In reporting on Sen. Jim Webb's proposal to require that active-duty troops spend at least the same amount of time at home as the length of their previous tour of duty overseas, CNN's Dana Bash stated, "Defense Secretary Robert Gates warns it would actually make him extend tours in Iraq, break up military units, and reduce combat effectiveness." But Bash made no mention of military leaders who have stated that insufficient time at home also reduces overall combat readiness.
The September 19 editions of ABC's World News and NBC's Nightly News both reported on Senate Republicans' blocking of a Democratic amendment stipulating that U.S. troops could be redeployed only after receiving home leave equal in duration to their most recent combat deployment, but that evening's edition of the CBS Evening News did not.
In reports on a new Rudy Giuliani campaign ad criticizing Sen. Hillary Clinton's position on the Iraq war, several media outlets highlighted a quote from the ad in which the narrator says: "[J]ust when our troops need all our support to finish the job, Hillary Clinton is turning her back on them." But none of these reports mentioned Giuliani's claim in October 2004, that U.S. troops, and not President Bush, were responsible for the missing explosives at the Al Qaqaa weapons depot.
CNN's John King reported that in his Iraq speech, President Bush would "say we can begin to bring troops home because of successes in Iraq." King earlier asserted that "critics say ... that the president is only doing this because he has to do it," since "the Pentagon doesn't have the troops to sustain the surge." In fact, it is not only "critics" who say this, but top officials at the Pentagon, including Gen. David Petraeus.
On Meet the Press, NBC News' Richard Engel asserted that "if you pull back the troops, the troops themselves are going to be furious. They have done so much and worked so hard ... that if you start pulling them back ... they're going to be livid." However, neither host Tim Russert nor other guests mentioned recent reports indicating that some members of the military would not be opposed to drawing down troop levels in Iraq.
On Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough stated that "you always have the [Veterans of Foreign Wars], and you always have military groups, giving Republicans standing ovations and being very cool to people like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton." However, several news outlets have reported that both Obama and Clinton received "standing ovations" at the VFW convention.
MSNBC's Tucker Carlson questioned the decision by members of the U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Division to write an op-ed, which asserted that "[t]he claim that we are increasingly in control of the battlefields in Iraq is an assessment arrived at through a flawed, American-centered framework." Carlson did not mention that the op-ed was a response to assessments made in a previous op-ed by Michael O'Hanlon and Kenneth Pollack; and when he interviewed Pollack, he did not challenge Pollack's opinions on whether progress is being made in Iraq.
During an ABC News report on Sen. Barack Obama, David Wright clipped a recent statement by Obama in order to assert that he "seemed to criticize the performance of U.S. troops" there. But Wright left out the rest of Obama's sentence, which makes clear that Obama was criticizing the troop shortage in Afghanistan, rather than the troops' conduct.
On Hannity & Colmes, during a segment highlighting Barack Obama's August 13 remark that "[w]e've got to get the job done there [in Afghanistan] and that requires us to have enough troops so that we're not just air-raiding villages and killing civilians," an on-screen graphic read: "Obama criticizes U.S. troops for 'air-raiding villages and killing civilians.' " During the show, co-host Sean Hannity asserted that Obama was "slamming the troops," and later suggested that Obama had "attack[ed] our troops as murderers." In fact, Obama expressed support for increasing the number of troops in Afghanistan so the U.S. military is not so reliant on airstrikes in the region.
Melanie Morgan called VoteVets.org chairman Jon Soltz "a hypocrite and a liar" for criticizing Army Sgt. David Aguina's appearance in uniform at a YearlyKos convention panel but using a picture of himself in uniform on the VoteVets.org website and engaging in political activism while serving in the Army Reserve, which Morgan called "a violation of the U.S. Military's Uniform Code of Military Justice." In fact, military law does not prohibit reservists from engaging in political activity, and it does not address the use of a photo of oneself in uniform for political purposes.