Is That a Fact?

Did Bachmann divulge “super-secret” information?

April 13th, 2007 – 4:27 PM by Eric Black

ebmug.jpgIn an e-mail to reporters this week, acting DFL spokester Nick Kimball wrote that Rep. Michele Bachmann “claimed to receive super-secret information about an Iranian plan to partition Iraq and turn it into their own little terrorist playground.”

That is not a fact. Kimball acknowledges that Bachmann made no such claim.

In fact, Bachmann did claim in a February interview to know about such a plan, has been unable to substantiate the claim, and has released several versions of how she came to say it and what she meant. but she never said it was based on classified information and has specified that it wasn’t.

Kimball is not retracting the statement. Rather, he is claiming that it was a hyperbolic statement made for humorous effect. He also argues that it is not technically inaccurate because the words “super-secret” do not appear in quotes as a statement literally made by Bachmann.

I take Kimball’s word for it that he did not mean his statement literally. But jokes can sometimes be missed, and this post is offered in the interest of keeping the facts on this matter straight.

44 Responses to "

Is That a Fact?

Did Bachmann divulge “super-secret” information?"

Grace Kelly says:

April 13th, 2007 at 4:34 pm

So what is the source of Michele Bachman’s many versions of what she claims? Why doesn’t anyone else claim the same thing?

Bill Prendergast says:

April 13th, 2007 at 5:58 pm

Bachmann hasn’t produced a source for her claim that there was an existing agreement with Iraq to partition Iran and turn part of it into a terrorist safe haven nation.

Instead, she produced numerous statements about dividing Iraq, none of which had anything to do with an existing agreement with Iran. So far she hasn’t given out any information for her sources for that bizarre claim. Mr. Black and other reporters have tried to interview her about her sources for her “Iranian partition agreement” claim. She won’t talk about it.

Instead, what she claims is that she was misquoted (she wasn’t, she made the claim on a recorded podcast with the St. Cloud Times.) So she wasn’t misquoted, when she claims she was misquoted and that her claims were distorted by the media–well, that’s a lie, a flat out lie. Add it to the list of flat out lies she’s told.

When’s she’s speaking to conservative audiences these days, she claims that she’s the victim, here–that she’s being victimized by the press.

Here’s a more recent Bachmann statement about the local press.

Excerpt from transcript of Bachmann speaking at Salidas Depot, Becker, March 24, 2007:

“…Call in to those talk shows, send in those letters to the editor and you may have known the Star Tribune and the Pioneer Press have new conservative (?) that they tried to poke fun at. Don’t believe anything they put in there, it’s constant press. The first week I was in Congress, four articles, all four were wrong, including the votes I took, they had the votes wrong.

There’s just no end – but we’re gonna keep fighting and we’re gonna keep winning.”

It doesn’t help when DFL politicos misrepresent what she said, as Kimball seems to have done (according to the Eric Black piece above.) They don’t have to do that, to discredit her with thinking people. If they could just get the word out about what’s she’s actually said, word for word–Minnesota voters, including some of her current supporters, would recognize her for what she is: a nut, a liar, and a bigot.

Read Bachmann’s own words and report them accurately in the press. That’s what she and the voters both deserve.

Grace Kelly says:

April 13th, 2007 at 7:17 pm

So when is the Star & Tribune going to front page some of these Michele Bachmann statements? Isn’t what our Minnesota representative says important? After all, the Star & Tribune made a big deal of an alleged swear word in a phone call by Hatch. Compared to that, this should be super newsworthy? Why isn’t it being front paged?

KenAvidor says:

April 13th, 2007 at 8:14 pm

New Bachmann claim:

“This is how bad it is. On Thursday morning I walked into the Capitol and there was three Congressmen together – they were Democrats. I don’t really know who they are, you know I don’t know their faces real well, and um, they were laughing with each other. And they were saying, “Yeah, I was really expensive. How much did it cost to get you?” And I just flipped because I thought, You mean your vote could be for sale? To sell down the river the (?) this morning (?) putting their life on the line— and you’re going to sell them down the river for whatever mess of pottage it is for your little business? And brag about it? And laugh about it? “

lloydletta says:

April 13th, 2007 at 9:16 pm

I get some of Kimball’s press releases, but don’t appear to have gotten this one. Can you post the press release in it’s entirety to let readers look at it?

