Saturday, January 26, 2008

Wait, Maybe Nobody Will Notice

Last week, the U.S. Center For Public Integrity published a study that showed how the current administration quite literally lied us into the Iraq War and how the American media assisted. The report, titled "The War Card: Orchestrated Deception On The Path To War", is available here and the data base upon which is based is located here and is easily searchable.

The report is devastatingly clear as to what was going on in 2003. One would think that the conclusions of that report would rock the country. Unfortunately, one would be wrong. This is not to say that the mainstream media didn't pick it up. A quick Google search indicates that the AP published an article on it January 23 (presumably two days later), which was picked up by Yahoo. On the same day, a NY Times columnist writes about it without breaking down how the 935 lies were distributed amongst White House officials. Again, on the same day, Dan Froomkin had a much more thorough column in the Washington Post.

OK, at least some mention of the study made it into a couple of major US papers. That's good, right? I might be more impressed if it weren't for the fact that the Netherlands' NRC Handelsblad had an article up two days earlier, one which was more detailed and just as damning as Froomkin's column:

According to a study published yesterday by the U.S. Center for Public Integrity, during two years and in 532 speeches, press conferences, interviews and other public appearances, the case was made that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction or that it wanted to make them or acquire them, or that Saddam Hussein maintained links to the Al Qaeda terrorist network. It has now been definitely established that both allegations were untrue.

According to the study, the declarations were “part of an orchestrated campaign that effectively galvanized public opinion and, in the process, led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses.” The United States supported by, among others, Great Britain, invaded Iraq in March 2003.

President Bush made 232 of such statements; the then-Secretary of State Colin Powell made 244. Also, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld (109), White House spokesman Ari Fleischer (109), Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz (85), then-National security Adviser Condoleezza Rice (56) and Vice President Cheney (38).

The researchers also point out the “cumulative effect” of these statements, which was “massive” because the media coverage created “an almost impenetrable din for several critical months in the run-up to war. Some journalists — indeed, even some entire news organizations — have since acknowledged that their coverage during those prewar months was far too deferential and uncritical.” And, “... much of this media coverage provided additional, ‘independent’ validation of the Bush administration's false statements about Iraq. ...”

OK, that's bad enough: the US press got scooped by another country's press. Since the issuance of the report, however, there have been a couple of debates amongst the two parties' candidates for president, and both have been 'moderated' by well-known representatives of the US press. Not one question even indirectly alluded to this study and its contents. It's as if the study never happened, or if it did, that it had any relevance.

Meanwhile, more bombs are exploding in Baghdad, more US troops and more Iraqis are dying. Maybe no one will notice, at least anyone who counts.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's bloodthirsty dimwit Fred Hiatt, jonesing for war with Iran:

My name is Fred Hiatt, and I've always been stoopid.

But he gets paid to be stoopid, and he's not going to forget that.

ifthethunderdontgetya wrote:
=>We can only hope that this assessment is correct -- and that the Security Council will ensure that the costs are made manifest.<=

We can only hope that the next time a flock of neocon chickenhawks plunge the nation into a needless war, they send cheerleader/cowards such as Donald Graham and his dimwitted staff (wave happily, Fred Hiatt) in the first wave.
1/26/2008 11:01:13 PM


8:09 PM  

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