portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reposts united states

government | imperialism & war

Jim McDermott Questions Timing of Capture of Saddam Hussein

Another "Plastic Turkey/Jessica Lynch" style moment perhaps?
Wash. Congressman Questions Saddam Timing

By MATTHEW DALY
Associated Press Writer

December 16, 2003, 9:16 AM EST

WASHINGTON -- The Washington congressman who criticized President Bush while visiting Baghdad last year has questioned the timing of the capture of deposed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash., told a Seattle radio station Monday the U.S. military could have found Saddam "a long time ago if they wanted." Asked if he thought the weekend capture was timed to help Bush, McDermott chuckled and said: "Yeah. Oh, yeah."

The Democratic congressman went on to say, "There's too much by happenstance for it to be just a coincidental thing."

When interviewer Dave Ross asked again if he meant to imply the Bush administration timed the capture for political reasons, McDermott said: "I don't know that it was definitely planned on this weekend, but I know they've been in contact with people all along who knew basically where he was. It was just a matter of time till they'd find him.

"It's funny," McDermott added, "when they're having all this trouble, suddenly they have to roll out something."

State Republicans immediately condemned McDermott's remarks, saying the Seattle Democrat again was engaging in "crazy talk" about the Iraq war.

"Once again McDermott has embarrassed this state with his irresponsible ranting," GOP state Chairman Chris Vance said in a news release. "Calling on him to apologize is useless, but I call on other Democrats to let the public know if they agree with McDermott -- and Howard Dean, who recently said he thought it was possible that President Bush had advance knowledge about 9/11. The voters deserve to know if the entire Democratic Party believes in these sorts of bitter, paranoid conspiracy theories."

Last year, Vance and other Republicans labeled McDermott "Baghdad Jim" for comments he made during a trip to Baghdad that President Bush "would mislead the American people" but that Saddam could be trusted.

On Monday, Democrats joined the criticism of McDermott.

"With all due respect to my colleague, that is a fantasy," Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Wash., said of McDermott's comments. "That just is not right. ... It's one thing to criticize this administration for having done this war. I mean, that's a fair question. But to criticize them on the capture of Saddam, when it's such a big thing to our troops, is just ridiculous."

McDermott, in a telephone interview with The Associated Press, called the timing of Saddam's capture suspicious but said he was not alleging it had been intentionally delayed.

"Everything was going wrong, and they got a real Christmas gift, if you will, in that the troops did a magnificent job and found" Saddam, he said.

homepage: homepage: http://www.newsday.com/news/politics/wire/sns-ap-saddam-mcdermott,0,2235697,print.story?coll=sns-ap-politics-headlines

Didn't he also show the Deception Dolllar in Congress? 16.Dec.2003 14:33

Fred

Or was that someone else?

He's excellent! Both Dems and Rethugs are after him! Maybe he'd join the Greens.

mcdermott rocks 16.Dec.2003 15:18

I like 'im

he was probably the first and probably the last congressman to brandish the Hermann Goering quote, when he was making reference to the Bush admin's "Fear Factory"

 http://www.wheresgeorge.com/pf_politic/messages/1060885837_15254.html

"Our leaders have worked hard to keep the anxiety level up so that the public will forget about Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda (who were they again?). Instead, in Iraq, we focused on an impaired dictator of a country with a deteriorated infrastructure and a destroyed economy.

This kind of tactic was described by Hermann Goering, who said at the Nuremberg trials, "The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

Go, Jim!