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Iraq War Media

PentaPost Bought Powell's Iraq Lies Hook Line and Sinker
23-Aug-04
Iraq War Media

"I decided to do an archival search of articles in a single edition, Feb. 6, 2003, the day after the turning point of the prewar period: Secretary of State Colin Powell's speech and slide show at the United Nations, proving the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Analysts have since concluded that the vast majority of evidence that Powell put forward was faulty or just plain bogus, and most of his assertions have turned out wrong. Powell, himself, has almost (but not quite) apologized for it. Nevertheless, the overwhelmingly positive, even rapturous, reaction to his speech, from the media and political figures, set the U.S. even more firmly on the path to war. The Post's primary news stories on the Powell speech were painfully credulous, although a couple of articles inside the paper cast some doubt on certain aspects of his address. But the editorial commentary from the Post that single, crucial, day deserves a special place in that Journalism 101 textbook."

US Media, Having Helped Start an Illegal War, Followed Up by Promoting a Treasonous Campaign Fraud
22-Aug-04
Iraq War Media

At the same time that the NY Times and Washington Post were, a few weeks back, crying crocodile tears for their complicity in promoting an illegal, bloody war in Iraq, these same papers were continuing to sit on the truth about the Swift Boat Vets for Truth. Oh, yes, believe us, they KNEW the truth. A pubescent reporter for an eighth-grade school paper would have found it in an hour, so NYT, NBC, et al. can spare us the "we didn't know" routine. The only reason they came forward this week was the building momentum in the effort of foreign and indy publications to disseminate the truth. They did the exact same thing with the Saddam-Al Queda link lie. These things amount not just to fraud, folks, but TREASON - sending hundreds of Americans needlessly to their deaths, followed by an attempt to aid in the theft of yet another election (theft by media lies and suppression).

Journalist Killed Minutes after Calling To Report He'd Obtained Video of US Destroying Iraqi Home
19-Aug-04
Iraq War Media

Herald Sun: " An Iraqi freelance journalist working for Germany's ZDF television has been killed in the flashpoint city of Fallujah...Mahmud Hamid Abbas, 32, had gone to the city on Sunday to film when he was killed 'in unexplained circumstances.' The media watchdog Reporters without Borders (RSF) said the journalist was killed as he was leaving his native Fallujah for Baghdad. 'When he phoned the ZDF office in Baghdad to say he was coming he mentioned he had just filmed a house destroyed by US warplanes,' RSF said, quoting ZDF's Iraq correspondent. 'About 25 minutes later, he rang again to say he had seen a second attack. During the call, he suddenly said he and others with him were being fired at. There was a dull thud, apparently an explosion, and the line was cut off, according to the ZDF correspondent in Iraq,' the Paris-based rights group said in a statement."

Why the PentaPost's Non-Apology on Iraq is Bushit
17-Aug-04
Iraq War Media

Matt Taibbi writes, "We knew what the Washington Post and all of these other papers still refuse to admit-this whole thing was never about WMD's. Even a five- year-old, much less the literate executive editor of the Washington Post, could have seen, from watching Bush and his cronies make his war case, that they were going in anyway. For God's sake, Bush was up there in the fall of 2002, warning us that unmanned Iraqi drones were going to spray poison gas on the continental United States. The whole thing-the 'threat' of Iraqi attack, the link to terrorism, the dire warnings about Saddam's intentions-it was all bullsh*t on its face, as stupid, irrelevant and transparent as a cheating husband's excuse. And I don't know a single educated person who didn't think so at the time. The story shouldn't have been, 'Are there WMDs?' The story should have been, 'Why are they pulling this stunt? And why now?' That was the real mystery. It still is."

