Anne Kornblut of the WaPo was torn between duty and honor - report the truth, or smear Palin. Somewhat comically, she chose both [after the first pass came back from rewrite - see Ace or Bill Kristol]:
Palin Links Iraq to Sept. 11 In Talk to Troops in Alaska
By Anne E. Kornblut
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, September 12, 2008; A01
FORT WAINWRIGHT, Alaska, Sept. 11 -- Gov. Sarah Palin linked the war in Iraq with the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, telling an Iraq-bound brigade of soldiers that included her son that they would "defend the innocent from the enemies who planned and carried out and rejoiced in the death of thousands of Americans."
OMG! Everyone knows Saddam had nothing to do with 9/11 and suggesting he did causes libs to clutch their hearts! OTOH, Al Qaeda has made Iraq one of their central fronts since the 2003 US invasion. Here goes Anne:
The idea that the Iraqi government under Saddam Hussein helped al-Qaeda plan the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, a view once promoted by Bush administration officials, has since been rejected even by the president himself. But it is widely agreed that militants allied with al-Qaeda have taken root in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion.
In other words, it is widely agreed that these newly-deployed soldiers will have a chance to take a bite out of the people who killed thousands of Americans, just as the governor said. Hey, Anne, where's the lead? [Bill Kristol fires away at the initial version, which omits the obvious fact that yes, there are Al Qaeda in Iraq today.]
Palin continued to take a hard line on national security issues when asked whether war with Russia could be necessary if Georgia were to join NATO and Russia crossed its borders again. Palin replied, "Perhaps so."
"I mean, that is the agreement when you are a NATO ally, is if another country is attacked, you're going to be expected to be called upon and help," she said.
This completely omits Palin's emphasis of non-military alternatives to war, all permissible under the NATO treaty:
It doesn't have to lead to war and it doesn't have to lead, as I said, to a Cold War, but economic sanctions, diplomatic pressure, again, counting on our allies to help us do that in this mission of keeping our eye on Russia and Putin and some of his desire to control and to control much more than smaller democratic countries.
This also lacks context, since Obama also favors expanding NATO to include Georgia.
They lacked commitment on the absurd Saddam-9/11 link but it's Mission Accomplished on the war with Russia.
THIS IS HOW ITS DONE: Anne K should take a lesson from Jim Rutenberg of the Times, who tucked this in paragraphs six and seven:
At a separate event on Thursday, a deployment ceremony for her son Track and thousands of other soldiers heading to Iraq from Fort Wainwright, Alaska, Ms. Palin told them they would be fighting “the enemies who planned and carried out and rejoiced in the death of thousands of Americans.”
The comments sounded reminiscent of the disputed connections the Bush administration once made, but no longer does, between Iraq and the Sept. 11 attacks. But a senior McCain campaign aide said Ms. Palin did not believe Saddam Hussein played a role in the attacks.
Well, I hope the campaign aide also pointed out that Al Qaeda is currently in Iraq (in diminishing numbers, thanks to US troops).
And since there is no real story there, other than in a desperate lib attack fantasy, the Times buried the war with Russia near the end:
Ms. Palin was particularly forceful in discussing Russia, saying its incursion into Georgia earlier this summer was “unprovoked,” a description that some foreign policy analysts have argued with. But, pronouncing the name of the Georgian president, Mikheil Saakashvili, with perfect pitch, she avoided a question that has bedeviled experts on Eastern European affairs: what the United States can or should do to “restore Georgian sovereignty” over its separatist regions.
“We’ve got to keep an eye on Russia,” she said, then repeated the phrase.
She expressed full support for the induction of Georgia and Ukraine into the NATO alliance, which has prompted strong Russian protest. The position is shared by Mr. McCain, Mr. Obama and Mr. Obama’s running mate, Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr.
Ms. Palin acknowledged that such membership could require the United States to join militarily in defense of Georgia if Russia was to move against it again.
"Acknowledged" is good, since it was Gibson doing the warmongering.
LET'S GO TO THE VIDEOTAPE: Palin-Gibson interview here.