Friday, April 14, 2006

# Posted 12:49 AM by Ariel David Adesnik  

CATCHING UP ON MY SCANDALS: Having spent the week focused on John Kerry, I've missed the talk of the blogosphere. On Wednesday morning, the WaPo breathlessly reported that countless administration officials had lied for months on end about the alleged discovery of mobile bioweapons laboratories in Iraq:
On May 29, 2003, 50 days after the fall of Baghdad, President Bush proclaimed a fresh victory for his administration in Iraq: Two small trailers captured by U.S. and Kurdish troops had turned out to be long-sought mobile "biological laboratories." He declared, "We have found the weapons of mass destruction."

The claim, repeated by top administration officials for months afterward, was hailed at the time as a vindication of the decision to go to war. But even as Bush spoke, U.S. intelligence officials possessed powerful evidence that it was not true.

A secret fact-finding mission to Iraq -- not made public until now -- had already concluded that the trailers had nothing to do with biological weapons. Leaders of the Pentagon-sponsored mission transmitted their unanimous findings to Washington in a field report on May 27, 2003, two days before the president's statement.
Pretty unequivocal, huh? Well, as Capatin Ed points out, it took a lot of mischief on the part correspondent Joby Warrick to make things sound so cut on dry. Yet buried in the 12th paragraph of Warrick's report was this critical bit of background information:
Two teams of military experts who viewed the trailers soon after their discovery concluded that the facilities were weapons labs, a finding that strongly influenced views of intelligence officials in Washington, the analysts said. "It was hotly debated, and there were experts making arguments on both sides," said one former senior official who spoke on the condition that he not be identified.
So rather than lying, the President was actually voicing the opinion of a majority within the intelligence community. Nor does Warrick tell us whether Bush personally knew about the dissenting report before his May 29th statement. But for the sake of a good headline, what's the difference?

Now, as Kevin Drum points out, the administration still seems to have offered up to the American public
A flat statement of fact about intelligence matters that's made with great fanfare even though they know there's significant dissent within the intelligence community.
That is seriously problematic, although it's still not clear to me when the administration finally concluded that the majority opinion about the biolabs was wrong and whether it still trumpeted their discovery after that point.

Both Kevin and Ed, I think, had the potential to strengthen their arguments by pursuing this point. Without such information, it seems quite premature for Kevin to conclude that the administration had an: "Intent to deceive? Check. Unreasonable decision? Check. Deliberate lie? Check."

On the other hand, Ed doesn't explore whether the administration was misrepresenting its intelligence to the American public, a sin, Kevin says, it has often committed before. Instead, Ed focuses entirely on the WaPo's misrepresentation of its intelligence to the American public -- a subject about which Kevin has nothing to say. (In an earlier post, Kevin even takes the WaPo story at face value.)

So, is it a much greater sin for senior government officials to take liberties with the truth, since they ultimately decide whether there will be war or peace? Or is it more disturbing that journalists abuse their considerable reputation for honesty to print misleading stories, whereas most Americans consider every word that comes out of the mouth of politician to be suspect?

You might say it's a classic case of chicken and egg. The government exaggerates in order to force its message through the media filter and to the American public. The media constantly attacks the government's credibility in hopes of immunizing the public from government propaganda.

The real question is, how do we change the game and bring both the government and media back to the point of fairness?
(8) opinions -- Add your opinion

TOSS ALL THE LIBERALS OUT OF THE MEDIA!!!!! It is the only way to get the media back on the truth.

Each side has soooooo much conclusive "evidence" regarding Iraqi WMDs that goes against the other side's argument. So until a "smoking gun" (as it were) is produced, I refuse to accept either argument.
Oh and it is good to see that you are up at the same time I am working.
Either the media knew about the findings of all three inspections and chose not to report factually or:

The informant who gave the information knew the truth and chose not to tell all, or:

The leaker only knew his or her part of the picture, one of the dissenters in the third team, and chose to tell his or her story .

With no way to easily corroborate, what does a competitive reporter and editor do.

The assumption is that the first two teams and those on the third who agreed that the trailers could were for bio production (yes the third team was split in its assessment) were in league with the leats go to war against Iraq group.

I would suggest that the last option may be true. What if those on the third team who denied the trailers were for bio production were so invested in the argument that Saddam had no capability that their judgement was impaired (or given up for the greater good) that they were unable to see what was before their own eyes.

I would suggest that the last option may be closer to the truth. Why? because it fits in with the Bush lied, there is a conspiracy to keep the public from the truth group. A view more likely to be held by some in the third team who agreed that the trailers were not for bio production.
Yes. I agree that the Liberals are running a racket in the Press. And the casualties are truth, respect, honour and decency.

Everyday, the Liberals poison our moral fibre. Everyday they weaken us. We need an American press, a strong press, run by and for real Americans. After all, it's well known that Liberalism all but promotes wholesale anti-Americanism - Liberals are unpatriotic. This is a time for clarity and vision.

While we're at it we should get all the Liberals out of the arts, and promote American arts, so we can have an American Press, American Film Institutes, American Art, American Literature and American Music.

Then we could make all the Liberals wear a little French Insignia so that they are easily identifiable and so that everyone can tell who they are, and what their stock in trade is: lies, immorality, and the corruption of a nation.

Then, to ensure the purity of our great American cities, towns and villages, to preserve the great American values of freedom, truth and the love of God, we should restrict the Liberals' access to certain parts of each place, perhaps even keeping them together in one cordoned off area for our convenience - and theirs!

Then the Liberal swine will feel the force of their own famed mendacity. The Liberals will begin to feel the force of their own perverted constitutions. The deviants will begin to understand how GOOD we are to them, how KIND in our protection even when they spread lies against everything that makes us strong, everything that make us a great nation.

When they undermine our families.

When they undermine our homes.

When they undermine our government, in the face of God and the great American People.

Fellow Americans, we stand on the brink of a momentous moment. With our eyes on the purity of all things American, Truthful and Decent, it’s time get started. It’s time to be bold. It’s time to be brave.

Even preview doesn't cover up for lack of coffee in the early morning.

Second paragraph - Leats should read let's
From an Aussie baby-boomer perspective, it seems the more prominent commentators (even some in the News Limited camp) are all baby-boomers who grew up when the MSM (as it wasn't known then) was generally conservative in approach (although journos were considered personally to the left). So, we have the dominance of anti-conservative stances as a kind of generational process. Check in again in 5 to 10 (years) and it may look a lot different.
Other angle is just party political inclinations - so if your party is out of power do what you can to attack the one that is in.
Dear Ted, if I told you that bits of that were adopted from a Goebbels speech in (?)Nuremburg in 1934, would it be any clearer? Just pointing out the consequences of intolerance based on truth valuations - per - belief sector.
With 35 years or so of reading the Post, I have long ago concluded the news the Post prints has been already sanctioned by the Democrat National Committee. The subscriber reads what the Post wants read with the leftist agenda neatly folded into all news.

Walt Kelly, creator of Pogo, was wont to say, "There is more truth in the comics than on the front page". The Post has politicized the comics disproving Walt's saying. All good things must come to an end and no real reason to continue the Post. .

The Post has bee gearing up for 2008 since 2004. Need anything else be said.
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