Politico contradicted its own report that McCain resolution will "criticiz[e]" Iraq troop escalation

››› ››› SIMON MALOY

A January 31 Politico article by Capitol bureau chief John Bresnahan claimed that Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) is drafting a resolution on President Bush's plan to increase the number of troops in Iraq "that, while criticizing the surge, would offer support for the president and the U.S. military campaign in Iraq." This report, however, has been contradicted by several other news reports, including a February 1 Politico article containing Bresnahan's byline that noted McCain and Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-SC) "have drafted a resolution that supports the president's plan to deploy 21,500 more troops in Iraq."

According to the January 31 Politico article:

The Senate is preparing to debate a handful of non-binding resolutions on the Bush surge plan, and senior Republicans are still trying to develop a party strategy for the floor fight. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has approved a resolution drafted by Sens. Joseph R. Biden Jr., D-Del., Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., and Carl Levin, D-Mich., that criticizes Bush's policy.

But a number of Republican senators -- including John McCain of Arizona, John Warner of Virginia and Judd Gregg of New Hampshire -- are drafting their own proposals that, while criticizing the surge, would offer support for the president and the U.S. military campaign in Iraq.

However, a press release on Graham's website criticized Warner's and Biden's initial proposals for declaring the troop increase, in Graham's words, "a failure before it has a chance to be implemented." Further, a February 1 Politico article written by Bresnahan and congressional reporter Daniel W. Reilly reported, "McCain of Arizona and Graham of South Carolina, one of his closest political allies, have drafted a resolution that supports the president's plan to deploy 21,500 more troops in Iraq, while at the same time laying out a number of 'benchmarks' to measure the progress the Iraqi government is making in achieving political stability and cracking down on sectarian violence." Politico has not issued a correction of its January 31 report. A January 31 Associated Press article previewing each of the Iraq war resolutions to be proffered reported that McCain's nonbinding resolution will "express support for the added troops, but outline benchmarks the Iraqi government should meet." A January 31 New York Times article noted that McCain and Graham are part of an effort "aimed at blocking two nonbinding resolutions directly critical of the White House that had appeared to be gaining broad support among Democrats and even some Republicans," and that they "are trying to enlist support for a resolution that would set benchmarks for the Iraqi government and describe the troop increase as a final chance for the United States to restore security in Baghdad."

A search of the Congressional Record online shows that neither McCain nor Graham has formally introduced a proposed resolution on the troop increase, and information about their proposed resolution does not appear on either of their Senate websites. As Media Matters for America has noted, McCain has been a strong proponent of a troop increase, although he has not been clear on whether he believes an increase of 21,500 is enough.

Posted In
National Security & Foreign Policy, War in Iraq
Network/Outlet
The Politico
Person
John Bresnahan
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