On January 22nd, during the last New Hampshire Democratic primary debate, Peter Jennings noted that Michael Moore had called Bush a "deserter", and this was "a reckless charge not supported by the facts". He then suggested that Clark should distance himself from Moore. However, if Jennings had bothered to look into it (and that's what "journalists" are supposed to do, no?) he would have found that it IS supported by the facts. All the details are here, including relevant transcripts and newspaper articles. For even more information, visit www.awolbush.com. This story was also analyzed in Counterspin.
The Kay report is out. Its primary finding is there are no WMD in Iraq. The report names "bad intelligence" as the reason for all the pre-war administration claims that Saddam had huge stockpiles of WMDs. The media is lapping it up. This gives them an excuse for their lame reporting during this period.
Example: Jan 27, Robert Siegel interviewing William Odom concludes that the problem was "bad intelligence, abused", as though the two things are equals.
Example: Jan 29 democratic debate in South Carolina, Tom Brokaw says "Cooking the books means that there was a fraud of some kind, in an attempt to achieve something that wasn't in fact true. David Kay has said that that wasn't the case. He thinks the president was just simply abused by the intelligence agencies."
Sure, there may have been some inaccuracies in that intelligence, but this is a minor footnote in the real story. The real story is that the administration maniuplated the "intelligence" the way they wanted to, and the media bought it hook line and sinker.
Counterspin also covered this story.
- For example, we can look at Powell's UN presentation on February 5. In that speech he presented the evidence upon which his conclusions were based. It's now clear that the error was 100% Powell's interpretation of the information. For details, see this AP article, and watch "Uncovered" from moveon.org. It shows more than a dozen intelligence professionals (CIA, state department, etc) all saying that the intelligence was hyped. (Not just in Powell's testimony, but in all the administrations assertions that there was an imminent threat from Iraq.)
- For example, we can look at the report of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace "Officials misrepresented threat from Iraq's WMD and ballistic missiles programs over and above intelligence findings."
- Many of the 25 senators who voted against the war came out of the classified briefings before the vote and said "there's no imminent threat". For example, here's what Senator Kennedy said in his speech explaining why he was voting against the war resolution: "But information from the intelligence community over the past six months does not point to Iraq as an imminent threat to the United States or a major proliferator of weapons of mass destruction."
Finally. Because of Howard Dean (whose lead most of the democrats have followed), and huge publicity of the Democratic primaries and debates we're hearing some criticism of Bush in the mainstream media. See this article by Sidney Blumenthal.