UPDATE: Campaign Denies that Obama Used Stall Tactics with Iraq on Troop Withdrawal

Some readers have questioned the veracity of the article I cited in yesterday’s post (which is a good thing and should be encouraged). I am not familiar with the work of the article’s author, Amir Taheri and cannot speak to his credibility one way or the other. I realize that there is a great deal of misinformation from both the Right and the Left in the Blogs as well as the MSM concerning the top candidates running for president and vice president. Like many people, I’m just trying to find the truth.

Having said that, the charge by Taheri is very serious and deserves to be investigated further by the MSM. There’s an article in today’s New York Post written by Geoff Earle which reports that the Obama campaign has responded to Taheri’s article:

WASHINGTON – Barack Obama said yesterday he didn’t urge Iraq to hold up an agreement with the Bush administration over the status of US troops serving in Iraq.

“Obama has never urged a delay in negotiations, nor has he urged a delay in immediately beginning a responsible drawdown of our combat brigades,” said Wendy Morigi, an Obama spokeswoman in response to a column in yesterday’s Post.

Morigi cited “outright distortions” in an column by Amir Taheri, but the Obama camp did not specifically dispute any of the quotes in the piece.

I’ll see if I can find the actual statement from the Obama campaign to find out which parts of the Taheri article they claim to be “outright distortions.”

More to come…

  • Vatar

    [quote]But Obama’s national security spokeswoman Wendy Morigi said Taheri’s article bore “as much resemblance to the truth as a McCain campaign commercial.”
    In fact, Obama had told the Iraqis that they should not rush through a “Strategic Framework Agreement” governing the future of US forces until after President George W. Bush leaves office, she said.[/quote]

    I’m confused. Isn’t that exactly what Taheri said?

  • http://domestic-vocation.blogspot.com Christine the Soccer Mom

    I was watching Fox News yesterday when I saw someone (a man, not Morigi) say that it was “a lie.” (I am assuming he meant the article, not the Iraqi P.M.) I wish I could recall which program I saw it on, but I’m thinking it was during Live Desk (AKA, News with ADHD).

    No pressing questions were asked as to what was a lie, especially since the news is presented in 45 second bits, but I’ll be interested to know what they are saying is a lie. Thanks for keeping up with this.

  • http://www.thelibertypapers.org/ Stephen Littau

    That’s a good point Vatar. I’ve been searching the web and others have reached the same conclusion.

    One other thing occured to me:Morigi said the article contained “outright distortions.” If the content of the article wasn’t truthful, why didn’t Morigi say the article contained “outright lies”? To me this suggests that there is at least a grain of truth to Taheri’s article.

    I haven’t been able to find a statement anywhere from the Obama campaign. So far, the best I could find was a blog posted on the campaign website: http://my.barackobama.com/page/community/post/nemokc/gG5Xbh

    According to this blogger, Taheri has a political axe to grind and has been less than truthful in some other articles he has written.

  • http://publiusendures.blogspot.com Mark

    A few points (keeping in mind, BTW, that I remain a Bob Barr supporter):

    1. That Taheri has a political ax to grind is pretty clear from his article/column, which is clearly an opinion piece. While opinion pieces have their value, they’re not very reliable sources of objectively presented information.
    2. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Minister said what Taheri quoted. BUT…you have to separate the quote from Taheri’s spin regarding the meaning of that quote; without some context for the quote, I don’t think it can tell you very much at all.
    3. Stripped of Taheri’s spin, that quote is simply “He [presumably Obama] asked why we were not prepared to delay an agreement until after the US elections and the formation of a new administration in Washington.” Last I checked, there was a BIG difference between asking about why someone may or may not choose a course of action and demanding that someone take a specific course of action.
    4. Let’s not forget that this is hearsay from someone for whom English is not a first language, and possibly double hearsay (if the minister had an interpreter).
    5. Also, the operative phrase in the Obama statement is “rush through.” If the Obama statement is to be believed (and, since it’s an official statement of a politician, it probably shouldn’t be believed anymore than Taheri’s article), this would imply that Obama was simply indicating that the Iraqi government should not concern itself with the fact that the Bush Administration is nearing its conclusion in negotiating the SOFA. In other words, it would seem Obama was merely suggesting that the Iraqis would still be able to negotiate after the Bushies leave office, and that the end of the Bush Administration should not be seen as setting an artificial deadline for the SOFA.

  • oilnwater

    it’s amazing how far this blog has fallen. the contributors here are literally troglodytes regarding the level of discourse facing this nation.

  • http://www.thelibertypapers.org/author/tarran/ tarran

    Fortunately, you are here to elevate the discourse. Where would we be without you…

  • aimee

    “it’s amazing how far this blog has fallen. the contributors here are literally troglodytes regarding the level of discourse facing this nation.”

    And yet here you are, why then do you keep coming back? Do you think readers are here for your insightful comments?

    People like you and VRB are nothing but school yard bullies that poke at people to boost your own self esteem.

    Don’t like it, don’t read it.

  • http://anarchangel.blogspot.com Chris

    Regarding Oabama and the Iraqi government, and the subject of wordgames let me just say, “I’m shocked, shocked that there is gambling going on in this establishment”.

  • Ace

    Obama’s statement through Wendy Morigi CONFIRMS Obama was negotiating with the Iraqi Foreign Minister to delay agreements on troop withdrawal until after the election. Obama has no authority to negotiate our troop strategy with foreign governments – that power rests with the Commander in Chief.
    I thought Obama was a constitutional law prof? He should know better – the separation of powers gives the Executive Branch the SOLE power on foreign policy. No senator can override that. Think about it, if it was okay for Obama to do it, then any senator could fly over there and work out a deal with a foreign government that goes against the President. It would be a mess.

    Obama admits he did this. It’s a disgrace. And a felony under The Logan Act.

  • Dana

    In response to a question about how much flexibility there would be to withdrawal plans, Obama said he still believed U.S. forces could be out of the country within about 16 months and that “I’ve also consistently said that I will consult with military commanders on the ground and that we will always be open to the possibility of tactical adjustments. The important thing is to send a clear signal to the Iraqi people and most importantly to the Iraqi leadership that the U.S. occupation in Iraq is finite, it is gonna be coming to a foreseeable end.”

    He said he told Zebari that negotiations for a Status of Forces agreement or strategic framework agreement between the two countries should be done in the open and with Congress’s authorization and that it was important that that there be strong bipartisan support for any agreement so that it can be sustained through a future administration. He argued it would make sense to hold off on such negotiations until the next administration.

  • http://pith-n-vinegar.blogspot.com/ Quincy

    I thought Obama was a constitutional law prof?

    The fact that Barack Obama is a left-wing constitutional law professor is one of the biggest strikes against him in my book. Why? Well, the thing about left-wing constitutional law is that it’s designed to poke holes in the Constitution to justify statist actions. Both major parties have subscribed to this view of con law for the better part of a century, and the government you see today is the result.

  • http://www.answers.com/topic/josh-hutcherson Chris Hutcherson

    If two candidates get the same number of votes what happens?