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That Fake Quote

You may have heard about that Fake Lincoln Quote that Frank Gaffney had in a column in the Washington Times, and Rep. Don Young [R-Alaska] read into the Congressional Record during the House anti-surge debate.

“Congressmen who willfully take actions during wartime that damage morale and undermine the military are saboteurs and should be arrested, exiled, or hanged.” — President Abraham Lincoln.

I seem to remember in my reading about the Civil War something similar, perhaps a believable quote would be:

“Journalists who willfully take actions during wartime that damage morale and undermine the military are saboteurs and should be arrested, exiled, or hanged.” — General William Tecumseh Sherman.

Actually, “Uncle Billy” Sherman had the power to do it, and was on the verge of doing it several times. Of course, he would have actually used much stronger language, but his attitude was remarked on by journalists of the day, like Henry Villard.

In his most frequently quoted comment Sherman said: “I hate newspapermen. They come into camp and pick up their camp rumors and print them as facts. I regard them as spies, which, in truth, they are. If I killed them all there would be news from Hell before breakfast.”

2 comments

1 oldwhitelady { 02.18.07 at 7:34 am }

Sherman really detested those newspapermen. I think he’d like the ones GWB has that write all the “All is well in Iraq and we’ve painted more schools” articles.

2 Bryan { 02.18.07 at 12:09 pm }

Actually, Sherman didn’t like them on principle, no matter what they wrote, but put politicians on an even lower level and blamed politicians for the Civil War. He was the first head of what became Louisiana State University at the start of the war and saw the manipulation that “forced” the South to secede.

He was called a madman by many, but he was a sane man among lunatics. He saw what the war would be like and how long it would take with greater clarity than any other major figure.