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Frank Rich gives McClatchy/Knight Ridder a shout out

Better still, Rich makes the explicit comparison between that coverage, and the Times's own disinformation campaign in favor of the Iraq invasion.

Rich writes:

At the McClatchy newspapers’ Washington bureau, the reporters Jonathan S. Landay and Warren P. Strobel detailed 10 whoppers. With selective quotations, Cheney falsified the views of the director of national intelligence, Adm. Dennis Blair, on the supposed intelligence value of waterboarding. Equally bogus was Cheney’s boast that his administration had “moved decisively against the terrorists in their hideouts and their sanctuaries, and committed to using every asset to take down their networks.” In truth, the Bush administration had lost Osama bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri, not least because it started diverting huge assets to Iraq before accomplishing the mission of vanquishing Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan. That decision makes us less safe to this very minute.

You can find a link to the complete Landay-Strobel accounting of Cheney’s errors in the online version of this column. The failure of much of the press to match their effort has a troubling historical antecedent. These are the same two journalists who, reporting for what was then Knight Ridder, uncovered much of the deceit in the Bush-Cheney case for the Iraq war in the crucial weeks before Congress gave the invasion the green light.

On Sept. 6, 2002, Landay and Strobel reported that there was no known new intelligence indicating that “the Iraqis have made significant advances in their nuclear, biological or chemical weapons programs.” It was two days later that The Times ran its now notorious front-page account of Saddam Hussein’s “quest for thousands of high-strength aluminum tubes.” In the months that followed, as the Bush White House kept beating the drum for Saddam’s imminent mushroom clouds to little challenge from most news organizations, Landay and Strobel reported on the “lack of hard evidence” of Iraqi weapons and the infighting among intelligence agencies. Their scoops were largely ignored by the big papers and networks as America hurtled toward fiasco.

For me, at least, there is no forgiving or forgetting on this one. The contrast between the coverage and self-criticism the Times put in place after the relatively minor Jason Blair fiasco, and its complete inability to hold itself responsible for the role that it played, institutionally and personally, in getting us into Iraq couldn't be more clear.

And, as everywhere else in our elites, the perps are still walking the streets, free as air, and assuming they've done nothing wrong. There is no accountability.

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Salmo's picture
Submitted by Salmo on

Those who parroted the Administration's lies and catapulted the propaganda were rewarded with access. It isn't just the Times. Look at where David Gregory is today, how is Charlie Gibson doing. Not only did the stenographers pay no price, they benefited and continue to benefit from complicity in what is an epic, disastrous mistake.

Submitted by jawbone on

the list of MCMers ignoring or ignorant of the facts, beating the drums of war for BushBoy's Iraq Invasion.

Nice he's seeing some light...now. Too bad it wasn't back in, oh, 2002 when he was bashing Gore for daring to speak* and oppose BushBoy's jonesing for War, War, War.

Somerby has lots of entries on Rich and Iraq. But, of course, Rich also took part in the sliming and demeaning of Candidate Gore.

So, yes, give thanks for crumbs, but they're way too little too late.

And Rich does have some nice links, so there's that.

*Don't miss how Rich cherry picks (apart) Gore interview with Katie Couric and how Rich manages to flip-flop what Gore actually said. Good grief, how do these people retain their jobs?

Oh, yeah--ther're fullfilling their bosses' objectives....

Submitted by lambert on

I don't think it's earth-shattering. But it's still nice to see, right there on the Op-Ed page of the Times like a roach on a wedding cake.