CBS ‘Early Show’ Highlights ‘Mission Accomplished’ Anniversary

Still Shot of Russ Mitchell, May 1 On Thursday’s CBS "Early Show" co-host Russ Mitchell thought it was news-worthy to remember the five year anniversary of when President Bush announced the end of "major combat operations in Iraq" under a banner reading "Mission Accomplished": "The Bush Administration is trying to explain its use exactly five years ago of the phrase ‘Mission Accomplished.’" However, no mention was made on April 9 of the anniversary of the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime.

Correspondent Bill Plante reported that: "As the war progressed and casualties mounted, the phrase became a symbol of all that had gone wrong." Plante then played a clip of David Mark of the Politico, who explained: "‘Mission Accomplished’ stands for what seems like endless occupation, five years plus, after the initial invasion. It means ongoing war with no end in sight."

Earlier in the report Plante remarked: "And Press Secretary Dana Perino says the Administration has certainly paid the price." He concluded the segment by declaring: "And no one around here ever uses the phrase. Instead, they say, as the president says, that we have to ‘continue doing the job.’"

This highlighting of the ‘Mission Accomplished’ anniversary is in line with the left-wing host of MSNBC’s "Countdown," Keith Olbermann, who announces the exact number of days since that banner was displayed during his sign-off at the end of every show.

Here is the full transcript of the segment:

7:09AM SEGMENT:

MITCHELL: The Bush Administration is trying to explain its use exactly five years ago of the phrase "Mission Accomplished." CBS Senior White House Correspondent Bill Plante is at the White House. Good morning, Bill.

BILL PLANTE: Good morning, Russ. That's right. It was just five years ago tonight that we first saw the phrase "Mission Accomplished." And it began to be used to describe the war. At first in triumph, but later in jest. Landing on the USS Abraham Lincoln, 100 miles off the California coast, President Bush welcomed the homeward bound sailors, seeming to suggest that the war was all but over.

GEORGE W. BUSH: Major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed.

PLANTE: Above the president on the ship's superstructure a huge banner proclaiming "Mission Accomplished." The White House had first denied having anything to do with it, then later admitted it had supplied the sign, but at the request of the ship's crew, celebrating the end of their 10-month mission. And Press Secretary Dana Perino says the Administration has certainly paid the price.

DANA PERINO: President Bush is well aware that the banner should have been much more specific and said, mission accomplished for these sailors who are on this ship on their mission.

PLANTE: As the war progressed and casualties mounted, the phrase became a symbol of all that had gone wrong.

DAVID MARK: "Mission Accomplished" stands for what seems like endless occupation, five years plus, after the initial invasion. It means ongoing war with no end in sight.

PLANTE: And no one around here ever uses the phrase. Instead, they say, as the president says, that we have to 'continue doing the job.' Russ.

MITCHELL: Bill Plante in Washington. Thank you.

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC