James Risen's piece for THE INTERCEPT has many strong passages and is worth reading in full. It covers many topics, including Barack Obama's war on the press. Since our focus is Iraq, we're noting this section (but please make time to read the piece in full):
By 2002, I was also starting to clash with the editors over our coverage of the Bush administration’s claims about pre-war intelligence on Iraq. My stories raising questions about the intelligence, particularly the administration’s claims of a link between Iraq and Al Qaeda, were being cut, buried, or held out of the paper altogether.
One of the few stories I managed to get on the front page cast doubt on reports that an Iraqi intelligence officer had met with 9/11 plotter Mohamed Atta in Prague before the attacks on New York and Washington. But Doug Frantz, then the investigations editor in New York, felt that he had to sneak it onto Page 1. “Given the atmosphere among the senior editors at The Times, I was concerned that the story would not make it to page 1 on a day when everyone was convened around the table,” Frantz emailed me recently. “So I decided that it was too important to appear inside the paper and went ahead and offered it on a Sunday, a day when the senior editors weren’t often involved in the discussion.”
Then-Executive Editor Howell Raines was believed by many at the paper to prefer stories that supported the case for war. But Raines now says he was not pro-war, and that he did not object to putting my Prague story on the front page. “I never told anyone at any level on the Times that I wanted stories that supported the war,” he told me in an email.
Meanwhile, Judy Miller, an intense reporter who was based in New York but had sources at the highest levels of the Bush administration, was writing story after story that seemed to document the existence of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction. Her stories were helping to set the political agenda in Washington.
Miller and I were friends — in fact, I was probably one of her closest friends in the Washington bureau at the time. In the year before 9/11, Miller worked on a remarkable series of stories about Al Qaeda that offered clear warnings about its new power and intent. In the months after 9/11, she and I both scrambled to document Al Qaeda’s role in the attacks and the counterterrorism response by the United States. We were both part of a team that won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting for our coverage of terrorism and 9/11.
But in the months leading up to the March 2003 invasion of Iraq, while Miller and other Times reporters were landing a string of big stories that dazzled the editors, I was getting frustrated that so few of my sources in the intelligence community were willing to talk to me about what they thought of the Bush administration’s case for war. I kept hearing quiet complaints that the White House was pressuring CIA analysts to cook the books and deliver intelligence reports that followed the party line on Iraq. But when I pressed, few were willing to provide specifics. Intermediaries would sometimes tell me that they were receiving anguished calls from CIA analysts, but when I asked to talk to them, they refused.
After weeks of reporting in late 2002 and early 2003, I was able to get enough material to start writing stories that revealed that intelligence analysts were skeptical of the Bush administration’s evidence for going to war, particularly the administration’s assertions that there were links between Saddam’s regime and Al Qaeda.
But after I filed the first story, it sat in the Times computer system for days, then weeks, untouched by editors. I asked several editors about the story’s status, but no one knew.
Finally, the story ran, but it was badly cut and buried deep inside the paper. I wrote another one, and the same thing happened. I tried to write more, but I started to get the message. It seemed to me that the Times didn’t want these stories.
What angered me most was that while they were burying my skeptical stories, the editors were not only giving banner headlines to stories asserting that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, they were also demanding that I help match stories from other publications about Iraq’s purported WMD programs. I grew so sick of this that when the Washington Post reported that Iraq had turned over nerve gas to terrorists, I refused to try to match the story. One mid-level editor in the Washington bureau yelled at me for my refusal. He came to my desk carrying a golf club while berating me after I told him that the story was bullshit and I wasn’t going to make any calls on it.
As a small protest, I put a sign on my desk that said, “You furnish the pictures, I’ll furnish the war.” It was New York Journal publisher William Randolph Hearst’s supposed line to artist Frederic Remington, whom he had sent to Cuba to illustrate the “crisis” there before the Spanish-American War. I don’t think my editors even noticed the sign.
The same press that the brain dead likes of dabbling Meryl Streep rush to praise is the press that sold the Iraq War. I'm sick of trash and I'm sick of lies. Cher lied last week and I did a long response and then didn't post it because it gets really old being the one who has to say, "Wait a damn minute."
But if you missed it, last week, Cher was vouching for her friend Meryl. Meryl, she insisted, six weeks after giving birth, was observed by Cher -- who apparently was a frozen statue who couldn't move or speak herself -- defending some unknown woman against a man's insult.
As if that would make her silence on Harvey Weinstein acceptable?
But it never happened.
Not when Cher says it did.
People are stupid and I'm so damn tired of being the one to say, "Wait a damn minute."
