Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
In an online report on wounded veterans, ABC News reported Wednesday that 68,000 American soldiers in Iraq have sustained injuries serious enough to keep them from returning to duty.
That, of course, is nearly five times the total number wounded in Iraq.
But when a Department of Veterans' Affairs spokesman called ABC to say the correct number of wounded unable to return to duty was fewer than 7,000, he was told that network policy prevented him from speaking to anyone involved with the story.
The distorted figure was still on the ABC website Thursday morning, but has since been quietly removed — without a correction.
Success Story… Or Is It?
Col. Thomas Spoehr, the Army's Director of Materiel, recently told The New York Times that the Pentagon is providing troops in Iraq with enhanced body armor that can stop special armor-piercing rounds — even though there's no evidence insurgents in Iraq are using such rounds. Spoehr said the new vests were being delivered to troops faster than ever before. So how did The Times report that story?
An August 14th article begins: "The Pentagon is struggling to replace body armor that is failing to protect American troops from the most lethal attacks of insurgents," adding "...tens of thousands of soldiers are still without the stronger protection because of a string of delays in the Pentagon's procurement system."
AP-parently Not Anti-War at First
The AP is reporting that anti-war protester Cindy Sheehan was moved to oppose the war in Iraq only after hearing reports of faulty pre-war intelligence following her meeting with President Bush last year.
But in fact, Sheehan told the website DemocracyNow.org that she and her family had been against the war from the beginning and that she'd offered to take her son Casey to Canada or "run over him with a car" to keep him out of Iraq.
The AP has reported that Casey joined the Army "never imagining he would see combat." But Casey Sheehan actually re-enlisted after the start of the Iraq war. His mother says he felt he had to go to Iraq to help protect friends in his unit.
Protesting the Troops
Anti-war demonstrators organized by a group backing Cindy Sheehan's Crawford vigil have taken their protests to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., home to hundreds of soldiers wounded in Iraq.
Code Pink and others have camped out across from the hospital's main entrance once a week since March chanting, "George Bush kills American soldiers" and lining up caskets to represent the dead in Iraq.
The demonstrators say their protests and signs with slogans like "Maimed for a lie" are less offensive than the war itself.
But recent patient Kevin Pannell tells Cybercast News that fellow patients can't help but notice the protesters antics, calling them "the most distasteful thing I had ever seen."
— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report