Former Vice President Dick Cheney used his May 10 appearance on CBS’ "Face the Nation" to, once again, strongly defend the Bush administration’s handling of alleged terrorists taken into U.S. custody. At one point, to back up his characterization of Guantanamo Bay detainees as ultra-bad guys, Cheney claimed that detainees sent home from Gitmo had already demonstrated significant recidivism: "We released hundreds already of the less threatening types. About 12 percent of them, nonetheless, went back into the fight as terrorists."
After we posted our April 17 story ("Counting Mexico’s Guns") pointing out the absence of data to back up statements from Obama administration officials (including the president), journalists and others that 90 percent of the guns recovered in Mexico come from the U.S, we still had a few questions about the tracing process. At the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), we sat down with Charles Houser, chief of the agency’s National Tracing Center,
We had plenty to say recently about a misleading health care ad from a group called Conservatives for Patients’ Rights. We criticized the ad on its merits — but another organization has taken a different tack.
Health Care for America Now released this TV spot, titled "Shady," on May 7, attacking the character of the chairman of CPR, Rick Scott. The ad says that Scott’s former company (that’s Columbia/Hospital Corporation of America) "pleaded guilty to 14 felonies" in a Medicare fraud case that involved "overbilling"
Advocates of gun rights often argue that in World War II Japan was deterred from invading the U.S. mainland by a fear of American citizens with guns in their closets. They frequently quote Japan’s Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto as saying: "You cannot invade mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind each blade of grass."
But this quote is unsubstantiated and almost certainly bogus, even though it has been repeated thousands of times in various Internet postings.
On April 20, President Barack Obama caused a bit of a splash when he gathered members of his Cabinet and directed them to cut (collectively) $100 million in expenses within the next 90 days. Now that sounds like a lot of money. And we’re not ones to complain about cutting costs when the Congressional Budget Office estimated the deficit to be $1.2 trillion in 2009 alone — and that was before accounting for the cost of the stimulus bill.
In the New York Times‘ "Caucus" blog today, Kate Phillips offers a well-documented and thorough analysis of a lingering controversy: Did Winston Churchill really say about torture what President Obama says he did?
There has been considerable back-and-forth elsewhere regarding this passage in the president’s "100 days" news conference:
Obama, April 29: I was struck by an article that I was reading the other day, talking about the fact that the British during World War II,
At President Obama’s April 29 news conference, he claimed that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has "already saved or created over 150,000 jobs." Wait a minute. Isn’t the number of jobs actually plummeting?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the economy lost more than 1.3 million jobs in the two months after he took office, and it has probably lost at least another half-million in April. The day after Obama spoke, the Department of Labor announced that another 631,000 workers (seasonally adjusted) had filed new claims for unemployment insurance the previous week.
When we posted a FactCheck Wire item last week about a dispute between White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs and longtime correspondent Helen Thomas, we were surprised that Gibbs didn’t know President Obama had taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago’s law school. That’s a fact that had come up many times during the campaign, after all, including during a kerfuffle about whether Obama had the right to call himself a "professor."
Well, sometimes you have to walk a story back so far it falls off a cliff.
Is Obama shying away from the Freedom of Choice Act?
When CNN correspondent Ed Henry asked the president about his current thinking on FOCA at last night’s White House press conference, Obama used very different language than he did during the campaign.
In 2008, as we noted in our Ask FactCheck item on FOCA, Obama told a Planned Parenthood audience: "The first thing I’d do as president is sign the Freedom of Choice Act. Now that’s the first thing I’d do."
You can’t spell "pandemic" without "panic," and news about swine flu has put people in a tizzy. As with any tizzy, this has resulted in some misinformation getting mixed in with the real-time updates. We present a few misconceptions about swine flu that we’ve seen or heard in the last few days.
1. You can get swine flu from eating pork.
No more than you can get avian flu from eating birds, human flu from eating humans,