To the People

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Liberal Biased Media vs. Bush

Look, I'm no fan of President Bush. But if this is what passes for good journalism at the Associated Press our country is in serious trouble.
A study by two nonprofit journalism organizations found that President Bush and top administration officials issued hundreds of false statements about the national security threat from Iraq in the two years following the 2001 terrorist attacks.

The study concluded that the statements "were part of an orchestrated campaign that effectively galvanized public opinion and, in the process, led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses."

Sounds scary, right? The truth, however, is that the study didn't look at whether or not Bush and his people were telling lies. It only measured if the evidence they relied upon turned out to be wrong.
The study counted 935 false statements in the two-year period. It found that in speeches, briefings, interviews and other venues, Bush and administration officials stated unequivocally on at least 532 occasions that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction or was trying to produce or obtain them or had links to al-Qaida or both.

"It is now beyond dispute that Iraq did not possess any weapons of mass destruction or have meaningful ties to al-Qaida," according to Charles Lewis and Mark Reading-Smith of the Fund for Independence in Journalism staff members, writing an overview of the study. "In short, the Bush administration led the nation to war on the basis of erroneous information that it methodically propagated and that culminated in military action against Iraq on March 19, 2003."

There's a big difference between knowing Hussein didn't have weapons of mass destruction and believing that he did but turning out to be wrong. The first is an actual lie or false statement. The latter is a mistake. Given that the British, the French, the German and other intelligence agencies thought Hussein had or was close to having weapons of mass destruction I'm willing to give Bush the benefit of the doubt. Did he fuck up? Yes. Is he total douchebag? Yep. Did he lie his way into war? There's no evidence of that and the media should stop reporting this myth as fact.

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