Washington Post's King Raises Impeachment, Totenberg 'Not Proud of This President'

In a discussion on Inside Washington about the situation in Iraq and Bob Woodward's book, Colby King, Deputy Editor of the Washington Post's editorial page and a weekly columnist, made clear his disgust with President Bush -- to the point of rejecting Bush as Commander-in-Chief and arguing Bush is more deserving of impeachment than was President Clinton. “If we had a draft today and my sons had to go in the service under this Commander-in-Chief and his military advisors, I'd be hard-pressed,” King revealed, “to say serve under them." Citing how too many are being killed in Iraq “because of dumb decisions made by these people in the Pentagon,” an exasperated King recalled how “they impeached the President...for having some relationship with an intern. What about the people who got us into this mess?"

A bit later in the program aired Friday night on Washington, DC's PBS station, NPR reporter Nina Totenberg predicted: “When the history books are written, we will not be proud of this country or this President.”

I caught the comments on the airing of Inside Washington on WETA-TV channel 26, Washington, DC’s PBS affiliate. The program is taped at ABC’s Washington, DC affiliate, WJLA-TV, channel 7 (actually in Arlington, Virginia), where it airs Sunday morning at 10am after This Week. It also runs Saturday nights at 7pm on NewsChannel 8, the local all-news cable channel owned by the ABC affiliate.

The MRC’s Brad Wilmouth took down the remarks:

Colby King:
"Why are we having U.S. troops trying to stop fighting between the Sunnis and the Shiites? Why are we in the middle of an insurgency? That's not what U.S. forces should be doing. You look at how we got in there, you look at how we are performing there, I must say, Gordon, I had two sons, I served in the military, I had two sons who had to register for Selective Service, they asked me about it, I said, I told them what I did and encouraged them to do it. If we had a draft today and my sons had to go in the service under this Commander-in-Chief and his military advisors, I'd be hard-pressed, Gordon, to say serve under them....”

"But we're reading in that book things that Rumsfeld did that are just unforgivable, dressing down, in the early stages, dressing down a four-star general in the presence of subordinates in the most demeaning way. You can understand why, in the higher reaches of the Pentagon in the uniformed services, why there's such disdain for this man, and then to turn out that he was wrong in some of the decisions he's made, and you have to, Gordon, in talking about what they did or what they failed to do, you have to go back to the pages we've been running from time to time on the faces of the fallen and look at those young people who've been killed in Iraq, some of us 18 years old, 19 years old, flower of their youth, killed because of dumb decisions made by these people in the Pentagon. They impeached the President, Gordon, for having some relationship with an intern. What about the people who got us into this mess?"

Host Gordon Peterson, an anchor on DC's ABC affiliate: "Well, lying about it, actually."

Later, Peterson, reading from Woodward's book, State of Denial, related how on the Truman balcony on September 13, 2001, Bush supposedly said to Saudi Arabia's Prince Bandar:
"If we get somebody and we can't get somebody to cooperate, we'll hand him over to you."

King sputtered: "The renditions. The renditions started there. It starts with the President of the United States...”

Nina Totenberg interjected: "When the history books are written, we will not be proud of this country or this President."
Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center