A May 17 New York Post editorial touted a flawed poll on whether Democrats believe that President Bush had "advance knowledge" of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and misrepresented Sen. Russ Feingold's (D-WI) proposal to discontinue the use of funds after March 31, 2008, for "the deployment in Iraq of members of the United States Armed Forces." The editorial claimed that the four Democratic presidential candidates who supported Feingold's proposal -- Sens. Barack Obama (IL), Joe Biden (DE), Chris Dodd (CT) and Hillary Rodham Clinton (NY) -- do not "genuinely 'support the troops.' "
The editorial asserted:
Just how far gone the Democrats are on 9/11 can be seen in the results of a new Rasmussen Reports poll, which found that fully 35 percent of all Democrats believe President Bush had advance knowledge of the attacks - and another 26 percent say they're not sure.
But as Media Matters for America has noted, the Rasmussen Reports poll question -- "Did Bush know about the 9/11 attacks in advance?" -- was ambiguous. Respondents could have been merely saying that Bush received ample warning of possible attacks. Indeed, Bush received a briefing on August 6, 2001, titled "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US," which indicated that Osama bin Laden wanted to conduct terrorist attacks on U.S. cities, that members of his Al Qaeda terrorist network had lived in or traveled to the United States for years, that bin Laden had previously said he wanted to hijack a U.S. aircraft, and that "FBI information since that time indicate[d] patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings."
The editorial continued:
But it gets worse.
Yesterday, more than half of the Senate's Democrats supported an unsuccessful resolution that would automatically cut off all funding for combat operations in Iraq after March 31, 2008.
Voting in favor were at least four Democratic presidential candidates: Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Chris Dodd -- and Hillary Rodham Clinton, who until now has rejected congressional calls for any funding cutoffs.
So much for consistency - and any notion that the Democrats who want to be president genuinely "support the troops." Clearly the candidates are in thrall to the party's hard-left MoveOn.org crowd.
In fact, contrary to the editorial's assertion that Democrats who voted in favor of Feingold's proposal do not "genuinely 'support the troops,' " the proposal does not simply "cut off all funding for combat operations in Iraq"; it stops funding for further deployments after March 31, 2008, while continuing to provide funding for the security of U.S. troops. The legislation specifically states that the proposed prohibition of funds would not apply to purposes "to provide security for United States infrastructure and personnel," as well as for "targeted operations ... against members of al Qaeda and other international terrorist organizations." From Feingold's proposal:
(a) TRANSITION OF MISSION.--The President shall promptly transition the mission of United States forces in Iraq to the limited purposes set forth in subsection (d).
(b) COMMENCEMENT OF SAFE, PHASED REDEPLOYMENT FROM IRAQ.--The President shall commence the Iraq that are not essential to the limited purposes set forth in subsection (d). Such redeployment shall begin not later than 120 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.
(c) PROHIBITION ON USE OF FUNDS.--No funds appropriated or otherwise made available under any provision of law may be obligated or expended to continue the deployment in Iraq of members of the United States Armed Forces after March 31, 2008.
(d) EXCEPTION FOR LIMITED PURPOSES.--The prohibition under subsection (c) shall not apply to the obligation or expenditure of funds for the limited purposes as follows:
(1) To conduct targeted operations, limited in duration and scope, against members of al Qaeda and other international terrorist organizations.
(2) To provide security for United States infrastructure and personnel.
(3) To train and equip Iraqi security services.