On Saturday, a NewsBusters headline asked the following question: “JFK Terror Plot: How Soon Before Media Blame Bush For Timing of Arrests?”
Well, Sunday morning, ABCNews.com actually went one better by using a statement made by John Murtha (D-Pennsylvania) on “This Week” as the headline for the video of George Stephanopoulos’ interview with the Congressman: “Murtha Ties Foiled JFK Plot to U.S. in Iraq.”
In reality, Murtha was brought on to counter the “things are getting better” in Iraq after the surge viewpoint expressed by the previous guest, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani (video available here).
Yet, about one minute into Stephanopoulos’ interview with Murtha, the Congressman said (video available here):
You heard earlier where he said this incident in the United States is being driven by al Qaeda, is being inspired by al Qaeda. This is the kind of thing that is happening because of our troops in Iraq.
Amazing. So, the planned attack on New York’s JFK airport is all because America is in Iraq. And, that’s how ABCNews.com chose to advertise this ten-minute video at its website, even though the bulk of the segment was a discussion specifically about what’s going on in Iraq, and what the Democrat plans are to get troops out.
Moving forward, Stephanopoulos did ask Murtha to elaborate on his absurd remark:
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, HOST: I want to get back to my first question, but let me pick up on something you said just there. You believe that these homegrown terrorist plots are being inspired by the U.S. work in Iraq right now?
JOHN MURTHA, CONGRESSMAN: Absolutely. George, they were inspired by them all over the world. Our presence in Iraq, our occupation in Iraq, gives these people the inspiration. Now, we didn’t have this problem before, they came from Afghanistan. But, now we even have it in the United States. So, I’m absolutely convinced that this is the kind of thing that inspires these people.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But we did have 9/11 before we went into Iraq.
MURTHA: Yeah, we had 9/11, but that came from Afghanistan. There was no, there was no al Qaeda in Iraq. We don’t even know how many al Qaeda are in Iraq right now. For instance, we think a couple of thousand. They’ll take care of al Qaeda. They’ll get rid of al Qaeda. Our presence is inspiring them to recruit people all over the world. This is the problem we have.
Sadly, Stephanopoulos didn’t challenge Murtha about al Qaeda having a training facility in Northern Iraq before the March 2003 invasion. Nor did he ask the Congressman about 9/11 attackers hailing from Saudi Arabia. And, there was no mention of the 2000 attack on the U.S.S. Cole, or the attacks on the U.S. embassies in Africa in 1998, or the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia in 1996, or the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993.
No, George didn’t challenge Murtha at all on any of these past events. Instead, he moved on to what the Democrats were going to do to get troops out of Iraq, and the powers that be used Murtha’s statement about the JFK plot being tied to Iraq as a video headline at the news division’s website.