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May 27, 2008

Obama Corrects The Record On Concentration Camp Name

This morning Purple Avenger uncovered Obama’s historically dubious claim that his uncle was among the first troops to liberate Auschwitz. It created quite a stir to say the least.

It turned out according to his campaign that Obama simply got the name of the concentration camp wrong.

"Senator Obama’s family is proud of the service of his grandfather and uncles in World War II – especially the fact that his great uncle was a part of liberating one of the concentration camps at Buchenwald. Yesterday he mistakenly referred to Auschwitz instead of Buchenwald in telling of his personal experience of a soldier in his family who served heroically,” said Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton.

Fair enough I suppose, things like that happen.

I am sure the Democrats and lefties will be in high dudgeon about this. Personally, I am rooting for Purple Avenger to get named Olbermann’s Worst Person in the World! That would be sweet.

I am also sure that the next time McCain or some Republican misspeak the left will be leading the charge to defend them.

Before this whole little episode is wrapped up, let’s take a look at some of Obama’s other verbal gaffes and ponder why it is exactly he’s considered such a great communicator.

Barack Obama, caught up in the fervor of a campaign speech Tuesday, drastically overstated the Kansas tornadoes death toll, saying 10,000 had died.

The death toll was 11.

Marking the anniversary of the March 1965 "Bloody Sunday" in Selma, Ala., Obama, speaking at a church, said his parents got together "because of what happened in Selma." Obama was born in 1961.

Obama told Larry King on CNN -- asked about that anti-Hillary Rodham Clinton YouTube ad, a doctored version of a spot created for Apple computers -- "We don't have the technical capacity to create something like that."

Of course there’s also the 57 states and counting remark, the claim that Arabic is the language of Afghanistan and many, many more.

As ABC’s Jack Tapper put it, Obama is ‘a one man gaffe machine’.

More [Gabe]: It should be noted that Obama has been working up to the Auschwitz gaffe for quite some time. This is from Obama's own website, text of an anti-Iraq war speech he gave October 2, 2002, where he used a slightly different version of the story:

My grandfather signed up for a war the day after Pearl Harbor was bombed, fought in Patton's army. He saw the dead and dying across the fields of Europe; he heard the stories of fellow troops who first entered Auschwitz and Treblinka. He fought in the name of a larger freedom, part of that arsenal of democracy that triumphed over evil, and he did not fight in vain. I don't oppose all wars.

Well that's slightly better than claiming his own family "liberated" Auschwitz, but it's still quite a stretch to say that any "fellow troops"--presumably Americans--were the first to enter Auschwitz or Treblinka. Treblinka, like Auschwitz, was liberated by the Soviets (although "liberation" might not be the right term, the Nazis killed everyone on their way out). It was years before any American entered either camp.

[UPDATE v1.1 -- PA]
v1.0
The Chicago Tribune has a pretty good, and rather lengthy, summary of the Messiah's Memorial Day ummm "misspeakings"
. The real news here is the amount of column inches the CT devoted to laying this whole thing out. It would have been pretty easy to write that as a single paragraph in the style of a correction and bury it.

v1.1
Now al-Reuters is covering the Auschwitz retraction story.
A little terser than the CT version, but still lengthy compared to what could have been written for a total bury job.


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posted by DrewM. at 06:35 PM

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