We review some notable political falsehoods and distortions of the year.
The latest Democratic presidential debate brought into sharp focus the candidates’ disagreements on how quickly the U.S. can disentangle itself from Iraq. Long-shot candidate Dennis Kucinich stood by his promise to bring all troops home within three months, and Bill Richardson said he could do it in a year – even at the cost of leaving some military equipment behind. But Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama said they might have to keep some combat troops there in a counterterrorism role for more than four years,
President Bush played loose with the facts in his address to the nation Thursday night as he tried to convince the American public that the surge in U.S. troops in Iraq has made the country more stable.
He said "36 nations … have troops on the ground in Iraq." In fact, his own State Department puts the number at 25.
He said “ordinary life” was returning to Baghdad. Perhaps. In fact, news reports describe the city as starkly segregated with Shiites and Sunnis living in separate neighborhoods,
An ABC News survey of public opinion in Iraq found much pessimism as the fourth anniversary of the war approached. A British poll’s summary sounded less gloomy, but was actually similar.
MoveOn.org Political Action began airing ads attacking four Republican senators in their home states, accusing them of favoring escalation of the war in Iraq.
The pro-Bush group Progress for America is running a TV ad appealing directly to Americans’ fear of terrorists, saying bluntly “These people want to kill us.”
We find some subtle word-twisting, and place the claims in context.