John Carter still flogging the Pelosi plane lies

Posted in Around The Nation, Commentary, District 31 at 5:29 pm by dembones

Although it never ceases to annoy, liberals have become accustomed to lazy reporters repeating inaccuracies unquestioningly. A United States Congressman, however, who uses his taxpayer-funded website to repeat debunked claims; then refusing to publish a correction when presented with the facts, sparks outrage. Constituents in Texas’ 31st district should be unsurprised that the lying Congressman is none other than their own representative, John Carter.

Republicans have been attacking House speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) since a story first appeared in a right-wing Washington newspaper Feb. 1, accusing her of requesting a large military aircraft for trips to her home district.

Think Progress debunked the article four days later.

In fact, the central claims of the Washington Times piece are both false.

1) The House Sergeant at Arms, not Pelosi, initiated inquiries into the use of military aircraft. …

2) A larger plane was requested because Hastert’s plane required refueling to travel cross-country.

On Feb. 8, the House Sergeant at Arms released a statement, confirming that it was he (and not Pelosi) who made the request. Furthermore, the decision to use a larger plane was made by military officials who weighed the additional cost against the security threat of making a refueling stop en route.

The lies in Carter’s statement include falsely claiming that it was Pelosi who made the request, that the military version of the Boeing 757 (the C-32) was requested, and the utterly preposterous claim that Pelosi threatened legislative retribution if her request wasn’t met.

The New York Times reported yesterday that even the White House has sided with Pelosi:

The White House weighed in, as well. “This is a silly story,” its spokesman, Tony Snow, said.

Mr. Snow said that the Republican criticism was unfair and that the Bush administration essentially sided with Ms. Pelosi.

Even President Bush, according to his press secretary, won’t push the lies Carter is spreading. The NYT piece correctly attributes the source of the request:

In a statement released on Thursday, the House sergeant-at-arms, Wilson Livingood, said he had been behind the call for the long-distance airplane. “The fact that Speaker Pelosi lives in California compelled me to request an aircraft that is capable of making nonstop flights for security reasons,” Mr. Livingood said, adding he regretted that the security concerns had become a political issue.

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