Jim McDermott

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Democrat Jim McDermott, MD, represents Washington's 7th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. His district includes the city of Seattle and some of the surrounding area.

McDermott was first elected to the House in 1988 and has served ever since. Just prior to his successful run for office, he had spent two years as a medical officer for the Foreign Service in Zaire, where he provided psychiatric care to fellow members of the Foreign Service as well as the Peace Corps. Before that, he spent 15 years in the Washington State Legislature, also making an unsuccessful run for governor in 1980.

Iraq War

McDermott created quite a stir when he visited Baghdad, Iraq, in September 2002, during the lead-up to the 2003 Invasion of Iraq. McDermott favored giving the United Nations-backed inspections effort more time to work, and while in Baghdad he made two comments about the Bush administration:

"I believe that sometimes they give out misinformation. It would not surprise me if they came up with some information that is not provable, and they've shifted. First they said it was Al Qaeda, then they said it was weapons of mass destruction. Now they're going back and saying it's Al Qaeda again."


"...I think the President would mislead the American people."


Predictably, these comments set off a firestorm of outrage among the Right, who dubbed McDermott "Baghdad Jim" and accused him of being a traitor for criticizing the President while in Baghdad. Regardless of the wisdom of making the comments while still in the middle of "enemy territory," events over the next year and a half proved McDermott correct.

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