Allawi Threatens to Murder Journalists in Najaf
16-Aug-04
Iraq War Media

UK Telegraph's Adrian Blomfield reports, "The bullet that whistled through the lobby of the Sea Hotel in Najaf yesterday, embedding shards of glass into a foreign reporter's cheek before lodging itself in an air-conditioning unit, carried an unmistakeable message: 'Get out.'... The authoritarian stance towards the press seems redolent of the days of Saddam Hussein. The Iraqi government has closed the offices of al-Jazeera [and ordered journalists to leave]... Shortly after the deadline expired, the first bullets struck the building. But the sniper was almost certainly an Iraqi policeman, given that the Mahdi army fighters were more than two miles away. Then armed police raided the hotel and tried to arrest the journalists, before imposing a new two-hour deadline to leave the city. A deputation of journalists was denied an audience with Najaf's governor, Adnan al-Zurufi. The policeman outside his office was brusque. 'If you do not leave by the deadline we will shoot you,' he said."

In Justifying its Enthusiastically Pro-War Coverage, PentaPost Admits 'We Are a Mouthpiece'
12-Aug-04
Iraq War Media

Two years too late, the Pentagon Post's Howard Kurtz has written the paper's "self-criticism" of its outrageous Iraq War drumbeating. And the "self-criticism" is just as outrageous as the original coverage. In October 2002, veteran reporter Thomas Ricks wrote an article called "Doubts" citing senior officials who worried the "risks were being underestimated." His story was killed by national security editor Matthew Vita, because people working for Rumsfeld wouldn't go public. Of COURSE not - that's why that story needed to run! Liz Spayd, the assistant managing editor for national news, said "Do I feel we owe our readers an apology? I don't think so." Karen DeYoung, a former assistant managing editor, said: "We are inevitably the mouthpiece for whatever administration is in power" - a BIG LIE, because the PentaPost attacked Clinton relentlessly. We demand a FULL APOLOGY from the PentaPost!

'Democratic' Iraq Government Shuts Down Al-Jazeera for Showing the World the Ugly Truth
08-Aug-04
Iraq War Media

Scotsman: "The Iraqi government last night closed down the Baghdad offices of Al-Jazeera after accusing the pan-Arab television station of inciting violence in the war-torn country." According to the Bush-puppet Iraqi government, showing the world the truth - the violence and chaos that the illegal US invasion has resulted in - is "inciting violence." What Al-Jazeera showed most recently was the reality in Najaf that did not line up with Pentagon reports. The Pentagon claimed 300 "insurgents" were killed and only an "insurgent stronghold" was attacked. But images from Al-Jazeera as well as some western outlets show dead civilians and burning shops.

As Iraq Descends into Bloody Chaos, Bush, Blair and their Media Minions STILL Babble about WMDs
21-Jul-04
Iraq War Media

Common Dreams: "Attacks on US troops are running at dozens a day, frequently accompanied by looting, burning and stoning. It is generally believed in Baghdad that around 1,000 Iraqis leave the country every day for Jordan and Syria because the security situation is intolerable. According to the Iraqi media, gunmen have killed six Baghdad local councilors in the last two weeks and roughly 750 in the last year." To that we would add, the suicide rate among US troops is rising, PTSD is now believed to be rampant, and hope of reprieve is all but nil. Yet what do Bush, Blair, and their media minions focus on? The intelligence failures leading up to the war - thereby all but ignoring the gross failure that is playing itself out NOW. This black out has made it possible for Rumsfeld to claim unchallenged in recent days that the past three weeks (which saw the highest US troop death rate since April) have been going "very well."

The Iraq Scandals: Media Failures Are Next
20-Jul-04
Iraq War Media

Danny Schechter writes, "In my soon-to-be-released film WMD, (www.wmdthefilm.com) based on my own study of the coverage of the war, leading anti-war organizer Leslie Cagan says: 'What there was not decent coverage of was the analysis. What we were trying to say about what was wrong with the war, why we never should've gone to war, why the war needed to end, what was driving--the motor force behind the war. That analysis never got into the mainstream media.' Orville Schell, the head of the Journalism Department at the University of California at Berkeley explained that that's because media outlets 'not only failed to seriously investigate administration rationales for war, but little took into account the myriad voices in the on-line, alternative, and world press that sought to do so.' The 'groupthink' cited by the Senate was not confined to government agencies. This apt phrase could as easily be applied to the one institution charged with scrutinizing official failures: the media. "

