“Go after Osama bin Laden”—I knew that that would be the first thing the Democrats said after we got Saddam Hussein. They said, “Oh, well, that’s good we got Saddam Hussein, but you haven’t gotten Osama bin Laden.” What we have gotten is we’ve destroyed his network [italics Chatterbox’s]. The president took the war to them in Afghanistan. We can do both and we did both. We’ve upset the al-Qaida networks to the point that they can’t do anything right now [italics Chatterbox’s]. …
— Tom DeLay on NBC’s Meet the Press, Dec. 21, 2003
Today, the United States government raised the national threat level from an Elevated to High risk of terrorist attack—or from Code Yellow to Code Orange. … The U.S. Intelligence Community has received a substantial increase in the volume of threats related intelligence reports. These credible sources suggest the possibility of attacks against the homeland[italics Chatterbox’s] around the holiday season and beyond.
—Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, same dayU.S. government officials said yesterday they believe some of the passengers boarding one of the three Air France flights from Paris to Los Angeles that were canceled this week because of security concerns might have intended to hijack it and crash-land in Las Vegas or another city along its flight path. …U.S. government officials said they believe they might have averted a terrorist attack by arranging for the flights’ cancellation. Officials said they feared that al Qaeda operatives planned to hijack one of the flights and use the plane as a missile to attack a site on or near its route. Moreover, U.S. officials said intelligence indicators suggest that al Qaeda might have set other terrorist operations in motion that do not involve aviation and are not centered in California.
—John Mintz and John Burgess, “ Suspicious Passengers Questioned in France,” Washington Post, Dec. 26, 2003
Discussion. Some might argue that the only definitive refutation of DeLay’s comment would be a terrorist attack successfully completed by al-Qaida. But Chatterbox chooses not to wait for that, on the grounds that he might not be around to record it.
Got a whopper? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. To be considered, an entry must be an unambiguously false statement paired with an unambiguous refutation, and both must be derived from some appropriately reliable public source. Preference will be given to newspapers and other documents that Chatterbox can link to online.
Dec. 13, 2003: Howard Dean
Dec. 3, 2003: Joseph Wilson
Oct. 31, 2003: G.W. Bush
Oct. 17, 2003: Grady Little
Sept. 16, 2003: John Ashcroft
Sept. 5, 2003: Christy Whitman
Aug. 29, 2003: Donald Rumsfeld
Aug. 22, 2003: Arianna Huffington
Aug. 8, 2003: Howard Dean
July 25, 2003: Condoleezza Rice
July 18, 2003: President Bush
July 10, 2003: Donald Rumsfeld
June 27, 2003: Remembering Strom
June 20, 2003: Billy Bulger
May 30, 2003: Ari Fleischer
May 23, 2003: Donald Rumsfeld
May 19, 2003: Un-Whopper: Ari Fleischer Tells Truth!
May 2, 2003: Peggy Cooper Cafritz
April 17, 2003: Eason Jordan
March 7, 2003: John Kerry
Feb. 28, 2003: Ari Fleischer
Feb. 14, 2003: Bill O’Reilly
Feb. 7, 2003: Saddam Hussein
Jan. 31, 2003: Karl Rove
Jan. 23, 2003: Bill Frist
Jan. 17, 2003: Naji Sabri
Jan. 10, 2003: Rod Paige