Michael Blaine says:

April 13th, 2007 at 11:04 pm

I can hardly believe we go round-and-round on this blog on subjects that already have set answers:

1. Bachmann: She’s a crazy sadist;
2. Iraq: A lost cause before it was even begun by the criminals in Washington,DC;
3. White House campaign ’08: a charade; “American Idol” has more relevance and dignity.

Michael Blaine

lavndrblue says:

April 14th, 2007 at 8:24 am

Bachmann did claim she had met with the Joint Chiefs of Staff and had gotten some information from them.

Kasper says:

April 14th, 2007 at 9:53 am

This is an issue which can backfire in Bachmann’s face come election time. This cannot be laid to rest.

Karl says:

April 14th, 2007 at 10:24 am

Here is the text of a letter I wrote to my congresswoman about this matter back in February. I am still awaiting a reply:

February 25, 2007

Rep. Michele Bachmann
412 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Rep. Bachmann:

You recently revealed in an interview with St. Cloud Times reporter Lawrence Schumacher that there was some sort of “agreement” already made between Iraq and Iran to divide Iraq up and create a “terrorist safe-haven zone” in the western and northern portions of the country. Specifically, you said:

“Iran is the trouble maker, trying to tip over apple carts all over Baghdad right now because they want America to pull out. And do you know why? It’s because they’ve already decided that they’re going to partition Iraq.

“And half of Iraq, the western, northern portion of Iraq, is going to be called…. the Iraq State of Islam, something like that. And I’m sorry, I don’t have the official name, but it’s meant to be the training ground for the terrorists. There’s already an agreement made.
They are going to get half of Iraq and that is going to be a terrorist safe-haven zone where they can go ahead and bring about more terrorist attacks in the Middle East region and then to come against the United States because we are their avowed enemy.”

I was quite surprised at this revelation, and quite frankly, have a hard time believing such an agreement exists. However, I’m sure you wouldn’t be talking about such an agreement between Iraq and Iran if one didn’t exist.

When some questioned your claim that this agreement existed, you said your comments were “misconstrued,” but they seemed pretty specific to me. So, in an effort to better understand this critical situation, and to ensure that I don’t misconstrue anything you said, I’d like to see for myself the evidence of this agreement. Could you please direct me to the source of information you used that confirms this agreement and its contents as you described it? I especially need the source that identified the “official” name of this new country or province as you stated in your interview—“the Iraq State of Islam”—and that it would be located in the “western and northern portion of Iraq” as a “terrorist safe-haven zone,” as you also stated. I want to make sure the positions I adopt, and the positions you take as my Congressional representative—particularly on such weighty matters as the war in Iraq and the pending war in Iran—are based on sound information. This alarming new information that you have now identified could change my mind.

Thank you for your attention to this request. I await your prompt reply.

Michael Blaine says:

April 14th, 2007 at 11:18 am

“Karl says:
April 14th, 2007 at 10:24 am
Here is the text of a letter I wrote to my congresswoman about this matter back in February. I am still awaiting a reply.”

Your letter was classified according to issue area by some 23-year-old earning $24,000/year, and set aside. If you ever do get a response, it will have been written by a 25-year-old earning $28,000/year. These youngsters may or may not have connections to Minnesota, but certainly they are more interested in being around people they perceive as important; enjoying the social life in DC; and trying to make professional connections for themselves that will allow them to move out of their low-paying jobs. In any case, you and your concerns just don’t figure into the equation.

Unless the letter has the name of a powerful official or big-time donor attached to it, Bachmann herself will never see it.

Your attempts at being a superb citizen, the type a republican democracy needs to function properly, are truly admirable. Just don’t expect any results.

