Boy weve really got

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Boy, we’ve really got a live one on the line with this Kaloogian joker.

So let’s review. Over the course of the last forty-eight hours we learned that the photo Kaloogian posted of Baghdad — as evidence of how peaceful things are in Iraq — was actually a picture taken outside Istanbul. The picture was evidence, Kaloogian claimed, of how the pro-terror press is misleading the American public about how well things are going in Iraq. Called on his error, he told TPMmuckraker.com that it was just a simple mistake: “You’re being really picky on this stuff. It’s not that big a deal. It was a mistake. I’m sorry.”

So fair enough. Now all he has to do is go back and get one of peaceful pictures from Baghdad.

So this is what he came up with. And just to be clear, no, I’m not joking. This is his new picture.

See the contented, optimistic look on people’s faces? The signs of quickening commerce?

Okay, enough snark. I’m actually shocked that this is the best this guy could do. Look, Baghdad is a vast city. There are people falling in love there. Children being born. The quiet desperation of existence. No one is saying or believes that there’s black smoke or an ambulance in every street scene. Certainly you can find some parts of the city where you can take photos and things look relatively normal.

What this joke of a picture — given what it’s supposed to demonstrate — tells me is that Kaloogian’s bogus fact-finding mission probably didn’t get outside the heavily fortified safe zones guarded by the US military. And that’s not surprising since even a lot reporters don’t venture beyond those areas much any more.

And the reason why isn’t that hard to fathom. Iraq isn’t a safe place for Westerners right now. It’s not a particularly safe place for Iraqis either. But that’s a separate issue. I think Howard Kaloogian knows that. And basically, like he was in a lot of his other recent gambits, he’s just trying to bamboozle and con people.

Was the Istanbul photo just an innocent accident? Maybe. But a campaign website isn’t like the FEC disclosure database. It’s a fairly small site. Given how big an issue this is for him I figure he’d probably be able to eyeball the part that flags his signature issue and accuses the media of supporting terrorism.

There are a lot of people dying in Iraq right now. There are a lot of American soldiers doing their best to do their job in Iraq and come back home alive. Kaloogian’s cheap tricks suggest he doesn’t care much about either. He just cheapens what everyone over there is going through.

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