McCain's Mixed-Up Timeline

To repeat something mentioned below, John McCain told Katie Couric that the surge caused the Anbar Awakening:

Colonel McFarland was contacted by one of the major Sunni sheiks. Because of the surge we were able to go out and protect that sheik and others. And it began the Anbar awakening. I mean, that's just a matter of history.

And yet here's an article McFarland co-wrote which makes it clear that not only did the events he was involved with predate the surge, but he was out of Anbar by February 2007 -- just as the first surge forces were arriving. The term "surge" doesn't so much as appear in his account. Seth Colter Walls notes that McCain himself understood the chronology correctly at one point.

Meanwhile, as Keith Olbermann apparently noted in tonight's broadcast, CBS (part of the vast media conspiracy that McCain believes is arrayed against him) handled McCain's blunder by using misleading editing to cover it up: "CBS curiously, to say the least, left it on the edit room floor. It aired Katie Couric's question, but in response, it aired part of McCain's answer to the other question instead." Sometimes things have to end up on the cutting room floor in television, but it seems to me that if you show video of a question being asked, you ought to cut to the interviewee answering that question not just show some other film. Certainly when you've got a candidate who's made the idea that he's super-knowledgeable about national security policy misstating the basic facts of the issue that seems noteworthy.