MoveOn.org's Eli Pariser, in an appearance on MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews (DailyKos editor Markos Moulitsas was also a guest), defends his organization's publication of the "Petraeus Betray Us" advertisement in the New York Times Monday (pdf) which sparked a firestorm of reaction from the right.
Republicans were up in arms over the ad, in their usual animated high-drama hijinks, calling on the Democratic leadership to denounce the ad. In a true and telling demonstration of the Republican willingness to strip away our freedoms in this country, Republicans in Congress -- led by the high-drama queen Boehner the Blubberer -- actually introduced legislation which addressed the MoveOn ad.
The Hill notes "House Republican leaders introduced a resolution Monday condemning" the full-page newspaper ad. The resolution, "authored by Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), is cosponsored by 11 Republicans, including Reps. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), the ranking member of the Armed Services Committee, and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), the ranking member of the Foreign Affairs panel."
"Condemning" free speech in America that is critical of the administration? Isn't that telling?
Isn't that one of the freedoms we're fighting to protect? When the political party that is running the Executive branch loses sight of that fact, it's obviously time for a change.
UPDATE: You'll note that several times in the Hardball clip above Chris Matthews attributes the word "traitor" to MoveOn.org's characterization of General Petraeus.
This is just another Republican lie. The fact is the word traitor does not appear anywhere in the ad, or in the organization's website material supporting the ad. The Huffington Post's Jeffrey Feldman explains:
Pay attention, America: this is how the right-wing uses the media to manipulate the truth and silence dissent against the Iraq war.
Even before MoveOn.org's ran its controversial ad about General Petraeus in the New York Times, The Weekly Standard published an article by Peter Hegseth, Executive Director of the organization Vets for Freedom. The headline of the article accused the MoveOn.org ad of calling Petreaus a 'traitor' ("MoveOn.org Calls Petraeus a Traitor"). The only problem: the word 'traitor' appears nowhere in the MoveOn.org ad nor anywhere on the MoveOn.org page about the ad. It is Hegseth's article that introduced the word 'traitor' into the story -- an outright lie intended to silence dissent against the war. Less than 24 hours after the Hegseth piece ran and the MoveOn.org ad appeared, the mainstream media picked up the Weekly Standard's lie and repeated it until it became the story.
The word 'betray' used by MoveOn in the ad implies many meanings, but does not directly imply 'traitor' -- unless that definition is introduced.
Voila! Another effort by U.S. citizens to question Bush's policy in Iraq has been silenced by right-wing, coordinated accusations that critics of the war seek to harm the country, this time by slandering the U.S. military.
The traitor lie was picked up and spread around the web by the usual liars, including Wizbang's own Lorie Byrd:
So, MoveOn.org, in effect, calls a highly respected general who was confirmed 81-0 by the U.S. Senate a traitor, but we can't question their patriotism?
I question Byrd's patriotism, and the patriotism of the rest of the Republicans who lie and smear to achieve their political goals of silencing administration critics and stripping away our freedoms further.
No matter where you stand on the war, that freedom to express criticism is something we should all be fighting to protect, and having to fight our fellow Americans to protect it is a disgrace.
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