Carol Platt Liebau: Reporting Reality

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Reporting Reality

The Chicago Tribune puts it all out there for everyone to see.

No, Virginia, the President didn't "lie us into war."


Blogger Mr. Twister said...

Carol, I don't think the Tribune article you linked to says what you think is says.

According to the story referenced, the Bush Administration "manipulated," "exaggerated," or advanced their "least verifiable" claims for war in 4 of 9 instances. These areas were: 1)claims of chemical and biological weapons, 2) the Iraqi quest for nuclear weapons, 3) Iraq as a front on the global war against terror, and 4) an Iraq/al Quaeda connection.

One area, "the Hussein rope a dope," the Tribune claims is the "least possible to declare true or false," which I think would rate as a tie.

The other four arguments--"Iraq rebuffs the world," "Reform in the Middle East," "The Butcher of Baghad," and "Iraqis liberated"--are the ones that rate as mostly truthful.

The troubling thing is that the four areas the Chicago Tribune finds misleading are precisely the four primary arguments advancd for going to war. Is there anyone who seriously believes that the US public would have backed President Bush's war of choice in Iraq if we knew that the administration was manipulating and exaggerating the evidence for Iraqi WMDs and links to terrorism?

Let's let Presidential candidate George W. Bush answer that question. When asked during the first debate in 2000 when it was in our national interest to use military force, then Governor Bush answered, "Well, if it's in our vital national interest, and that means whether our territory is threatened or people could be harmed, whether or not the alliances are -- our defense alliances are threatened, whether or not our friends in the Middle East are threatened."

Funny, I don't see nation building or spreading Jeffersonian democracy in the Governor's short list.

5:17 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

Yes, Mr. Twister, the article DOES say exactly what Carol "thinks" is says. Here's an actual quote from the article:

"After reassessing the administration's nine arguments for war, we do not see the conspiracy to mislead that many critics allege."

And do you seriously think a single answer to a question during a pre-9/11 Presidential debate constitutes an exhaustive explaination of the justification for invading Iraq? That assertion by itself, Mr. Twister, proves your absolute "Un-seriousness". What a pathetic attempt at debate!

You've proven yourself a troll, Mr. Twister. I, for one, will from now on treat you like one. I will ignore you.

7:21 AM  
Blogger Mr. Twister said...

Greg, you owe it to yourself to do more than skim the highlights. That's what got Carol in trouble.

On chemical and biological weapons, the Tribune wrote, "in putting so much emphasis on illicit weaponry, the White House advanced its most provocative, least verifiable case for war when others would have sufficed."

In terms of the global war on terror the Tribune wrote, "Based on what we know today, the argument that Hussein was able to foment global terror against this country and its interests was exaggerated."

On the Iraq/al Quaeda connection the Tribune wrote, " No compelling evidence ties Iraq to Sept. 11, 2001, as the White House implied. Nor is there proof linking Al Qaeda in a significant way to the final years of Hussein's regime. By stripping its rhetoric of the ambiguity present in the intel data, the White House exaggerated this argument for war."

And this is completely accepting the analysis of the right-wing Chicago Tribune. The Tribune article doesn't, for example, mention the fact that the Bush administration was informed by both French and German intelligence that Curveball was untrustworthy. Given that Curveball was the primary source for both the chemical and biological weapons claims, it is difficult to see how Chemical and Biological rates merely as a "least verifiable case" as opposed to an outright falsehood.

Tell me, Greg, if the American public knew in 2002-2003 that the White House was knowingly exaggerating the case and misleading the public about WMD and Iraqi links to terrorism, do you think they would have supported this war of choice? It's a simple yes/no question that I can't seem to get any conservative to answer.

9:33 AM  
Blogger COPioneer said...


10:08 AM  
Blogger Mr. Twister said...

Greg splutters, "And do you seriously think a single answer to a question during a pre-9/11 Presidential debate constitutes an exhaustive explaination of the justification for invading Iraq?"

No, I used a single quote to demonstrate that one of George W. Bush's pre-eminient arguments as a candidate for President was that the military should be used only when our national security is at stake. Given that (according to the Tribune article) Iraq had no chemical weapons, no biological weapons, no nuclear materials, had not engaged in global terrorism, and had no ties to al Queada, I am puzzled as to why we would consider Iraq to be a national security threat.

10:26 AM  
Blogger Mr. Twister said...

More George W. Bush quotes on the appropriate use of the military...

“Victory means exit strategy, and it’s important for the president to explain to us what the exit strategy is.” 4/1999 (on Kosovo)

"“I think it’s also important for the president to lay out a timetable as to how long they [military forces] will be involved and when they will be withdrawn.”" 6/1999 (on Kosovo)

"I would take the use of force very seriously. I would be guarded in my approach. I don't think we can be all things to all people in the world. I think we've got to be very careful when we commit our troops. The vice president and I have a disagreement about the use of troops. He believes in nation building. I would be very careful about using our troops as nation builders. I believe the role of the military is to fight and win war and therefore prevent war from happening in the first place." 11/2000

"I'm worried about an opponent who uses nation building and the military in the same sentence." 10/2000

10:29 AM  

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