No comparison

NO COMPARISON…. On Monday, Obama administration officials offered reporters a variety of details involving the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound. Yesterday, after gathering additional information, the White House clarified matters, and corrected mistaken information that had been shared the day before.

Under the circumstances, this doesn’t seem especially shocking. It’s not as if Monday’s information was part of a deliberate effort to deceive anyone — if it were, officials wouldn’t have been setting the record straight a day later.

With that in mind, Josh Marshall flagged this report comparing some of this week’s errors to the Jessica Lynch story back in 2003. He’s not buying it, and neither am I.

What does seem clear is that the White House went public with details only hours after the attack had happened. The Seals were no doubt pumped up by the success of the mission. And it’s clear that the president’s top staff were very pumped up too. They went forward with details that hadn’t been reconciled, in some cases proved untrue and in a couple key cases really should have been seen as a bit too good to be true. In retrospect, as I’m sure the White House is finding, it would have been better to wait to get all the details confirmed and ironed out before doing these briefings — something that was likely hard to do considering the probably literally unprecedented press and public demand for details.

Still, c’mon. There’s a rather clear difference between going forward with unconfirmed or even pumped up accounts of events of an indisputably dangerous and successful mission and hyping up what was essentially a non-event into propaganda morality tale.

Quite right. I’ve even seen a few comparisons to the Pat Tillman story, which are equally over the top.

In the Bush era, stories like Lynch and Tillman were used as propaganda. Officials knew the truth, but created fictional-but-inspiring stories for purely political reasons. It was wrong, and the truth was hidden for months, and in some cases, years.

There’s just no comparison between this and the details of the bin Laden killing.