January 3, 2010

(A Blast from the past from the incredible C&L archives)

Conservatives can do no wrong in the eyes of the media. Rep. Peter Hoekstra is taking fundraising to new lows by sending out fundraising letters off of the failed bombing attempt of Flight 253 to support his bid at being Governor. He's been very critical President Obama as soon as the plot hit the news.

Yet, in June of 2006, Peter Hoekstra went on FOX News with ex-Senator Rick Santorum and tried to promote pre-1991 type munitions as though they were the types of WMDs Bush and Cheney took us to war with Iraq over. It was so ludicrous that FOX' own reporter Jim Angle debunked their claims.

Colmes: Senator, the Iraq Survey Group, uhh, let me go to the Duelfer Report says Iraq did not have the weapons our intelligence believed were there. And Jim Angle who reported this for Fox News-quotes a defense official who says these were pre-1991 weapons that could not have been fired as designed because they already been degraded.

And the official went on to say that they are-these are not the WMDs this country and the rest of the world believed Iraq had-and not the WMD's for which this country went to war. So the chest beating that the Republicans are doing tonight thinking this is a justification is not confirmed by the defense department.

Media Matters had more:

During nearly every Fox News program from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET on June 21, Fox News hosts and guests touted the disclosure, announced by Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) and Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-MI), of the existence of hundreds of chemical munitions in Iraq, which Santorum and Hoekstra claimed proved the existence of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), the key argument in the Bush administration's case for invading Iraq. Santorum and Hoekstra made the claim at a press conference that Fox News covered live that evening, and throughout the evening, Fox News hosts highlighted these claims as "vindicat[ing]" -- in the words of Fox host Sean Hannity -- the Bush administration's prewar WMD claims. In fact, soon after the press conference, intelligence officials confirmed that the pre-1991 shells were not the WMDs that the Bush administration cited in its argument for war. Moreover, the Iraq Survey Group's September 2004 final report (also known as the Duelfer report) had already noted that "a small number of old, abandoned chemical munitions" were discovered after the invasion, as the weblog Think Progress noted.

At the press conference, Santorum and Hoekstra announced that a recently declassified intelligence-report summary showed that WMDs, specifically chemical weapons, were present in Iraq prior to the U.S.-led invasion in 2003. Santorum and Hoekstra said U.S. troops have recovered at least 500 of these chemical munitions. Santorum told reporters:

FOX News promoted these idiots even though they new their information was phony. The buffoonery with which these two members of Congress acted is unconscionable, but still Hoekstra is treated like a credible member of Congress by the press and was seen on the Sunday Talk Shows today as an expert.

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