Posted Thursday, March 31, 2011, at 11:40 AM
Not really, no. Rep. Thomas Marino, R-Penn., is starting to get mocked over this comment.
"The bottom line is I wish the president would have told us, talked to Congress about what is the plan. Is there a plan? Is the mission to take Gadhafi out?" Mr. Marino asked.... "Where does it stop?" he said. " Do we go into Africa next ? I don't want to sound callous or cold, but this could go on indefinitely around the world."
There's no official response yet to the, uh, "controversy," but what I'm told is that Marino has been saying basically the same thing in forums in his district. And what he means is that there are no American troops in Libya, as there are in Iraq and Afghanistan. He doesn't want a land war in another continent. That's what "go into" means, as far as he's concerned.
UPDATE: Marino's spokesman Renita Fennick gave me this response:
We read the Scranton Times article Tuesday morning and had no problem with it. We were surprised when some people seemed to be confused by it – even the reporter, Borys Krawczeniuk, told me that it never crossed his mind that Rep. Marino’s statement was unusual or questionable.
We stand by what the congressman said. We are not "in" Africa by any means. We do not have ground troops there and, as far as we know, there are no plans to go into Africa. We understand – and believe that most people do – that a missile strike on a nation is a far cry from our military "going into" a continent.
There will be times when a member of Congress says something totally ignorant, but this wasn't one of those times.