11.16.2007 | GOP Congressmen demand withdrawal

Democrats' report: Inconvenient truths?
not from Iraq, but of a report issued by the Democratic members of the Congressional Joint Economic Committee seeking to estimate the "hidden costs" of the Iraq war.

The call comes from Senator Sam Brownback and Representative Jim Saxton, the ranking Republican members of the Joint Economic Committee, who claim that the report is "defective" and riddled with "factual errors," though the specific examples they gave have been corrected in the online version of the report.

It's all well and good to demand accuracy, but calling for the report's withdrawal?

While telling us to stand strong in the face of hardship in Iraq and asking our soldiers to continue to shoulder the necessary sacrifices, it seems to me these Republicans have found an enemy more formidable than the terrorists in Afghanistan or the insurgents in Iraq — a differing point of view.

Go ahead and call the report "defective," go ahead and tell us where the Democrats erred — even better, issue your own report in response. That's the beauty of open academic debate. But to tell the opposing side to take back what they said is the intellectual equivalent of cut and run.

Read the report for yourself (PDF, 400KB) and decide whether it makes a rhetorical leap too far.

But as for the Democrats, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is opposing any talk of a timetable — for charging Bush administration officials with contempt of Congress.

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