NY Times Admits It Was Wrong about Iraq
18-Jul-04
Iraq War Media

"As we've noted in several editorials since the fall of Baghdad, we were wrong about the weapons. And we should have been more aggressive in helping our readers understand that there was always a possibility that no large stockpiles existed... [We] fault ourselves for failing to deconstruct the W.M.D. issue with the kind of thoroughness we directed at the question of a link between Iraq and Al Qaeda, or even tax cuts in time of war. We did not listen carefully to the people who disagreed with us [Yeah - all of US!]. Our certainty flowed from the fact that such an overwhelming majority of government officials, past and present, top intelligence officials and other experts were sure that the weapons were there. We had a groupthink of our own... Many politicians who voted to authorize the war still refuse to admit that they made a mistake. But they did. And even though this page came down against the invasion, we regret now that we didn't do more to challenge the president's assumptions."

Media and Senate Committee Cover-Up Whitewashes 'Bad Intelligence' Story for White House
12-Jul-04
Iraq War Media

Mike Hersh reports, "The Senate Intelligence Committee 'Report' that white-washes the 'Bad Intelligence' story for the White House is quickly becoming the only accepted version of reality. This although the entire public-relations basis for Bush's rush to war came not from the CIA, but from a hand-picked flock of Neo-Con chicken hawks in the Office of Special Plans. The media won't tell us about this Bush/Cheney Pentagon panel established specifically to concoct marketable bases for a war planned long before 9/11/01. The OSP bypassed the CIA to help plot the war while the WTC wreckage still smoldered. The Bush administration rushed into war killing nearly 1000 Americans in uniform (and counting), wounding 1000s more (and counting), costing 100s of BILLIONS (again, and counting) based on their own made-to-order 'intelligence' not on any 'bad intelligence' from others. They courted and counted on suspected spy Chalabi because he provided the lies they needed to scare Americans into war."

$226 Million in Govt Ads Helped Pave the Way for War
08-Jun-04
Iraq War Media

Daniel Forbes writes, "Dept. of Homeland Security delayed launching $226 million in advertising that effectively paved the way for war until a month before bombs fell on Baghdad. Shrouded in a public health message, the campaign was four times bigger than its largest non-government, non-state security competitor for donated time and space. It featured Tom Ridge instructing the public that every family in the land is at risk of attack, and that every American needs to be engaged in supporting the coming war on terrorism. Though Americans were at risk throughout 2002 and needed to hear the portion of the campaign that instructed them what to do -- that is, the standard public health doctrine -- the ads appeared 17 months after 9/11. The story also covers an exclusive preview of Steve Brill's terrorism preparedness ad campaign that will blanket airwaves starting this summer."

Just Like the Pentagon, the NY Times 'Stovepiped' Miller's Propaganda to the Front Page
31-May-04
Iraq War Media

NY Times ombudsman Daniel Okrent writes, "My own reporting (I have spoken to nearly two dozen current and former Times staff members whose work touched on W.M.D. coverage) has convinced me that a dysfunctional system enabled some reporters operating out of Washington and Baghdad to work OUTSIDE THE LINES OF CUSTOMARY BUREAU MANAGEMENT. In some instances, reporters who raised substantive questions about certain stories were not heeded. Worse, some with substantial knowledge of the subject at hand seem not to have been given the chance to express reservations... A commitment to scrutiny is a cardinal virtue. When a particular story is consciously shielded from such challenges, it suggests that it contains something that plausibly should be challenged." This is EXACTLY how the neocons operated in the Pentagon to "stovepipe" propaganda right to Rummy, Condi, and Cheney - bypassing the experts at the CIA and the State Dept.

