Monday, December 27, 2004

Now for an overblown Rumsfeld non-scandal

It's sad that with all of the material abundantly available for stories questioning Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's job performance, the media have seized upon a non-issue instead.

During a surprise Christmas Eve trip to Iraq that seemed conveniently timed to counteract the growing criticism of his flawed war planning, Rumsfeld talked about United Airlines Flight 93, which crashed in a cornfield during the 9/11 attacks after passengers rebelled against the hijackers. In a poor choice of words, he said that "the people who attacked the United States in New York, shot down the plane over Pennsylvania" that day.

The conspiracy crowd immediately claimed the comment proved that the government shot down the plane. Um, right, except that the way I read the quotation, it would suggest that if anyone was shooting down planes, it was terrorists. There are Freudian slips and there are slips of the tongue. It'll be a sad day when people can no longer tell the difference.

Rumsfeld is in the middle of enough scandals as it is. Don't divert attention from the real ones to go on a wild goose chase.

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