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Author Topic: Interview With Daniel Ellsberg Of Pentagon Papers Fame About Failure Of Media On Iraq
Babbler # 3214

posted 10 February 2003 03:48 AM      Profile for drgoodword   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Two great excerpts:

Talking to [President] Nixon, H.R. Haldeman, his chief of staff, paraphrased a staff colleague's judgment of the impact of the Pentagon Papers after the first two days of reporting on them by The New York Times: "[O]ut of the gobbledygook comes a very clear thing: you can't trust the government; you can't believe what they say; and you can't rely on their judgment. And the implicit infallibility of presidents, which has been an accepted thing in America, is badly hurt by this, because it shows that people do things the president wants to do even though it's wrong, and the president can be wrong."

The White House aide Haldeman was quoting was Donald Rumsfeld. Whether Rumsfeld himself has kept that lesson in mind isn't clear. Has the press?

So what exactly are the lies you say the press should be examining more deeply?

The first lie is: Saddam represents the No. 1 danger to U.S. security in the world. To allow the president and Rumsfeld to make that statement over and over is akin to them saying without challenge from the press that they accept the flat-earth theory. To say Saddam is the No. 1 danger is being made without real challenge from the press, with few exceptions. More dangerous than al-Qaida? North Korea? Russian nukes loose in the world? An India-Pakistan nuclear war?

I'm impressed by the testimony of Gen. Anthony Zinni, Bush's mediator in the Middle East, who said he'd place Saddam sixth or seventh on any list of dangers we face. The question is, are we helping our cause against threats one through five by going after number six or seven?

Two: That we are reducing the threat of the use of weapons of mass destruction by attacking Iraq. This is one of the most dangerous assertions since all evidence is that we are increasing the threat of such terrorism by the attack, as CIA Director [George] Tenet said in his letter to Congress. Tenet said the danger is very low that Saddam will use weapons if not attacked and fairly high if he is attacked.

Three: The reason we are singling Saddam out is that he cannot be contained or deterred, unlike other leaders in the world, and again this is largely unchallenged by the mainstream press. No one brings out the following point: This is a man who had weapons of mass destruction, including nerve gas, and missiles capable of hitting Israel and ready to go in the 1991 war -- which he does not now have -- and he kept his finger off the button. So how unreliable is he if not on the brink of being deposed or killed?

Read all about it.


[ 10 February 2003: Message edited by: drgoodword ]

From: Toronto | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Babbler # 3393

posted 10 February 2003 02:00 PM      Profile for Moredreads     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
From: Canada | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged

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