Croker Sack

"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard." — Henry Louis Mencken (1880-1956)

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Washington Post at Brink of Civil War

The editorial opinion (noted earlier) in today's Washington Post is directly contradicted by a "news" article on the front page of the same paper.

What's going on? Is internecine warfare about to break out at the "WaPo"?

Here is how the "news reporters" describe the veracity of President Bush's assertion that there were reports of Iraq's attempt to buy uranium in Africa:

One striking feature of that decision [to release National Intelligence Estimate parts to the press] -- unremarked until now, in part because Fitzgerald did not mention it -- is that the evidence Cheney and Libby selected to share with reporters had been disproved months before.

United Nations inspectors had exposed the main evidence for the uranium charge as crude forgeries in March 2003, but the Bush administration and British Prime Minister Tony Blair maintained they had additional, secret evidence they could not disclose. In June, a British parliamentary inquiry concluded otherwise, delivering a scathing critique of Blair's role in promoting the story.

The "news reporters" are apparently quite proud of their "unremarked until now" discovery.

Being unable to recall any British parliamentary inquiry that "concluded otherwise," I searched online for the report I recalled. It was the Butler Report, which -- according to those famously impartial news media, CBS News and CBC -- concluded that the British intelligence reports of Iraqi attempts to purchase uranium in Africa were "credible."

Also worthy of note was the finding that the forged documents which the "news reporters" point out as having been forgeries were not -- repeat not -- even available to the British when the intelligence assessment was made, so provided no part of the basis for the British intelligence assertion. In other words, the "news reporters" either don't know beans about the subject or are including calumny in their "news" article.

Do Barton Gellman and Dafna Linzer, the authors of the front page "news" article, just make their stuff up as they go along?

And, note the difference in the "news" about the prosecution's case as revealed in documents this past week.

The editorial opinion said:

Mr. Wilson subsequently claimed that the White House set out to punish him for his supposed whistle-blowing by deliberately blowing the cover of his wife, Valerie Plame, who he said was an undercover CIA operative. This prompted the investigation by Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald. After more than 2 1/2 years of investigation, Mr. Fitzgerald has reported no evidence to support Mr. Wilson's charge.

The article's lead paragraph states:

As he drew back the curtain this week on the evidence against Vice President Cheney's former top aide, Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald for the first time described a "concerted action" by "multiple people in the White House" -- using classified information -- to "discredit, punish or seek revenge against" a critic of President Bush's war in Iraq.

For how long can the two sides go on like this before they come to blows? (I'm assuming the "news reporters" will have to be slapped around at least a little bit to get them to renounce their practice of slanting the "news" to the point of misleading the Washington Post's readers.)


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