Thursday, August 19, 2004

Crooked newspaper apologies

Matt Taibbi writes the righteous truth about the recent explanations by the New York Times and the Washington Post concerning their respective participations in spreading the Bush Administration lies about Iraq's alleged possession of weapons of mass destruction:

"The problem with these newsprint confessions is not that they are craven, insufficient and self-serving, which of course they are. The problem is that, on the whole, they do not correct the pre-war mistakes, but actually further them. The Post would have you believe that its 'failure' before the war was its inability/reluctance to punch holes in Bush's WMD claims.

Right. I marched in Washington against the war in February 2003 with about 400,000 people, and I can pretty much guarantee that not more than a handful of those people gave a shit about whether or not Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. That's because we knew what the Post and all of these other papers still refuse to admit - this whole thing was never about weapons of mass destruction. Even a five-year-old, much less the literate executive editor of the Washington Post, could have seen, from watching Bush and his cronies make his war case, that they were going in anyway.

For God's sake, Bush was up there in the fall of 2002, warning us that unmanned Iraqi drones were going to spray poison gas on the continental United States. The whole thing—the 'threat' of Iraqi attack, the link to terrorism, the dire warnings about Saddam's intentions - it was all bullshit on its face, as stupid, irrelevant and transparent as a cheating husband's excuse. And I don't know a single educated person who didn't think so at the time.

The story shouldn't have been, 'Are there WMDs?' The story should have been, 'Why are they pulling this stunt? And why now?' That was the real mystery. It still is."

We all knew. There were no weapons of mass destruction. It was always a lie, and a supremely obvious lie. The Washington Post and the New York Times didn't just report the lie, they participated in it. To put it in legal terms, they aided and abetted the gross breach of international and American law that the Bush Administration pulled on the American Congress and people by tricking them into an unnecessary and disastrous attack on Iraq. The apologies or explanations are self-serving and deceitful. Neither Judith Miller nor the editors of the Times are as stupid as we are supposed to think they are, and the editors of the Post just had to read their own articles by Walter Pincus, published but hidden deep within the paper, to see what was really going on. We're somehow supposed to swallow that both Miller and the bigwigs in the Bush Administration were seduced by sweet-talking Chalabi, when Chalabi was just a creature of the PNAC conspiracy for war (Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress was set up by a PR firm called the Rendon Group, the same outfit behind the lies of the Kuwaiti incubator babies in the Gulf War, and Chalabi was just a useful tool for the creation of PNAC propaganda). The fact that Miller is still writing for the Times, and the fact that its original 'apology' didn't even mention her name, proves that this was a very deep and very high conspiracy, going up to the level of the publisher, to intentionally deceive the American people into a war that was desired for extreme Zionist reasons. The corruption at the Post seems to derive from a desire to mix with those in power, a desire which makes doing its job impossible. As Taibbi points out, the Post's focus in its apology on weapons of mass destruction is highly disingenuous. Bush used the weapons of mass destruction as a trick to fool Americans into war, and now the Post is using them as misdirection away from the Post's real problem, which is its fawning acceptance of the actions of those in power. You will never - never! - find the Washington Post speaking truth to power. Bush has managed, with the help of his crooked 9-11 commission, to portray the weapons fiasco as a problem of intelligence. This is nonsense, as the intelligence was completely irrelevant. Bush was going to go to war regardless of what his intelligence said or didn't say, and the Post and the Times knew it. Despite this, they published article after article repeating and reinforcing the warmongering lies of the Bush Administration. There are four real journalists in the United States who wrote on this issue: Seymour Hersh, Walter Pincus, Warren Strobel and Jonathan Landay. Everyone else is either a traitor or just a waste of space. If you think you get the truth reading either the Washington Post or the New York Times, you are a fool.