Who Edited Judith Miller's War Propaganda?
31-May-04
Iraq War Media

Howell Raines put Judith Miller's propaganda on the front pages of the NY Times, before leaving after the Jayson Blair fiasco. But he thinks other editors should share the blame. "When I was executive editor, her work flowed through various editors, including Steve Engelberg [now of the Portland Oregonian] and later Doug Frantz, now of the Los Angeles Times. During my editorship, Ms. Miller also worked often in the Times's Washington Bureau. The bureau chief at that time, Jill Abramson, told me that she had a good rapport with Ms. Miller, who had a conflicted relationship with some colleagues. Ms. Abramson, who is now managing editor, supervised a significant amount of Ms. Miller's reporting and personally edited the resulting stories before they went into the paper. It seems to me unfair to single out Judy Miller, even in a blind reference, or to cite individual stories by other reporters without drawing aside the veil of anonymity around un-bylined editors who worked with them."

Critics Denounce NY Times 'Sorta Culpa'
27-May-04
Iraq War Media

USA Today reports critics of the NY Times "said the note fell far short of full disclosure, that it was long overdue, and that its message was obtuse at best. 'The Times' exercise would leave any less-than-knowledgeable reader wondering what the hell they were talking about,' says former Newsweek chief Osborn Elliot. Others blasted the paper for not singling out and sanctioning Times reporter Judith Miller, whose reports - which often used unnamed sources, frequently Chalabi - have been widely challenged. 'Unlike Blair's deceptions, Miller's lies provided the pretext for war. Her lies cost lives. If only the Times had done the same kind of investigation of Miller's reports as it had with Blair,' says Amy Goodman, author of The Exception to the Rulers, which takes Miller to task for her stories. 'It's outrageous to have a simple editor's note buried on page A10, while their repetition of the administrations' lies was consistently given top billing on the front pages of the paper.'"

NY Times is STILL Covering Up Judith Miller's Lies
27-May-04
Iraq War Media

Jim Moore writes, "The fact that Chalabi was able to feed disinformation to America's most widely recognized publication and have it go relatively unchallenged as the electorate was whipped into a get-Saddam frenzy ought to be keeping NY Times editors awake all night. Nobody wanted a war against Iraq more than Ahmed Chalabi -- and the biggest paper in the U.S. gave it to him almost as willingly as the White House did. The failures of Judith Miller and the Times' reporting on Iraq are far greater sins than those of the paper's disgraced Jayson Blair. While the newspaper's management cast Blair into outer darkness after his deceptions, Miller and other reporters who contributed to sending America into a war have been shielded from full scrutiny... Russ Baker, who has written critically of Miller for the Nation, places profound blame at the feet of the reporter and her paper. 'I am convinced there would not have been a war without Judy Miller,' he said."

NY Times Issues a 'Sorta Culpa' for Promoting Neocon Lies About Iraq
26-May-04
Iraq War Media

AP: "NY Times said its reporting in a number of stories leading up to the war in Iraq and the early occupation "was not as rigorous as it should have been" and relied on reports from informants whose credibility was later called into question. Reports of claims that Iraq had WMD's or ties to international terrorists contained information that was unchallenged by editors and was not adequately followed up, the Times said in a lengthy editor's note that appears [BURIED!] inside the front section of Wednesday's editions. "In some cases, information that was controversial then, and seems questionable now, was insufficiently qualified or allowed to stand unchallenged. Looking back, we wish we had been more aggressive in re-examining the claims as new evidence emerged or failed to emerge." Hey Bill Keller - nearly 800 American soldiers died because YOU (and Judith Miller) promoted BushFeld's neocon lies. How about showing some respect for these dead heroes by APOLOGIZING - and RESIGNING?

One Year Ago This Month, Peter Arnett was Fired by NBC for Telling the Truth
30-Apr-04
Iraq War Media

In April 2003, Peter Arnett, a veteran journalist who was then based in Baghdad, was fired because he dared to observe while being interviewed on an Iraqi TV program that the situation in Iraq was deteriorating because of a growing resistance movement among Iraqis. "The first war plan has failed because of Iraqi resistance. Now they are trying to write another war plan," Arnett said. "Clearly, the war planners misjudged the determination of the Iraqi forces." At first, NBC backed Arnett - then the day after the White House issued a furious denial of Arnett's assertions, NBC caved and fired the Pulitzer prize winning war correspondent.

