Thursday, February 15, 2007

Defending Bush's War With Fake Lincoln Quote

Everyone makes mistakes. It's part of the human condition.

But some conservative Congressmen and pundits have reached new heights of foolishness by continuously recycling a supposed Abe Lincoln quote as part of their effort to discredit critics of the Iraq War.

Here's the quote, as it appeared in a piece by writer Frank Gaffney in the Moonie-owned Washington Times:

Congressmen who willfully take action during wartime that damage morale and undermine the military are saboteurs, and should be arrested, exiled or hanged.

The line is so useful that it was repeated this week on the House floor by Republican Rep. Don Young of Alaska.

Too bad Lincoln never uttered or wrote those words. They come from a writer for the conservative Insight magazine named J. Michael Waller. He wrote them in 2003. And even Waller says they were not spoken by Abraham Lincoln. Nevertheless, a fact-checking outfit found some 18,000 citations for the Lincoln quote that never was.

But why bother with messy details like facts when you're making a partisan point?

Late update: Last time we checked on Friday, neither the Washington Times nor Rep. Young had corrected their mistake, despite many calls to do so.

Even later update: It took more than two days, but the Washington Times has acknowledged the fake Lincoln quote used by its writer Frank Gaffney. As of today (Saturday), Rep. Young apparently has not owned up to the bogus quotation, even though he has said he read the quote in—you guessed it—the Washington Times.


Jeff Shaw said...

See what I mean about quotes. It's awful to quote famous people without fleshing them out.

As you might already know, its a pet peeve of mine - and you can quote me on that.

Buster said...

Bates withdrew his embarrassing flaunting of the bogus quote. So he does have some sense of shame.