"We have Saddam Hussein," declared billionaire industrialist Charles Koch, apparently referring to President Barack Obama as he welcomed hundreds of wealthy guests to the latest of the secret fundraising and strategy seminars he and his brother host twice a year. The 2012 elections, he warned, will be "the mother of all wars."
But it's possible to hear the transcript a bit differently: The word "as" isn't in the transcript, but as I hear the (ambiguous) line, Koch is quoting Saddam here, not comparing Obama to him. In that version, the quote reads:
"We have, as Saddam Hussein [said] this is the Mother of All Wars," Koch is quoting Saddam, rather than making a comparison between him and Obama.
Audio recordings are notorious for yielding whatever interpretation the listener expects to hear; an attendee who heard the line as a quote, not a comparison, pointed me to the transcript and the audio.
And, not to sound too conspiratorial, but it seems possible that the word "said" may have been deliberately edited out of the audio recording. If you listen to it here, there's no pause between the words "Hussein" and "this." The quotation from the Mother Jones recording makes no sense: "We have as Saddam Hussein this is the Mother of All Wars."So its possible that Koch accidentally left out the word "said" or the audio recording was edited. I'll await an objective analysis from the forensics team at Media Matters for America before drawing any conclusions.