WW2, Nam, and Iraq: The Journeys of the Media
25-Apr-04
Iraq War Media

Brian Balta writes: "I have a very simple statement to make to sum this up; this is not your father's media. Not anything close to it. In fact, it's far closer to your grandfather's media than it is your father's... This is clearly not our fathers' media. The media have actually, consciously decided that it is their duty to support the war in Iraq, and have decided to censor themselves and their content based on that fact. If we took today's media environment and stuck it on the Vietnam years, you might have heard the Tet offensive dismissed as a small uprising, the work of a few radicals. You would never have seen people bombed out of their homes or burned by American jets. You would never have known the facts of the war. And maybe, a lot more than 58,000 Americans would have died. Thank God we didn't have today's media then."

How the Media Betrayed America by Promoting Bush's Iraq War Lies
30-Mar-04
Iraq War Media

"Philip J. Trounstine notes that the media 'were complicit in gathering support for the war in Iraq and, in part, to a natural impulse, in the wake of 9/11, not to be disloyal to the nation.' Not only did the mainstream networks freeze out critics of the Administration and refuse to challenge the White House, but as a new report from Rep. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) notes, the right-wing media regularly packaged the White House's distortions and half-truths as fact, in a coordinated campaign to mislead the public. After Roger Ailes, head of Fox News, sent a personal note to Bush advising him on his post-9/11 public image, the WP reported neoconservative Fox News contributors like William Kristol quickly became 'well wired' into the White House in the lead up to war. They met periodically with top national security officials and 'huddled privately' every three months with Karl Rove, who was urging conservatives to seek maximum political advantage from a war." Read this whole summary.

Christian Science Monitor Forced to Apologize for Publishing Lies about Galloway
20-Mar-04
Iraq War Media

British politician George Galloway is one of the most outspoken critics of Bush and Blair, and vehemently opposed the war in Iraq from the start. In a vicious attempt to discredit Galloway, the Christian Science Monitor published a story that alleged the former member of parliament took $10 million dollars to support former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. Dawn reports: "The April 2003 story cited documents given to a journalist by an Iraqi general which purported to show Galloway had received payments in return for his 'courageous and daring stands against the enemies of Iraq.'" The documents used by CSM were proved to be forgeries. But, like all of the US corporate media, the CSM never bothered to question the sources of the information it was spoon-fed.

Arab Journalists Walk Out on Powell over US Shootings
19-Mar-04
Iraq War Media

"Arab journalists walked out of a news conference held by American Secretary of State Colin Powell today in protest against the shooting deaths of two Iraqi reporters by US troops. One Arab journalist stood up as soon as Mr Powell walked into the room at the Baghdad convention center and read a statement saying that after one year of 'US occupation,' Americans cannot provide security in Iraq... A reporter for Arab satellite television station Al-Arabiya died from wounds today after US soldiers shot him hours earlier along with a cameraman, who died at the scene, the station said. The death brought to five the number of journalists killed in Iraq in less than 24 hours."

Before War, US Media Acted As White House 'Stenographers' Instead of Responsible Journalists
12-Mar-04
Iraq War Media

US newspapers failed to ever challenge the White House on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, before and after the 2003 war, according to a study by the University of Maryland's 'Centre for International and Security Studies. Journalists also failed to question the US Administration's efforts to link its campaign against Iraq with its "war on terror". Instead, says the report, "Too many journalists acted as virtual stenographers for the current Administration, in effect validating Bush's linkage of terrorism, Iraq and weapons of mass destruction." Among the news outlets studied: The Christian Science Monitor, Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Newsweek and US News and World Report, and also National Public Radio. And, considering that the newspapers did a better job than radio and TV, this has amounted to a huge and shameful blot on the history of American reporting.

Safire Continues His Iraq Disinformation Campaign - When Will He Be Fired?
24-Feb-04
Iraq War Media

David Corn thoroughly documents NY Pravda columnist William Safire's never-ending disinformation campaign about Iraq. He concludes: "Columnists are certainly entitled to their views. They are free to speculate and suppose. They can draw--or suggest--connections that go beyond just-the-facts reporting. But Safire's recent work--unburdened by factchecking, unchallenged by editors--shows he is more intent on manipulating than interpreting the available information. His February 11 masterpiece is evidence his commitment to scoring political points exceeds his commitment to the truth. Under the cover of opinion journalism, he is dishing out disinformation. How is that of service to the readers of The NY Times?" If Jayson Blair was fired for lying - and his editors too - when will Safire be fired?

