Think Progress, a project of the think tank created to promote left-wing policy ideas, stated in a a blog post, "These lines are not McCain’s own. As TP reader 5th Estate discovered, they were in fact taken largely from a 1996 speech by ret. Rear Adm. Timothy Ziemer."
The post was promoted through left-leaning media outlets like the Huffington Post. See HERE.
The McCain campaign forced Think Progress to publish a retraction, made in the form of an "update" to their blog. Their correction said: As a blog that strives to maintain credibility and transparency, we would like to explain our mistake. When we were alerted to the tip that Adm. Ziemer gave a similar speech in 1996, we searched LexisNexis and McCain’s campaign site for whether the senator used the disputed phrases before that time. We did not find anything. After we published the post, the McCain campaign contacted us and pointed to a speech given by the senator in 1995, which appears on McCain’s Senate site. As soon as we were alerted to the error, we rushed to publish a correction. Once again, we regret the error.
A large portion of blog containing the false allegations, without correction, remains on the heavily-trafficked Huffington Post HERE at this time.
Update: The HuffPo now indicates Think Progress "redacted" their piece.
For those interested in comparing the speeches, here are the links.
McCain's 1995 speech
Ziemer's 1996 speech
McCain's 2008 speech
The lines Think Progress were calling into question were:
-"When nations seek to resolve their differences by force of arms, a million tragedies ensue."
-"[War] is wretched beyond all description."
- "Not the valor with which it is fought nor the nobility of the cause it serves, can glorify war."