Monday, December 15, 2008

Bush Rewrites History: ‘I Never Said The Taliban Was Eliminated’

Early this morning, during a press conference in Kabul with Afghan President Karzai, President Bush attempted to paper over his previous declarations of victory over the now-resurgent Taliban. Bush claimed emphatically, “I never said the Taliban was eliminated.” In fact, Bush used the word “eliminated” to describe the state of the Taliban on several occasions:

September 2002: “The Taliban’s ability to brutalize the Afghan people and to harbor and support terrorists has been virtually eliminated.”

"April 2002:With the Taliban eliminated and al-Qaida badly damaged, we have moved into the second stage of our war on terror.”

At other times, Bush prematurely declared victory using similar language:

September 2004: “And as a result of the United States military, Taliban no longer is in existence. And the people of Afghanistan are now free.”

December 2004: “In Afghanistan, America and our allies, with a historically small force and a brilliant strategy, defeated the Taliban in just a few short weeks.”

October 2005: “Over the years these extremists have used a litany of excuses for violence — the Israeli presence on the West Bank, or the U.S. military presence in Saudi Arabia, or the defeat of the Taliban, or the Crusades of a thousand years ago.”

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