U.S. Journalist Quits Pentagon Iraqi Media Project Calling it U.S. Propaganda
17-Jan-04
Iraq War Media

TV Producer Don North says in a Democracy Now interview: "Our news director was a young Iraqi ex-pat, Achmed Al-Rikabi, who had grown up in Sweden. And was a producer and reporter for Swedish television. He broadcast for the B.B.C. And he broadcast for the Free Iraq Radio. He was well respected by the Iraqis. But we immediately started clashing with coalition provisional authorities, who wanted control -- they just couldn't resist controlling the message. Unfortunately, they turned what should have been an independent voice for Iraqis -- this was our aim, to sort of make a PBS, a public broadcast radio and TV for the Iraqis. But instead, it just became a mouthpiece for the coalition, and the Iraqis didn't find it credible. They just thought of it as another voice of America, and turned to other satellite broadcasters like Al-Jazeera and Al-Alabira, Arabic stations broadcasting into Iraq. Those are the stations they're watching and not the station that was created for them."

13 Journalists Killed Covering Iraq War
02-Jan-04
Iraq War Media

AP: "Thirteen journalists were killed last year covering the war in Iraq, the highest death toll for the media in a single country since 1995, a watchdog group said Friday. In all, 36 journalists were killed worldwide last year, up from 19 in 2002, the Committee to Protect Journalists said. Iraq was the main reason for the increase. 'Iraq is a dangerous place for many of the people who are there now,' said Ann Cooper, the organization's executive director. 'It's still a huge story,' she said. 'It's particularly a huge story for American media. There are probably hundreds of journalists there at any given time, and they're at great risk.' CPJ said it was particularly troubled by the deaths of four journalists in Iraq killed as a result of U.S. military action. It has called on the Pentagon for a public accounting. Three of the four were killed in April, when the buildings they were in came under fire from U.S. forces; the fourth died in August after being shot by U.S. soldiers."

CBC News: 'Deadline Iraq - Uncensored Stories of the War'
24-Nov-03
Iraq War Media

"Given all this, we thought it would be fascinating and informative to zero in on the journalists who were there. Whether there were logistical impediments to getting their stories out, or editorial concerns, or military restrictions, there was much that they couldn't, or wouldn't say, during the war. Now they can. We interviewed nearly 50 journalists from around the world, representing the broadest range of media affiliations. You can read the entire interviews from 12 of them here on our website. And the composite picture they give us of this war is one that we didn't really see: what went on behind the scenes, the fear, the exhilaration, the tedium, the professional gratification, as well as the toll it took on them emotionally and psychologically." The program will broadcast November 30 at 10AM on CBC TV -- and 12PM & 7PM ET on CBC Newsworld.

To Avoid Pictures of Maimed American Soldiers, RoveTV Features Maimed Iraqis
09-Nov-03
Iraq War Media

"Have you seen all of that graphic media coverage of the 2000-plus wounded servicemen and -women who served in Iraq, laying in military hospitals with missing limbs? Me neither. I was made more aware of them last week by Cher" who called C-Span anonymously about her visit to Walter Reed Army Hospital. "But the thing that I was most shocked by as I walked into the hospital, the first person I ran into was a boy about 19 or 20 years old who'd lost both of his arms. And when I walked into the hospital and visited all these boys all day long, everyone had lost either one arm, one limb or two limbs or had lost one limb and there were, there were a lot of legs that seemed to be missing." Meanwhile "CNN and Fox went big with a videotape it said American soldiers had uncovered last April, a tape it described as 'a gruesome videotape found by U.S. troops in Iraq.' It depicted the 'brutal punishment administered by the Fedayeen Saddam to enforce discipline under the regime of Saddam Hussein.'"

