The Corner

McCain and Anthrax

McCain, in 2001, said that news reports about an Iraqi connection to the anthrax attacks could be true. His exact words: “[S]ome of this anthrax may — and I emphasize may — have come from Iraq.” Dayo Olopade says that “McCain’s statement should be politically devastating.” Olopade also writes that “men like McCain . . . based the ‘tough decisions’ on prejudices that continue to shame and unravel over time.” Neither statement seems remotely supported by the information presented. The post presents zero evidence, for example, that McCain supported the Iraq war because of the anthrax connection, or even supported it in important part because of it. The statement itself would, I think, seem appropriately tentative to reasonable observers, because it was.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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