Iraq
The ad says, “President Obama ended the Iraq war. Mitt Romney would have left 30,000 troops there and called bringing them home ‘tragic.’”

Cheney Ad ‘Hasty’ with Quotes

Liz Cheney's group quotes U.S. military leaders out of context to attack President Obama's Afghanistan policy.
Keep America Safe, which is headed by the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, is airing a TV ad that uses brief video clips of congressional testimony given by Gen. David Petraeus and Adm. Mike Mullen to support its claim that Obama's plan to reduce troop levels in Afghanistan will put U.S. soldiers at greater risk. It's true that both military leaders recommended maintaining higher troop levels.

TSA Not to Blame for This

Q: Did TSA confiscate nail clippers from a soldier returning on a military charter from Afghanistan, but allow him to keep his military weapon?
A: This tale from an anonymous source is an impossible fabrication. TSA doesn’t list nail clippers as prohibited items, doesn’t screen military charters arriving in Indianapolis, and has no access to the terminal in question.

Obama, Ohio Jobs and Bailout Bonuses

In episode 29 of our podcast, we debunk a claim made by President Obama about Afghanistan, dueling ads about jobs in the Ohio Senate race, and an Arizona ad that makes an overblown assertion about executive bonuses and the stimulus.

For more on the stories discussed in this episode, see:
'Second Poorest' Nation?  Sept. 13
Bush Years Revisited in Ohio Senate Race  Sept. 10
A Record Jobs Loss?  Sept. 16
Bailout Bonuses Are Back  Sept. 16

‘Second Poorest’ Nation?

In a September 10 press conference, President Barack Obama characterized Afghanistan as "the second poorest country in the world." It’s an impoverished country indeed, but second poorest? The CIA World Factbook doesn’t think so.
It lists Afghanistan as number 210 of 227, with a per capita gross domestic product of $1,000 in 2009. That’s orders of magnitude lower than the richest country, Liechtenstein, with a GDP of $122,100 per person — but it’s much higher than the per capita GDP of the actual second poorest country,

Jerry Brown, Abortion Providers and Afghanistan Withdrawal

In Episode 19 of FactCheck Radio, we look at a false ad from California GOP gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman about her Democratic opponent Jerry Brown’s supposed "legacy of failure." We also examine whether Bill McCollum has really supported abortion providers, as his opponent charges in the Republican primary for the Florida governor’s contest. And we go back to what Obama really did say about the plans for U.S. troops in Afghanistan in July 2011.

For more on the stories discussed in this episode,