The difference is 14,000 troops. That’s too big number to dismiss as “miniscule,” as John McCain’s policy advisor recently did, after McCain wrongly stated the Iraqi troop levels. What I found ludicrous, are the excuses he and his people come up with to explain their mistakes.
Here’s the set up from AP: Republican John McCain's estimate of U.S. troop levels in Iraq touched off squabbling with Democrat Barack Obama. McCain said: "We have drawn down to pre-surge levels. Basra, Mosul and now Sadr City are quiet." In fact, U.S. troop levels are not yet down to levels before President Bush's troop increase last year, a strategy shift McCain had pushed for some four years before the president authorized it.
Here are the punch lines as McCain insisted he didn't misspeak:
"Of course not. I said we've drawn down," the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee said at a news conference. "The rest of them will be home at the end of July."
The Arizona senator added, "It is correct that the levels of troops there are not the same as they were during the surge, and, in fact, all of them will be home by the beginning of July."
McCain's senior foreign policy adviser: "The difference is so minuscule that I'm not sure it rises to the level of nitpicking."
Take a look at the list of other gaffes McCain has dropped in the laps of the media without as much as whimper of skepticism. Thank you Earth Times: