Should Maureen Dowd’s head roll, too? Well, maybe not, but she and the Times certainly owe readers a correction of her blatant distortion of President Bush’s words, which she twists to make it seem like the president didn’t anticipate further Al Qaeda attacks like Monday’s Saudi bombing.
What Bush said last week:
Al Qaeda is on the run. That group of terrorists who attacked our country is slowly, but surely being decimated. Right now, about half of all the top al Qaeda operatives are either jailed or dead. In either case, they’re not a problem anymore.
What Dowd wrote in today’s paper:
Busy chasing off Saddam, the president and vice president had told us that Al Qaeda was spent. “Al Qaeda is on the run,” President Bush said last week. “That group of terrorists who attacked our country is slowly but surely being decimated… They’re not a problem anymore.”
“It’s perfectly clear,” Andrew Sullivan correctly notes, “that the president is referring…only to those members of al Qaeda who are ‘either jailed or dead,’ not to the group as a whole” when he says “they’re not a problem anymore.” Sullivan calls Dowd’s quote-adjustment a “wilful fabrication.” He’s right.