Michael Blaine

Justin C. Adams says:

April 14th, 2007 at 1:54 pm

Now Mr. Blaine, that’s a bit harsh, isn’t it? We wouldn’t want to discourage anyone from civic involvement.

Not that what you say is untrue. I would just also add that it is much easier to reach the US reps by way of your state representation – the state reps and senators seem to, by and large, return email personally. Rep. Ellison used to personally return my email even though I wasn’t his consitutent.

The federal elected officers aren’t really set up for direct representation on a majoritarian model. They respond to various government and non goverment orginazations, on a pluralist model, much better.

It’s fairly easy to build a rapport (sp? sorry) with them if the writer nails the fundimentals of writing to elected officials – short, courteous and memorable.

Justin C. Adams says:

April 14th, 2007 at 1:56 pm

Er, easy to build a rapport with the state officials.

Once that is done, it isn’t so difficult to feel as if your concerns are being communicated to the appropriate chanels.

Charlie Quimby says:

April 14th, 2007 at 2:24 pm

Ron Carey’s releases are full of hyperbole all the time. A DFL spokester naturally figured he could get away with a joking allusion to one of Karl Rove’s (but not the government’s) security classifications — especially where Rep. Bachmann is concerned.

The fact this went over Eric’s head is one argument for avoiding jokes in press releases. But the fact that it became a story — if only on a blog — weighs in the other direction.

Bill Prendergast says:

April 14th, 2007 at 3:05 pm

Justin, FYI–

She won’t answer Karl’s email, because it’s from Karl. She just doesn’t do that–answer tough questions from her critics, even if they’re also her constituents.

During the six years I was she represented my hometown in the State Senate, I’ve asked her questions privately and publicly (on the editorial pages of a local newspaper)–no answer. I called her campaign with questions and asked for comment–polite, but no comment from her campaign manager.

The problem is not that her critic/constituents are approaching her the wrong way, or their questions are too long, or anything like that–for six years, her policy has been to ignore communications from “unfriendly” constituents.

There may be exceptions that I don’t know about, but that is basically her policy. If I had their permission, I could direct you to dozens of people who’ve taken the time to write her. These constituents don’t vote for her, she doesn’t need them and they ask tough questions: so she dodges them, the same way she’s been dodging the Strib with their questions about her phony “Iranian partition of Iraq” story.

Michael Blaine says:

April 14th, 2007 at 3:26 pm

Bill: That’s why we actually need people like you and Karl representing our communities in Congress, not mutant creatures like Bachmann. We members of the public should not put up with incompetents, bullies or the ignorant any longer. Representative government can’t be left in the hands of others, because too often the others do a terrible job. The StarTribune is complicit in this civic disaster because it doesn’t ask hard questions and hold politicians accountable; indeed, it abets incivility and irrationality by handing over regular commentary space to neo-fascist hacks. So, when it is debated on this blog who is qualified to represent Minnesota next in the Senate, the answer really is most of us are, and better than those who manage to get their name in lights.

Michael Blaine

P.S. What happened to “Parthian”?; he’s one of the few around here who make good sense. says:

April 14th, 2007 at 6:17 pm

I’m currently working in out of state and was unable to attend Jason Lewis’s tax cut rally at the capital today, but a friend of mine sent me pictures of the large turnout. I noticed that Michele Bachmann was a speaker and showed her interest in protecting taxpayers from overtaxation by the DFL. I didn’t see any liberal democrats there like Keith Hakim Ellison though.

Cash N. Carey says:

April 14th, 2007 at 7:19 pm

So Kimball got caught in a lie and claims it is a joke. Meanwhile all the liberal white males here seem intimidated by a successful Christian conservative woman. And a beautiful one at that.

God bless Michele and President Bush. You gotta love this country man.

O.T. says:

April 14th, 2007 at 8:17 pm

Is there a reason we have not discussed the Imus situation. Is it because he was a liberal? Is it because you are afraid to bring up conversation on opinions about free speech, race, or the political attack here? I understand eric has a rabid desire to attack Bachmann at every opportunity but there are other topics out there. says:

April 14th, 2007 at 8:26 pm

I’ve notice that Katherine Kerstine’s blog is blowing away Big Question in the number of comments. O.T., I think you are right about Big Question.

