It's not like I have an overwhelming need to continue kicking the crap out of Gilligan -- oh, hell, yes ... yes, I do. So bear with me for one more posting.
Back here, Gilligan seems to be carefully covering his ass regarding Rep. John Murtha's public statements about the incident at Haditha when he writes:
Of course, the investigation might support Murtha's conclusions; just because he has tried to smear the Marines with this conclusion doesn't mean it may not later be proven correct. However, his knee-jerk reaction to assume their guilt and then to exploit it for his own political ends is shameful and egregious.
I'm guessing that, at this point, Gilligan really has to qualify his outrage with Murtha since, even now, the evidence that those Marines really did massacre about two dozen defenseless civilians at Haditha is fairly overwhelming. So Gilligan is forced into being just a little weaselly with his words.
He appears, however, to try to make up for that by taking the position that, even if Murtha turns out to be correct, that still doesn't excuse his "jumping the gun" on the story. And, in this, Gilligan actually has a point. The fact that you might be correct in hindsight doesn't excuse the notion that you might have made accusations prematurely.
Of course, keep in mind that this delightful example of weaselitude is coming from a representative of an entire class of wankers who, to this day, if WMDs are found in Iraq, would be found celebrating in the streets, high-fiving each other and screaming vindication.
See how that works? If Murtha makes premature accusations that eventually turn out to be entirely correct, well, that's still "shameful" and "egregious." On the other hand, if the entire population of the right-wing wankersphere made absolute, unqualified and 100% confident claims about WMDs in Iraq, and those claims end up being verified only years later, well then all of those wankers have been thoroughly vindicated and have the inalienable right to go around smirking "I told you so" and rubbing everyone else's nose in it.
Is that a great deal or what?