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EVOLUTION OF A QUOTE

US author Jeffrey Krames appeared four years ago on ABC radio to discuss Donald Rumsfeld:

On September 7th, 2001, the very influential Washington Post was starting even to name successors to the Defense Secretary, having already written him off, and of course then with the horrific events of September 11, came and proved Rumsfeld right on many ways. And on the morning of September 11th at 8am, Donald Rumsfeld was hosting a breakfast in the Pentagon in which he said, “Sometime within the next 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 months, something so horrendous is going to happen in the US that it will remind people why it’s important to have a strong and healthy Defense Department”. And it was something like 20 minutes later that a huge jet crashed into the Pentagon and of course the World Trade Center and also in Pennsylvania, and it was a chilling prediction of course, that he made that morning, which became of course true that very day.

Reader Gary S. recalls Phillip Adams mentioning that broadcast on Adams’ own ABC program. Subsequently, in late 2004 Adams wrote:

Before September 11, there was unrest in the Bush team. Take Donald Rumsfeld. The White House was energetically undermining him. The Washington Post was one of many papers receiving leaks and backgrounders from the White House, including names of the candidates most likely to replace him. Rumsfeld knew he was for the chop and told his confidantes that only a major terrorist attack could save him.

One year later Adams refined that paraphrased quote:

The word was out - via White House leaks - that Rumsfeld was for the chop. When poor Donald was forced to read the names of likely replacements, he said he’d need a Pearl Harbor to save him. Osama bin Laden obliged.

Last month Adams quoted Rumsfeld directly:

The appalling Donald Rumsfeld observed shortly before the attack on the twin towers that political survival “needed a Pearl Harbor” ...

Not according to any online records, he didn’t. Will Adams survive what seems to be another quote-doctoring scandal?

Posted by Tim B. on 04/30/2007 at 12:15 PM
  1. “Fake, but accurate” is popular on the Left.

    Posted by Forbes on 2007 04 30 at 12:23 PM • permalink

  2. George Tenet also seems to have been caught out making up a conversation.

    Posted by C.L. on 2007 04 30 at 12:30 PM • permalink

  3. Fortunately for Fat Phil (alliteration OFF), it seems that no amount of journalistic sleight of hand is ever going to endanger his celulite-crinkled bacon. Is he aware of the fact that the only useful purpose of his columns is to serve as a whetstone for the long knives of RWDB’s? Do any leftists take him seriously?

    Posted by paco on 2007 04 30 at 12:33 PM • permalink

  4. Mark my words. The “We need a Pearl Harbor” quote will take its place beside Hitler’s “We need law and order” in the list of they-never-said-it quotes, to be trotted out as absolute proof as the need arises.

    Posted by ErnieG on 2007 04 30 at 01:33 PM • permalink

  5. I eagerly await the thundering denouciation from ....uh, his employers?  Um…Media Watch?!  Er…  let me get back to you later, eh?

    Posted by Major John on 2007 04 30 at 01:46 PM • permalink

  6. From NYT’s Paul Krugmann

    Rumsfeld knew he was for the chop and told his confidantes that only a major terrorist attack could save him. “Do we have anyone on the take in Afghanistan who could blow up a building or two to save my job?”, said Rumsfeld to his close ally, Karl Rove.

    Posted by blogagog on 2007 04 30 at 01:58 PM • permalink

  7. Next thing you know, he’ll be quoting Jefferson on dissent and patriotism.

    Posted by Kyda Sylvester on 2007 04 30 at 02:15 PM • permalink

  8. Will Adams survive what seems to be another quote-doctoring scandal?

    Of course he will! Being a Leftist means never having to be accountable for… oh, wait! You were being sarcastic, weren’t you?

    #6 blogagog

    Krugmann’s a MIHOP, is he? It doesn’t surprise me at all that he’d make up something that slanderous.

    Posted by Spiny Norman on 2007 04 30 at 03:53 PM • permalink

  9. Tell a lie often enough…

    Posted by RebeccaH on 2007 04 30 at 05:04 PM • permalink

  10. I have a family like that, one week’s behind-the-back speculation is the next week’s probability, and thus the following week’s given.

    Posted by Olrence on 2007 04 30 at 09:47 PM • permalink

  11. Before Adams faces any scrutiny, surely the appalling Rumsfeld must first explain why he said, “As soon as I learn to fly a zero I will commence bombing Honolulu. Tora! Tora! Tora! Death to Amerikkka!”

    Posted by Margos Maid on 2007 04 30 at 10:06 PM • permalink

  12. Evolution of a Phil:

    PHIL
    PAIL
    WAIL
    WAIT
    WANT
    CANT
    CUNT

    Posted by anthony_r on 2007 05 01 at 12:08 AM • permalink

  13. Adam’s lack of integrity is so well documented that any organization producing his works should be sued out of existance.

    Posted by Grimmy on 2007 05 01 at 12:22 AM • permalink

  14. Give Adams enough time and the quote will change to, “I need someone, preferably Muhammad Atta, to fly a plane into the World Trade Center to save my job!”

    Posted by the wolf on 2007 05 01 at 08:55 AM • permalink

  15. Phil Adams: Evolution of a <strike>quote</strike> scrote

    Posted by egg_ on 2007 05 01 at 10:37 AM • permalink

  16. Give Adams enough time and the quote will change to, “I need someone, preferably Muhammad Atta, to fly a plane into the World Trade Center to save my job!”


    Or better yet, “Karl, Dick, Donald, one of you guys has Muhammad Atta on your speed dial, don’t you? Let’s give him a jingle and see if he’s good to go for the you-know-what.”

    /truther mode off

    Posted by ErnieG on 2007 05 01 at 03:28 PM • permalink

  17. If an Adams falls in a forest, and noone hears it, does anyone care? And can you use it’s broken arse later as a habitat for birds and small mammals?

    Posted by CB on 2007 05 01 at 03:50 PM • permalink

  18. All of those are quotes of the essence of what they heard Rumsfeld mean to say.  They are helping. 

    Rote lessons, like the Big Lie, must be constantly reinforced or the words of the script will just drift off into the ether, like the rest of what passes for their collective mind.

    Posted by saltydog on 2007 05 02 at 05:26 AM • permalink

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