Michael Blaine says:

April 14th, 2007 at 9:58 pm

“Cash N. Carey says:
April 14th, 2007 at 7:19 pm
God bless Michele and President Bush.”

“Foreign Policy” in its March/April issue lists the ten biggest winners after four years of US intervention in Iraq:

1. Iran.
2. Moqtada Al-Sadr.
3. Al Qaeda.
4. Samuel Huntington.
5. China.
6. Arab Dictators.
7. The Price of Oil.
8. The United Nations.
9. Old Europe.
10. Israel.

So, CNC, what exactly are you hoping that God blesses Bush for? The elevation of numerous US enemies, while wasting $500 billion of our tax money?

Wow. Until people like Bush and you are politically neutralized, this country will be a menace — above all to itself.

Michael Blaine

O.T. says:

April 14th, 2007 at 10:41 pm

Here is another question we should be discussing:
AlFranken’s donations: Of the $1.35 million he raised, 24 percent came from Minnesota, said campaign spokesman Andy Barr.

Compare that to Coleman, who has 73% of his donations from in-state. says:

April 14th, 2007 at 11:08 pm

The Hollywood liberal left is probably funding most of Franken’s campaign.

Michael Blaine says:

April 15th, 2007 at 12:11 am

Do you want to limit campaign donations by jurisdiction of residence, then?

If so, say so!

Michael Blaine says:

April 15th, 2007 at 8:38 am


I don’t think we should limit campaign donations to jurisdiction of residence, but voters should be aware of where the money is coming from. For example, Keith Hakim Ellison got a lot of his money from CAIR, which is partially funded by radical Muslims in the middle east. This should have been a red flag for intelligent voters.

Dora says:

April 15th, 2007 at 9:40 am

DTSI stop spreading the wrong information. CAIR did not endorse or donate to Ellison. Two members of CAIR did for a grand total of $3000. A read flag for intelligent people are your posts the vast majority of which are no more than a vehicle for your gratuitous insults. says:

April 15th, 2007 at 10:44 am


In any case, Keith Hakim Ellison got money from CAIR whether they officially endorsed him or not, and money from CAIR is money from Muslims in the middle east. Money from radical Muslims in the middle east should NOT be used to influence American politics.

By the way, it’s nice to hear from you Dora!

parthian says:

April 15th, 2007 at 11:05 am

Dora, as you can see, R2 has his “own” facts. He doesn’t deny yours, he justs continues to believe “his” contrary Rightist ones.

But it’s always good to set the record staright for those who can still think straight.

Michael Blaine, great post at 9:58. I’m off to get my copy pronto! says:

April 15th, 2007 at 11:07 am


What did I say that was inacurate?

Dora says:

April 15th, 2007 at 11:13 am

So let’s follow your logic DTSI. You must be horrified that Abdul Alishtari who was indicted on terrorism charges was influencing Republican politics by contributing to the NRSC and NRC and was made a member of the Inner Circle of the NRCC. Guess the terrorists support the Republican Party, huh? says:

April 15th, 2007 at 11:49 am


This just shows that if radical Muslims can fool even the Republicans, we really need terror fighting tools like the Patriot Act. Hopefully the democrat party won’t be successful in killing it.

Bill Prendergast says:

April 15th, 2007 at 6:17 pm

If you really want to understand Michele Bachmann’s ideology and career, you have have to understand the political movement that spawned her. I call the evangelical political movement (EPM); author Michelle Goldberg calls it “Christian Nationalism.” Her book “Kingdom Coming” is one of the first books by an established journalist that recognizes the current influence of this movement and how it has already inserted “stealth candidates” in public office by passing them off as mainstream conservatives.

Bachmann isn’t even mentioned in the book, but she fits the profile of such a candidate to a “t”. Here is an excerpt from Goldberg’s book, describing the strategy and tactics of the EPM/Christian Nationalist movement.

