Congressman McDermott criticized Bush on Iraqi soil – on Saddam’s dime

This story has erupted in the blogosphere: Saddam Hussein’s money paid for Democrat Congressmen McDermott, Bonior, and Thompson to visit Iraq back in October 2002. That’s when McDermott made his controversial remarks where he urged us to give Hussein the benefit of the doubt but to mistrust Bush because, to McDermott, Bush was willing to deliberately mislead Americans in order to justify war with Iraq.

A little over a year later, he accused the administration of politically timing the capture of Saddam Hussein. A year and a half later, he took a weaselly position on saying “Under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance. Several months later, he was toasted by the Americans for Democratic Action as the “star” of far left anti-war activist Michael Moore’s crockumentary Fahrenheit 9/11. A year and two months after that, a federal court upheld a lower court ruling that McDermott “violated federal law by turning over an illegally taped telephone call to reporters nearly a decade ago,” a call which involved a conversation between Rep. John Boehner and then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich. McDermott was also ordered to pay Boehner over $700,000. Subsequent attempts at appeals went nowhere.

He’s serving his 9th term representing Washington state’s 7th district. Doesn’t take three guesses to figure out why his district likes him so much, eh?

Related: Brent Baker takes us on a trip back in time to see how This Week’s George Stephanopoulos, a former advisor for President Clinton, went off on then-Republican Senator Don Nickles’ criticism of the visiting Congressmen, and also notes a prescient quote from conservative columnist George Will at the end:

Later, during the roundtable segment, George Will reacted with outrage to what hadn’t inflamed Stephanopoulos: “Let’s note, that in what I consider the most disgraceful performance abroad by an American official in my lifetime — something not exampled since Jane Fonda sat on the anti-aircraft gun in Hanoi to be photographed — Mr. McDermott said in effect, not in effect, he said it, we should take Saddam Hussein at his word and not take the President at his word. He said the United States is simply trying to provoke. I mean, why Saddam Hussein doesn’t pay commercial time for that advertisement for his policy, I do not know.”

Little did he know then how true his words would be.

Supposedly, the three lawmakers in question had no idea the trip was funded by the Iraqi dictator. We know better.

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