Palin’s Big Blunder

If you were watching the debate last night, you may have come away with the impression that Palin didn’t make any major blunders.  But if you think Palin didn’t cough up the rock in a big way, you’d be wrong.

John Aravosis counted no less than eighteen lies coming from Sarah Palin, an impressive number considering the woman was working off of a script.  But the one that I really wanted to focus on has to deal with the commander of the US presence in Afghanistan.  Roll the clip:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J5eBg5oHBUw

Now, this is a twofer, and I disagree with Josh Marshall that getting the name of the commander wrong is the lesser of two transgressions.  In the clip above, twice Palin refers to the commander in question as General McClellan, in truth, the name of our commander in Afghanistan is General David McKiernan.  The reason why I make a big deal of this is that once again it shows that Palin is winging it, that she doesn’t have a working knowledge of the major pieces of the National Security apparatus in place.

Granted, people will get names mixed up, but the thing is that if she actually knew what was going on as opposed to having this stuff crammed in her head, she would have been less likely to get the name wrong, and more likely to correct herself if she did get the name wrong.  That she said McClellan a second time without even stuttering indicates that it was nothing more than a name and a talking point that she simply memorized wrong.

Still, some may not agree with me that this is that big of a deal, and on that point I suppose we’ll just have to agree to disagree.  But the other problem with this point in the debate is that it’s also an outright lie.  Here Palin claims that General McKiernan said nothing to the effect that “surge” principals wouldn’t work in Afghanistan.  Now, here’s what’s actually on the record:

During a news conference yesterday, McKiernan described Afghanistan as “a far more complex environment than I ever found in Iraq.” The country’s mountainous terrain and rural population, its poverty and illiteracy, its 400 major tribal networks and history of civil war all make for unique challenges, he said.

The word I don’t use for Afghanistan is ‘surge,’ ” McKiernan emphasized, saying that what is required instead is a “sustained commitment” to a counterinsurgency effort that could last many more years and would ultimately require a political, not military, solution.

(bold added for emphasis)

 

Of course, Palin would know this if The San Diego Union Tribune was one of “any” or “all” of the papers that she’s read over the years.  But I guess this one just wasn’t put in front of her.

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