“Today’s Christian Nationalism has roots in the anti-Communist John Birch Society, a conspiracy-minded grassroots group founded in 1958…Christian nationalist arguments and campaigns often precisely echo Birch propaganda, and movement leaders like Tim LaHaye (pastor and author of the wildly popular Christian apocalyptic prophecy novels “Left Behind”) began as Birch organizers…”

…(Christian) Reconstructionist strategy calls for a stealth strategy to Christianize politics and culture. In a 1981 article from the Journal of Christian Reconstruction, Gary North, one of the movement’s key theorists, wrote of the need for activists to penetrate secular institutions to “smooth the transition to Christian political leadership…Christians must begin to organize politically within the present party structure, and they must begin to infiltrate the existing institutional order.”

The Christian Coalition specialized in this kind of dispersed political warfare. While the Moral Majority had focused on direct mail and large rallies, the Christian Coalition trained activists and candidates at the local level. They ran in school board races and learned how to become Republican delegates. Crucially, Christian Coalition manuals urged candidates to keep their religious agenda quiet until after they were elected. Supporters would learn who the local Christian Coalition candidates were through voter guides distributed at evangelical churches but the general public was often in the dark.

(The Christian Coalition went into decline in the late 1990s, after losing its tax-exempt status.) Yet even as the Christian Coalition atrophied, other organizations proliferated, and the Christian nationalist movement expanded. Most significantly, James Dobson, the evangelical psychologist at the head of Focus on the Family, grew increasingly visible in partisan politics.”

The political career of Michele Bachmann reads like a textbook example of a candidate groomed for political office by the EPM. In 1999, a school board candidate to get name recognition, promotion by the local evangelical broadcast media, refraining from evangelical and conspiracy rhetoric before “secular” conservative audiences, employing evangelical and conspiracy rhetoric before evangelical and conspiracy nut audiences. Using evangelical delegates to overwhelm regular GOP at nominating events, pretending to be a conservative in the tradition of Ronald Reagan. A successful imposture: she’s elected to the State House with thousands of votes from local voters who have no idea that’s she’s a lackey of the national evangelical right. Her links to Focus on the Family and the CNP are admitted, documented.

Most recently, she’s elected to Congress—a voter drive by the Dobson organization in the churches and free political advertising for Michele from local Christian radio. And so, Dobson and the Council for National Policy get control of yet another Congressional seat. And most of the voters in the 6th district remain clueless about Bachmann’s political sponsors and masters. “No new taxes” conservative organizations and media did their best to elect a puppet of the Christian right to represent the people of the 6th district. And all this can happen and does happen, because the political phenomenon that Goldberg is writing about—isn’t even on the media radar. It still isn’t. In the years leading up to the election, the big local papers would only refer to Bachmann as a “Republican” and a “social conservative.” The people charged with reporting Minnesota politics simply would not report her connections to an incredibly powerful national political phenomenon.

Dora says:

April 15th, 2007 at 7:01 pm

DTSI if the Patriot Act didn’t stop the terrorist from influencing the Republicans then it’s not an effective “terror fighting tool”.

Michael Blaine says:

April 15th, 2007 at 7:18 pm

“ says:
April 15th, 2007 at 10:44 am
In any case, Keith Hakim Ellison got money from CAIR whether they officially endorsed him or not, and money from CAIR is money from Muslims in the middle east. Money from radical Muslims in the middle east should NOT be used to influence American politics.”

Then let’s stop sending cash to the Middle East via gasoline purchases.

Or, let’s remove private money from politics — a public endeavor — altogether.

Michael Blaine says:

April 15th, 2007 at 9:10 pm

Wrong Dora,

If a terror fighting tool has flaws, fix it, don’t give up on it!

Dora says:

April 15th, 2007 at 9:56 pm

I agree DTSI that the Patriot Act has flaws and needs to be fixed. Get rid of all those current provisions that are flawed and start all over again.

Michael Blaine says:

April 15th, 2007 at 10:24 pm

“ says:
April 15th, 2007 at 9:10 pm
If a terror fighting tool has flaws, fix it, don’t give up on it!”

