Monday, May 30, 2005

When is the mainstream media going to assmeble the pieces and stop using "mistake" for "lie?"

On the topic of The Third Estate Sunday Review's editorial, Kayla e-mails Robert Parry's "For Bush, Iraq Lies Are Fundamental:"

More than two years and 1,600 dead U.S. soldiers later, George W. Bush’s defenders concede Iraq may not have had weapons of mass destruction, but the defenders still get their backs up when someone accuses Bush of lying. A mistake maybe, but a lie never!
That defense is anchored in their assessment of Bush’s fundamental decency as a born-again Christian who would never knowingly mislead the American people, especially on something as important as sending U.S. soldiers off to war.
Which is why it’s important to look at Bush’s assertions about his supposed desire to avert the war through good-faith diplomacy in late 2002 and early 2003. Since the entire world watched those events unfold, the known facts can be matched against the more recent words of Bush and his senior advisers.
If Bush has lied about that pre-war history as a way to justify his actions – especially after the WMD rationale collapsed – it follows that he shouldn’t be trusted on much of anything about the war. That’s especially true when contemporaneous records contradict his version of the facts.

Parry, rightly goes on to address the Downing St. Memo. The Sunday Times of London's most recent piece hadn't been published yet (Parry's article was published on May 22nd).

Here's Parry on the Downing St. Memo:

The memo added, "It seemed clear that Bush had made up his mind to take military action, even if the timing was not yet decided. But the case was thin. Saddam was not threatening his neighbours, and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran. We should work up a plan for an ultimatum to Saddam to allow back in the UN weapons inspectors. This would also help with the legal justification for the use of force. … The Prime Minister said that it would make a big difference politically and legally if Saddam refused to allow in the UN inspectors."
The British memo corroborates earlier statements from former Bush administration insiders, such as Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill and counter-terrorism chief Richard Clarke, that Bush had long wanted to invade Iraq, a determination that hardened after al-Qaeda’s Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

Parry's asking the question of when is the mainstream press going to stop reporting carefully chosen, isolated tid-bits and present the overall picture. It's a damning picture for the Bully Boy, no question.

But while the pieces are being assembled, let's note (again) Democracy Now!'s "Arab American Publisher Says Bush Told Him in May 2000 He Planned to "Take Out" Iraq:"

OSAMA SIBLANI: I met with the President, and he wanted to go to Iraq to search for weapons of mass destruction, and he considered the regime an imminent and gathering threat against the United States.
AMY GOODMAN: You met with the President of the United States?
OSAMA SIBLANI: Yes, when he was running for election in May of 2000 when he was a governor. He told me just straight to my face, among 12 or maybe 13 republicans at that time here in Michigan at the hotel. I think it was on May 17, 2000, even before he became the nominee for the Republicans. He told me that he was going to take him out, when we talked about Saddam Hussein in Iraq.

That's an excerpt from the segment that aired March 11, 2005. It's another issue the mainstream media has ignored.

There's a great deal in the public record that's being ignored.

From the Downing St. Memo the Sunday Times published on the first of May, we know that evidence was shaped to make the case for war. From the Sunday Times most recent article yesterday, we know that bombings were increased pre-war in 2002. At a time when Bully Boy and his co-horts were speaking of weapons (nuclear, chemical, biological), drone planes and other nonsense that didn't bear out. But while alarming the people (and some in Congress) with this talk of peril, the reality is that we increased bombing with the hopes of inviting a war.

To look at the two reports from London's Sunday Times is to realize the difference between "mistake" and "lie." Those who feel the Bully Boy was "mistaken," need to explain why his actions appeared to invite an attack from Saddam Hussein. If he truly was mistaken, he believed Iraq had the "mushroom cloud," et al capabilities that he and his cohorts endlessly talked about. If that's the case, why invite Iraq to use them in 2002?

And why the silence on the assertion made by Osama Siblani (publisher of The Arab American)?

It's past time for the mainstream press to report on what foreign newspapers and journalists like Amy Goodman, Robert Parry, et al have been reporting on in this country.

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