Yesterday, at the Presidential Palace in Kabul, George Bush made a categorical statement:
I never said the Taliban was eliminated, I said they were removed from power.
Trying to impeach Bush, ThinkProgress pulled out this quote from April 2002
With the Taliban eliminated and al-Qaida badly damaged, we have moved into the second stage of our war on terror.
That clearly says the Taliban was eliminated, in so many words, and without any ifs or buts. The only problem? The statement was made not by Bush but by Condi Rice.
I can’t imagine how ThinkProgress got it wrong, but I do find it interesting that when you click on the link in their post, it just takes you to an error message (typo in the URL, don’t you know?), so you would never find yourself looking at a headline reading “National Security Advisor Speaks at Texas A&M“.
However, on September 27, 2004, in Springfield, OH, Bush did indeed say:
And as a result of the United States military, Taliban no longer is in existence. And the people of Afghanistan are now free.
And no matter how you twist and turn the phrase, “Taliban no longer is in existence” parses out only to “Taliban was eliminated” and not “Taliban was removed from power”.
So what Bush said in Kabul yesterday is categorically untrue. (Yes, I know. Me too, deeply shocked.)