....LMB: "Buckets of Whitewash"....

February 04, 2004

Last year, back in the fall I think it was, there was talk of a new sheriff in town. David Kay was taking over as head US weapons inspector in Iraq, and the White House told us confidently that he would come back with results. This worried me, as it made it sound like he would find tiny scraps and spin it into evidence of an arsenal of terror, or that maybe he'd go ahead and plant evidence and come back with "proof" that the US invasion was justified and holy.

Imagine my surprise when Kay came back and announced that he'd found nothing, and that he didn't think that Iraq had any stockpiles of WMD (or WOS) since 1998, when weapons inspectors had destroyed much of Iraq's weapons supplies.

That surprise faded quickly after I heard Kay began attacking US intelligence.

Then it fell into place. Kay couldn't find anything, yet was still able to help out Bush and his pals by diverting the blame. Before anyone could point the finger at the White House for lying their way into war, Kay talked about a massive failure of America's network of spies and analysts. Therefore Bush & co. weren't liars and con men, they were responsible public defenders who'd done the best they could with faulty data. The problem wasn't dishonest leaders, it was incompetent spooks.

I'm sure the Bush administration would've like to have just let Kay's "no weapons here" testimony fade from memory along with his helpful diversionary tactic, but this issue was too hot. Politicians and media stupidly bought into Kay's line and called for an investigation into the intelligence agencies. And Bush agreed.

While Bush is announcing the this investigative team will be "independent" and "bipartisan", he conveniently gets to choose all of its members. And he's already managed to start blurring lines by announcing that it's not just about finding out what happened to Iraq intelligence, but about American intelligence about the global proliferation of WMD/WOS.

All of this can potentially be useful, of course. US intelligence did fuck up some, thinking that Iraq had some amount of chemical and biological weapons. They seem to have been wrong. And finding out how intelligence messed up, and coming up with ways for it to work better to protect us is not a bad idea.

But at the bottom of it all, I think people want this to be an investigation into "why the hell did we invade Iraq if it had none of these weapons?", and that's not the sort of investigation we're likely to get. Instead we'll get some half-assed thing about lack of communication between government branches and over-reliance on technology, tricksy Iraqi defectors, out-dated thinking, and ideological bias.

When we all know that Bush and his pals distorted, twisted, and manufactured the truth about Iraq as much as they deemed necessary to convince the American people and world (less success for the world) to support an overthrow of Saddam Hussein's regime. This has been pretty well documented, although not very well publicized.

Long story short, intelligence didn't think Iraq was much of a threat, and said so, until the White House leaned on them and leaned hard. And when that pressure wasn't enough for the warhawks, they opened up their own little intelligence office (the Office of Special Programs) dedicated to finding evidence of an Iraqi threat, no matter how fishy or trivial. So in the end, Bush & co. didn't have to lie so much as to take all the ambiguous claims and questionable data that could be interpretted as evidence that Iraq was a threat, and presented it to the public as though it was a life-sized photograph of Saddam Hussein manually aiming a nuclear missile at Denver.

Some good articles on all this, past and present follow. If you want the quick version, I'd say go read this list of Key Findings from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace's report on the situation. Very simple, very unambiguous.

WMD-gate: Bush Wants to Scapegoat CIA
Losing the Plot
The Stovepipe
If You Can't Beat 'Em, Join 'Em
WMD in Iraq: Evidence and Implications

Posted by Jake at 06:02 PM | TrackBack (0)
Comments

Let me get this straight: I want to tell a lie but if I'm lying I might get caught. So I pay someone to fabricate evidence for my lie. They then tell me about the evidence they fabricated (and I paid them for.) I repeat the evidence to you but, since it came from someone I paid to create it, I'm not lying. Right? So Bush shouldn't be impeached. He had evidence. But who is going to return all of the money to the tabacco companies?

Posted by: ctrl-z at February 6, 2004 11:27 PM

If he want to find the 'WMD's' then prehaps Bush should try checking his invoice reciets, they always have a destination on them. If you are insistant on an inquiry then don't get a judge to do! Here they have a habit of ignoring the truth and then blaming the only people that seemed to be telling the truth!
For more info on our whitewash of Whitehall check the British press, eg http://www.guardian.co.uk or http://news.bbc.co.uk/

Kempy

Posted by: Kempy at February 9, 2004 05:19 PM
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Lying Media Bastards is both a radio show and website. The show airs Mondays 2-4pm PST on KillRadio.org, and couples excellent music with angry news commentary. And the website, well, you're looking at it.

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Media News

November 16, 2004

Tales of Media Woe

Senate May Ram Copyright Bill- one of the most depressing stories of the day that didn't involve death or bombs. It's the music and movie industries' wet dream. It criminalizes peer-to-peer software makers, allows the government to file civil lawsuits on behalf of these media industries, and eliminates fair use. Fair use is the idea that I can use a snippet of a copyrighted work for educational, political, or satirical purposes, without getting permission from the copyright-holder first.

And most tellingly, the bill legalizes technology that would automatically skip over "obejctionable content" (i.e. sex and violence) in a DVD, but bans devices that would automatically skip over commericals. This is a blatant, blatant, blatant gift to the movie industry. Fuck the movie industry, fuck the music industry, fuck the Senate.

Music industry aims to send in radio cops- the recording industry says that you're not allowed to record songs off the radio, be it real radio or internet radio. And now they're working on preventing you from recording songs off internet radio through a mixture of law and technological repression (although I imagine their techno-fixes will get hacked pretty quickly).

The shocking truth about the FCC: Censorship by the tyranny of the few- blogger Jeff Jarvis discovers that the recent $1.2 million FCC fine against a sex scene in Fox's "Married By America" TV show was not levied because hundreds of people wrote the FCC and complained. It was not because 159 people wrote in and complained (which is the FCC's current rationale). No, thanks to Jarvis' FOIA request, we find that only 23 people (of the show's several million viewers) wrote in and complained. On top of that, he finds that 21 of those letters were just copy-and-paste email jobs that some people attached their names to. Jarvis then spins this a bit by saying that "only 3" people actually wrote letters to the FCC, which is misleading but technically true. So somewhere between 3 and 23 angry people can determine what you can't see on television. Good to know.

Reuters Union Considers Striking Over Layoffs- will a strike by such a major newswire service impact the rest of the world's media?

Pentagon Starts Work On War Internet- the US military is talking about the creation of a global, wireless, satellite-aided computer network for use in battle. I think I saw a movie about this once...

Conservative host returns to the air after week suspension for using racial slur- Houston radio talk show host (and somtime Rush Limbaugh substitute) Mark Belling referred to Mexican-Americans as "wetbacks" on his show. He was suspended for a couple of weeks, and then submitted a written apology for the racial slur to a local newspaper. But he seems to be using the slur and its surrounding controversy to boost his conservative cred with his listeners.

Stay Tuned for Nudes- Cleveland TV news anchor Sharon Reed aired a story about artist Spencer Tunick, who uses large numbers of naked volunteers in his installations and photographs. The news report will be unique in that it will not blur or black-out the usual naughty bits. The story will air late at night, when it's allegedly okay with the FCC if you broadcast "indecent" material. The author of this article doesn't seem to notice that Reed first claims that this report is a publicity stunt, but then claims it's a protest against FCC repression. I'd like to think it's the latter, but I'm not that much of a sucker.

Posted by Jake at 04:02 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
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