What the General Said:

Numerous news media (and Web blogs) reported that the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the White House were at odds over the culpability of Iran in fueling bomb-making ingredients and expertise to attack coalition forces in Iraq. In a rather heated exchange with the White House press corps, Administration spokesman Tony Snow declared that he had talked with Marine Corps Gen. Peter Pace—then still on a Pacific region trip—and found the problem to be a “semantic dispute.” According to many news outlets Pace said on Feb. 12: “It is clear that Iranians are involved, and it’s clear that materials from Iraq are involved, but I would not say by what I know that the Iranian government clearly knows or is complicit.” A Voice of America report carried that quote and this preceding one: “We know that the explosively formed projectiles are manufactured in Iran. What I would not say is that the Iranian government, per se, knows about this.” On Feb. 14, Pace explained: “What I do not know is if the number one, number two, number three leaders of their government, whether or not they are directing or not directing these actions.” He went on, “What I said was that I do not know the level inside the Iranian government that knows about or is complicit in it.”