[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here. Or by Twitter @AaronWorthing.]
Update: Forgot to Hat Tip Althouse for that one, and one of her commenters noticed the same misuse of the term “refute” that Steven Den Beste notices in the comments. GMTA.
Of course a Kinsley Gaffe is defined as when a politician accidentally says the truth and boy howdy did Leon Panetta do that!
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Monday appeared to justify the U.S. invasion of Iraq as part of the war against al-Qaeda, an argument controversially made by the Bush administration but refuted by President Obama and many Democrats.
Panetta made his remarks during his his inaugural visit to Iraq as Pentagon chief. Speaking to about 100 soldiers at Camp Victory, the largest U.S. military installation in Baghdad, he said his primary goal as defense secretary was to defeat al-Qaeda worldwide.
“The reason you guys are here is because on 9/11 the United States got attacked,” Panetta told the troops. “And 3,000 Americans — 3,000 not just Americans, 3,000 human beings, innocent human beings — got killed because of al-Qaeda. And we’ve been fighting as a result of that.”
His statement echoed previous comments made by President George W. Bush and members of his administration, who tried to tie Saddam Hussein’s government to al-Qaeda.
He tries to walk it back a little bit in the article, but it can’t be undone. It was too deliberate a statement. Plainly, he accidentally told us what he really thought about it. And I will remind you that he was head of the CIA.
But then again, Panetta has a history standing up and telling the truth that liberals deny. For instance, after the death of bin Laden, it was Panetta who admitted that waterboarding gave us information that led to bin Laden. And in a weird way, I really respect that.
Update: And for bonus points, the WaPo misstates the finding of the 9-11 Commission:
But it put Panetta at odds with President Obama, the 9/11 Commission and other independent experts, who have said there is no evidence al-Qaeda had a presence in Iraq before the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.
Except that it isn’t what they said. Of course, the report did say on page 83 that there was no evidence of a “collaborative operational relationship.” But for instance on page 78, they there was an al Qaeda offshoot operating in Kurdistan and the commission suggested that they were aided by the Iraqi regime in attacking “the common Kurdish enemy.” Which kind of contradicts the claim of no presence, doesn’t it?
[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]