Ruth: So now we know.
Not suspect, now we know. The Downing Street Memos proved there was a plan to hype the intelligence and proved that last summer. This summer, we finally see the long-promised Senate Intelligence Committee Report and, if the cries of "Don't look behind the curtain!" seem familiar, it is because the minimizing is something we heard last year as well.
White House spokesperson Tony Snow dismisses the Senate report with "nothing new." Mr. Snow's dismissal sounds strangely similar to Michael Kinsley's 2005 dismissal of the DSM and his excuse for not covering it as then-Los Angeles Times editorial page editor: "Of course, you don't need a secret memo to know this."
Back then we were told that "Washington" deciding to go to war and to fix the facts was not news. Now we are being told that the decision to ignore intelligence analysis before the illegal war and after is "nothing new."
It is interesting that, as the proof continues to mount that the Bully Boy of the United States lied a nation into war, the cry remains "nothing new."
Saturday evening, I listened to RadioNation with Laura Flanders, my grandchildren, Tracey and Jayson. On the show, Ms. Flanders played a portion of a speech by Daniel Ellsberg, the whistle blower who distributed the Pentagon Papers to the press. Ms. Flanders noted that eighteen papers across the nation printed the Pentagon Papers then.
Today, some in the press engages in their own minimizing of what is revealed. For instance, the same New York Times that showed bravery in printing the Pentagon Papers today rushes to focus on a 2005 CIA report. Mark Mazzetti's "Senate Panel Releases Report on Iraq Intelligence" could leave even careful readers with the impression that the false assertion of a link between former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein and the terrorist organization al-Qaeda was only disproven by an October 2005 CIA assessment. That results from Mazzetti writing of only "one report."
Focusing on only "one report," one that comes two years after the nation was lied into an illegal war, and it certainly provides futher backing to the lie of "We were all wrong!" According to Republican Senator Olympia Snowe, it is not, however, correct. In The Washington Post, Jonathan Weisman's "Iraq's Alleged Al-Qaeda Ties Were Disputed Before War" notes Senator Snowe:
But, as Snowe emphasized in her statement, the report concluded that information provided by an INC source was cited in that estimate and in Secretary of State Colin L. Powell's February 2003 speech to the United Nations as corroborating evidence about Iraq's mobile biological weapons program. Those citations came despite two April 2002 CIA assessments, a May 2002 Defense Intelligence Agency fabrication notice and a July 2002 National Intelligence Council warning -- all saying the INC source may have been coached by the exile group into fabricating the information.
"We were all wrong" was not correct when the press first glommed on it to offer some sort of excuse, no matter how weak, to explain exactly what they were sounding alarms when the administration was lying a nation into war.
Mr. Mazzetti prefers to note "one report" and, lucky for him, it backs up the "How could we have known!" cry. It also leaves readers with the impression that the administration's erred only in making the false link after the October 2005 assessment. That is not reality.
Though some in the press appear to have woken up, there are still too many willing to ignore key facts which brings us back to the issue Ms. Flanders raised on her program Saturday, how many outlets would be willing to cover the Pentagon Papers if they emerged today? Sadly, it appears that The New York Times would not be interested this time.
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