Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Lies, Misrepresentations and More Left-Wing Extremist Propaganda

To paraphrase President Reagan, there they go again.

Associated Press writer, Douglas Daniel has written an article promoting more lies, misrepresentations, and left-wing extremist propaganda trying to revive the loony left's thoroughly debunked fiction that we were "misled" into war in Iraq by "false statements" and "lies."

On Yahoo the Douglas article is titled "Study: False statements preceded war." But CBS News, the ever accurate former employer of Dan Rather, originally carried the article under the headline "Study: 2 Years Of Lies Led To Iraq War. That was too much even for the President Bush hating propagandists at CBS, who toned it down to "Study: 'False Pretenses' Led U.S. To War."

I am so very tired of this propaganda. Mr. Douglas does not acquit himself well as a reporter here. Perhaps that is why he is identified as a writer. He does little, other than regurgitating the misleading talking points put forth in the press release posted on the Web site of the cleverly named Center for Public Integrity. According to wikipedia, despite its claims to be a nonpartisan news organization "the Center has been accused of bias toward left-wing political causes because it has accepted money from organizations and individuals that favor liberal policies and/or actively oppose right-wing political causes."

At the New York Times, John Cushman Jr., doesn't do much better, but the headline is more restrained.

Even though Douglas and Cushman put forth the press release talking points claiming that President Bush and other administration officials made hundreds of "false statements" leading us to war in Iraq, they both fails to do any fact checking. Oh they note that journalists and news organizations have issued mea culpas, saying their pre-war coverage was "too deferential and uncritical." But they fail to mention that no less than three exhaustive studies have concluded that there is no justification for the false allegation that the administration lied about the WMDs.

Everyone was convinced that Saddam had WMDs. It remains a fact Saddam used WMDs against Iran and his own people. The intelligence and common wisdom that Iraq still possessed such weapons at the time we liberated Iraq proved to be wrong, but that doesn't equate to a lie.

So lets go over the facts again. The Bipartisan Senate Select Committee Report On The U.S. Intelligence Community's Prewar Intelligence Assessments On Iraq found no evidence of political pressure to change the intelligence community's judgments related to Iraq's weapons programs. At pages 284-285 the report states:

Conclusion 83. The Committee did not find any evidence that Administration officials attempted to coerce, influence or pressure analysts to change their judgments related to Iraq's weapons of mass destruction capabilities.


Conclusion 84. The Committee found no evidence that the Vice President's visits to the Central Intelligence Agency were attempts to pressure analysts, were perceived as intended to pressure analysts by those who participated in the briefings on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programs, or did pressure analysts to change their assessments.
Besides that report, two other independent investigations came to the same conclusion.

The Robb-Silberman Commission On The Intelligence Capabilities Of The United States Regarding Weapons Of Mass Destruction likewise found "no evidence of political pressure." At pages 50-51 the Robb-Silberman report states:
The Commission found no evidence of political pressure to influence the Intelligence Community's pre-war assessments of Iraq's weapons programs. As we discuss in detail in the body of our report, analysts universally asserted that in no instance did political pressure cause them to skew or alter any of their analytical judgments. We conclude that it was the paucity of intelligence and poor analytical tradecraft, rather than political pressure, that produced the inaccurate pre-war intelligence assessments.
The British Butler Report, Review Of Intelligence On Weapons Of Mass Destruction similarly "found no evidence of deliberate distortion." At page 110 the British Butler report states:
Treatment of intelligence material

449. In general, we found that the original intelligence material was correctly reported in [Joint Intelligence Committee] assessments. An exception was the '45 minute' report. But this sort of example was rare in the several hundred JIC assessments we read on Iraq. In general, we also found that the reliability of the original intelligence reports was fairly represented by the use of accompanying qualifications. We should record in particular that we have found no evidence of deliberate distortion or of culpable negligence.
The effect of departmental policy agendas
450. We examined JIC assessments to see whether there was evidence that the judgements inside them were systematically distorted by non-intelligence factors, in particular the influence of the policy positions of departments. We found no evidence of JIC assessments and the judgements inside them being pulled in any particular direction to meet the policy concerns of senior officials on the JIC.
The consensus that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction formed in the Clinton administration. The consensus was more than evident in 1998, when President Clinton was threatening to attack Iraq.

President Clinton::
If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq’s weapons-of-mass-destruction program.

Secretary of State Madeline Albright:
"We must stop Saddam from ever again jeopardizing the stability and security of his neighbors with weapons of mass destruction," Albright said Sunday, addressing a news conference in Jerusalem.

"The chemical weapons Saddam has used and the biological weapons we know he has tested pay no attention to borders and nationalities."

Is it so much to ask that news service "writers" and reporters do a little fact checking?

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