Thursday, September 6, 2007

Misrepresention 201: Garrett & The Iraq Letter

Over the last few months, those who have been paying attention have seen the level of misrepresentation of the truth by Representative Scott Garrett rise exponentially.

In some cases, it's bald faced lies like Garrett claiming he introduced an amendment to stop the FAA from implementing the airspace redesign they announced as official today; or using fear-mongering lies to oppose the State Children's Health Insurance Program.

Other times it has been more subtle, sin of omission type stuff. Garrett's No Child Left Behind communications are an example, using people's justified dislike of certain parts of NCLB to attempt to defund the entire Department of Education; or Garrett using the tragedy of the Minneapolis bridge collapse to re-introduce his bill to defund the Department of Transportation when we face a multi-billion dollar national infrastructure crisis.

In all of these cases, Garrett has received either favorable headlines or placement of his untruthful op-eds. However, nothing compares to the grand-daddy of them all: the Iraq letter.

I've gone back and forth about this last one today, simply because I didn't know what the letter said. However, now that I've read the text, it's clear that Garrett is either backtracking from his support of the change advocated in the text or was being disingenuous when he signed it. Here's the letter:
Dear Speaker Pelosi and Minority Leader Boehner:

We ask that you, our leaders, work together to put an end to the political in-fighting over the war in Iraq and allow the House to unite behind a bipartisan strategy to stabilize the country and bring our troops home.

Since 2003, over 3,700 American military personnel have been killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom and more than 25,000 have been injured. We have also spent over $400 billion in the course of this conflict. It is clear that the American people want a straightforward plan regarding our involvement and long-term interests in the region.

Next week, General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker will submit a very important report to Congress regarding efforts to quell violence and reach political compromise in Iraq. While we are hopeful that their report will show progress, we should not wait any longer to come together in support of a responsible post-surge strategy to safely bring our troops home from Iraq.

It is absolutely crucial that we stabilize Iraq and transition the combat mission to the Iraqis. Any future legislative proposals considered in the House must reflect a bipartisan approach to this conflict. We ask that you join us in committing to a truly bipartisan dialogue on this issue immediately.

Certainly sounds like Garrett wants to work with the other side to bring an end to this thing, I even commented on the positives earlier. However, Garrett firmly said that wasn't the case, stating simply his signature reflected his belief the politics need to be taken out of the process. A noble thought I agree with, but the language of the letter has been picked up to mean a withdrawal and anyone reading it would come to that conclusion.
we should not wait any longer to come together in support of a responsible post-surge strategy to safely bring our troops home from Iraq.

That is the line that has gotten the attention and generated the headlines, radio talk show chatter, and blogposts like mine. It's likely that is also the line that caused senior Republican leadership to come together today and say withdrawals should be off the table.

It's also likely that's the line Garrett will use to convince the District next year that he wanted change but the votes weren't there, similar to fighting the FAA plan. The question then becomes whether or not voters take the next step and ask themselves how well Garrett is representing them if he can't get anything done.

Or maybe between now and then voters will realize just how dishonest and/or disingenuous Garrett is being with them. However, if the main stream media doesn't pay attention and at least call Garrett out on the blatant lies, it will never happen.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
rmfretz said...

I did delete the last comment. Anyone who really wants to read it can e-mail me for it.

JohnSunlight said...

My name is John and I work on the Congresspedia.org wiki - a non-partisan wiki reporting project on Congress. I saw that you have been covering New Jersey politics and stories on members of Congress from New Jersey (among other things) and we'd like to put you on our blogroll for that state. Can you email me at SunlightUser2 [at] Sunlightfoundation.com?

Thanks,
John