There is no significant terrorist threat to fight.

Michael Blaine

Grace Kelly says:

April 15th, 2007 at 11:30 pm

By the logic of $3000 CAIR contribution, we all have contributed much much more to the middle east and by the same logic, anybody in the middle east. I think my heating and gas bills amount to more than $3000 in one year. BUT THIS IS TOTAL DISTRACTION from the topic! If we have NO idea of the source of Michele’s information, then really is calling it “super secret” wrong. If no one knows the source, then “secret” is certainly an accurate description. If no one else is even hinting at the same type of information, then perhaps “super” is a good description of how secret this source is? Perhaps we could just ask Michelle if she considers her source either “super secret” or “secret”. If she says NO, then we could ask what her source is?

6th district Jim says:

April 15th, 2007 at 11:50 pm

Michael Bland says: Bill: That’s why we actually need people like you and Karl representing communities
Graceless Kelly says: BUT THIS IS TOTAL DISTRACTION from
Bill Pretendergasseous says: Bachmann hasn’t produced a source for her claim
Dora-dadunkabutt says: if the Patriot Act didn’t stop the terrorist from influencing the Republicans

MB today: Blah Blah Blah
It’s a different MB day: more Blah blah blah
How about: 6 years, no domestic attacks…..
God, get a life, or at least move somewhere else (hint: Moveon.dorks).

6th district Jim says:

April 16th, 2007 at 12:01 am

And let me add that C-N-C is, without a doubt, poster of the year
He/She/It makes me laugh every time.
Who is that C-N-C??? (Politics aside: MB is hot hot hot; AK is not not not)

Bill Prendergast says:

April 16th, 2007 at 12:33 am

You know what’s funny– I just did that great big post about the evangelical political movement up there, and then I see that the New York Times/Paul Krugman just ran a piece on the same subject this weekend–same subject, media failure to report the infiltration strategy of the EPM; right down to the same quote I used in the above. Here’s an excerpt:

by Paul Krugman

In 1981, Gary North, a leader of the Christian Reconstructionist movement – the openly theocratic wing of the Christian right – suggested that the movement could achieve power by stealth. “Christians must begin to organize politically within the present party structure,” he wrote, “and they must begin to infiltrate the existing institutional order.”

Today, Regent University, founded by the televangelist Pat Robertson to provide “Christian leadership to change the world,” boasts that it has 150 graduates working in the Bush administration.

The infiltration of the federal government by large numbers of people seeking to impose a religious agenda – which is very different from simply being people of faith – is one of the most important stories of the last six years. It’s also a story that tends to go underreported, perhaps because journalists are afraid of sounding like conspiracy theorists.

But this conspiracy is no theory. The official platform of the Texas Republican Party pledges to “dispel the myth of the separation of church and state.” And the Texas Republicans now running the country are doing their best to fulfill that pledge…”

(And it goes on from there. Bachmann, by the way, once claimed that her law degree was from Robertson’s Regent University. It’s not, she got her law degree from a law school owned by faith healer Oral Roberts–who later sold it to Robertson.)

O.T. says:

April 16th, 2007 at 8:57 am

Michael B- were you in america on 9-11, or were you back in your homecountry of russia?

swschrad says:

April 16th, 2007 at 12:06 pm

Bachmann is and always has been a flake at best, a silly source and rather uncontrollable.

I see no reason for the DFL to climb into the Jello pit and wrestle with her slippery denials.

run a clean candidate on an issues forum in 2008, and they’ll be rid of Michelle Bachmann. period.

REB says:

April 17th, 2007 at 9:11 am

Last Oct before election I told you Bachman would embarass her district and Minn====she is….

The Grayheck says:

April 18th, 2010 at 9:54 am

This is very dangerous rhetoric and it is going to get people hurt. Do these powerful woman not understand the power, hate and anger that they bring out in people by the ridiculous rhetoric? Just on the eve of tax day, 200 tea party protestors were injured directly by the actions of Michele Bachmann and her henchwoman Sarah. Why do these woman have the support of the American people? I don’t believe that they do!

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