The period Cher's referring to?
Meryl was in Los Angeles.
She was in England, she was in New York, she was in LA, she was really busy.
Because it was a make it or break it period for her. The film career wasn't panning out and the new album had to be a big hit or she'd be dropped. She was dropped by the label.
That's right, the period Cher was kicking back and relaxing was when her album had just come out and, no, she didn't observe Meryl doing anything.
But the press just repeats these days, it doesn't report.
It may seem trivial. It's not.
Outlet after outlet elected to repeat the claims Cher made in the Tweet.
No one reported.
If they had, they would have noted that this alleged event occurred, for example, while Cher was under press scrutiny and ridicule for her live concert appearance -- only then it turned out she wasn't singing live on that special.
Every moment of Cher's life at that time was documented because she was pimping that album that failed. And reporting would have meant sitting there and saying, "This is what Cher claims. Let's look at the public record and see if it can be backed up."
It couldn't be backed up.
Cher and Meryl are longterm friends so she lied to protect Meryl.
I get that.
But there are so many lies going around.
And it would be so much easier to just tell the truth.
But telling the truth is too hard for too many.
Who let the Frum in?
The so-called 'resistance' did.
They lap his crotch and treat him like a god.
He's trash and he's responsible for the deaths of so many.
"US-UK intervention offered Iraq a better future."
No, it did not. Nor, according to Condi Rice in the last years, was that ever the point.
"Sectarian war was a choice Iraqis made for themselves."
Again, a lie from the king of all liars David Frum.
The Iraq Inquiry led by Chilcot in England made many things clear on the record.
And the sectarian split was fostered by the US and UK. The whole point was to demoralize the Iraqi people and turn them against one another.
It remains the point which is why someone like Nouri al-Maliki -- a terrorist responsible for the deaths of American citizens long before he took his chicken ass back to Iraq -- got installed by Bully Boy Bush as prime minister of Iraq -- and was kept as such by Barack Obama even though he lost the 2010 election.
It was not about spreading democracy.
You don't overturn the will of the Iraqi people -- as Barack did the 2010 election -- if you're attempting to spread democracy.
David Frum should never have been adopted as special pet by the delusional 'resistance.'
But now that they've brought him in, it's up to them to denounce him.
But they won't.
They'll look the other way and ignore everything he does because it really doesn't matter -- not Iraq, not the Iraqi people. The only thing that matters to them is hissing Donald Trump.
They can't defeat him because they don't want to. But they can hiss and they can boo.
Lazy and stupid.
Which explains why, in two months, the Iraq War hits the 15 year mark and crowds in the street are not demanding it end now.
From Monday's "2017: The Year of Chicken Little:"
Again, the Iraq War.
It's not over. It's not ended.
Where are the voices?
Senator Dianne Feinstein stated:
The Administration offers no apparent road out of Iraq. It offers only an escalation plan that keeps growing, and an open-ended commitment to a civil war.
Those words are so accurate.
And they were also accurate March 27, 2007 -- when she stated them.
There is still no road out of Iraq.
There is still an open-ended commitment to a civil war.
Nothing has changed.
Every 'turned corner' leads back to the same exact spot.
Over a trillion dollars has been wasted on an illegal war that has claimed over a million lives.
And Iraq's no closer to democracy, no closer to power-sharing.
The exiles that the US government keeps installing are motivated by vengeance.
Silly Shi'ites who fled Iraq when Saddam Hussein was alive and only returned fater the 2003 US-led invasion.
It's no surprise that they are not accepted by the Iraqi people as legitimate leaders.
Legitimate leaders don't flee a country like cowards and then wait until foreign forces invade to come back.
But the plan is apparently -- the same plan as it has always been -- to back whatever cowards the US government has put in place and to try to hold back the Iraqi people until they're too exhausted and go along with whatever they're stuck with.
15 years of ongoing war and we can't even be as honest today as we were in 2007?
That's not progress.
Nor are the continued lies by Peter Van Buren -- HUFFINGTON POST for latest which includes:
So much for Pax Americana in the Middle East, but at least it was all over.
Until Obama went back. Obama turned a purported humanitarian mission in August 2014 to save the Yazidi people few Americans had ever heard of from destruction at the hands of Islamic State into a full-scale bombing campaign in Syria and Iraq.
We get the lies, right?
First, Barack was sending US troops in back in 2012 -- two years before Petey notes. Second, it was never "over."
But will he get called out -- no, because they just repeat, they don't report.
I'm so sick of this nonsense and can't believe this is how we're choosing to kick off this year.
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