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August 17, 2006

Murtha/Haditha/LAT: Patterico Questions The Timing

No, seriously-- and in a non-lunatic fashion.

The LAT attempted to spin for Murtha by suggesting he had made his infamous, defamatory "in cold blood" remarks after being briefed by Gen. Hagee-- thus strongly suggesting his comments were informed by the briefing itself. Lending great credence to the "in cold blood" charge.

Other accounts contradicted this, stating that Murtha had been briefed by Hagee after-- strongly suggesting the "in cold blood" comment had come not from top military people in a position to know the facts, but rather was pulled straight from the stinking, festering nethercosm of Murtha's large, saggy ass.

Patterico contacted General Hagee's office for clarification. Doing actual reportial work -- or perhaps adding a level of painstaking editorial fact-checking the LAT couldn't get around to -- and you'll never guess what he found.

Well, you probably will.

The LAT insists its article is accurate and refuses to issue a retraction or correction.

Your very professional, dedicated-to-the-truth MSM in action.

I hope Instapundit and Malkin and other big guns link him. The LAT would like, of course, for this to just go away and continue maintaining they had gotten it right, despite all the evidence suggesting they'd gotten it very wrong; they certainly do not want to issue a retraction based on reporting and editorial fact-checking by a blog.

So I hope this gets enough attention that they can't bury it.

They are too arrogant to admit error. The only way to get these arrogant jagoffs to admit error is to embarrass them so much that admittng the error is less humiliating than continuing to maintain a lie.

Fake But Accurate?: Allah points out that it is unclear if Hagee's aide was briefing people prior to Murtha's 5/17 "in cold blood" remark.

Actually, there's no firm reason to believe he was, but then, neither is there a firm timeline to prove he wasn't.

Ergo, it's possible, though we don't know, the LAT owes a clarification, not a full correction.

However, considering that Kline, the Republican representative who issued an apology for making similar statements, was never quoted about this until the 26th, it appears that the aide in question was not briefing anyone until the 24th or thereabouts.

It's not proof, but it is circumstantial evidence that there was no "breifing" at all before the 24th, whether with an aide or Hagee himself.

Allah confirms that this is what his cite-searching seems to suggest, but can't say it proves that Murtha wasn't briefed earlier. But the evidence at hand does not suggest any pre-May 17 briefings.

I really don't see the need for great reservation. If the LAT knows of a previous, hitherto unpublicized earlier breifing by an aide, why does it not simply say so? Patterico has been in contact with them; they don't need to publish an article, they can just write "You are forgetting about a previous briefing."

There's hardly any doubt that Murtha was getting things leaked to him, but a leak is not a "briefing." A briefing is an official report expressing a consensus view of the facts. Furthermore, given its official nature, it's fair to guess that whatever comes from the briefing is, in this context, the best face the Marines can put on the incident.

A leak is just one guy expressing his own opinion.

Either way, a "leak" is not a "briefing," and the LAT cannot report Murtha received a "briefing" from Gen. Hagee if what he really received was a leak from someone else.

Key Background: Funny, and it demonstrates the LAT's insufferably prickis arrogance. Their response to Patterico's legitimate questions is very telling.


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posted by Ace at 08:01 AM

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