Joseph Wilson Plans to Expose 50 Iraq War Lies, Featuring Pvt. Jessica Lynch
14-Oct-03
Iraq War Media

"Just as former Ambassador Joseph Wilson's story that Bushies blew his CIA wife's cover to get back at his criticism of the war in Iraq was getting old, he has stumbled on new ammo to hit the administration's credibility. Wilson tells us he plans to circulate the text of a briefing by analyst Sam Gardiner that suggests the White House and Pentagon made up or distorted over 50 war stories. You know some tall tales, like the Pvt. Jessica Lynch story. But there's more, says Gardiner, a war gamer who has taught at the National War College... He says Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Richard Myers gave bad or deliberately incomplete info on several topics. Sure, propaganda has always been used in war to deceive and demoralize the enemy. But these guys went way overboard, Gardiner says. 'Never before have so many stories been created to sell a war,' he insists. 'And they probably didn't need it.'"

Pro-War Media Refuses to Apologize for Lying to America
21-Aug-03
Iraq War Media

Erik Wemple writes, "Last winter, as the Bush administration rushed the country toward an invasion of Iraq, the editorial Dept.s of some leading publications sounded a lot like Dick Cheney. Here's the Washington Post: 'Unless unexpected change takes place in Baghdad, the US should lead a force to remove Saddam Hussein's dictatorship and locate and destroy its chemical and biological weapons and its nuclear program.' The New Republic: 'Saddam's megalomaniacal aspirations and repeated pattern of aggression make him an even less attractive candidate to join the nuclear club than Kim Jong Il.' The Wall Street Journal: 'As a madman pursuing nuclear weapons, Saddam doesn't need al Qaeda ties to be dangerous.' The Washington Times: '[T]here can be no reasonable doubt that Saddam Hussein is a menace who must be disarmed-by force, if necessary. Those who remain opposed to the use of force...simply have chosen to ignore the evidence.'" Have these publications apologized for lying? Fat chance!

The NY Times Lie that Led America to War
07-Aug-03
Iraq War Media

John MacArthur writes that on 9-7-02, "Millions of people saw Bush tieless, casually inarticulate, but determined-looking and self-confident, making a completely uncorroborated case for preemptive war [based on a non-existent IAEA report]. While we contemplate the irony of Bush quoting a UN weapons inspection agency that he would later dismiss, we might ask ourselves why no more evidence was needed than the resident's say-so - and why no reporters asked for any. But the next day, more 'evidence' suddenly appeared, on the front page of the Sunday New York Times. In a disgraceful piece of stenography, Michael Gordon and Judith Miller inflated an administration leak into something resembling imminent Armageddon: 'More than a decade after Saddam Hussein agreed to give up weapons of mass destruction, Iraq has stepped up its quest for nuclear weapons and has embarked on a worldwide hunt for materials to make an atomic bomb, Bush administration officials said today.'"

Jim McDermott Was Right about Bush - When Will the Media Apologize?
21-Jul-03
Iraq War Media

Norman Solomon writes, "The superstar columnist George Will has an impressive vocabulary. Too bad it doesn't include the words 'I'm sorry.' Ten months ago, Will led the media charge when a member of Congress dared to say that President Bush would try to deceive the public about Iraq. By now, of course, strong evidence has piled up that Bush not only tried, but succeeded. But back in late September, when a media frenzy erupted about Rep. Jim McDermott's live appearance from Baghdad on ABC's 'This Week' program, what riled the punditocracy as much as anything else was McDermott's last statement during the interview: 'I think the president would mislead the American people.' First to wave a media dagger at the miscreant was Will, a regular on the ABC television show. Within minutes, on the air, he denounced 'the most disgraceful performance abroad by an American official in my lifetime.' But the syndicated columnist was just getting started." McDermott was right - Bush lied to America.

Reporter's Query: Give America A Reality Check
15-Jul-03
Iraq War Media

With the truth slowly emerging about how and why the Bush administration took this nation to war, a majority of Americans are finally looking past the TV pictures of "shock and awe" and statue-toppling, and asking hard questions about the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Those who supported the war and those who oppose it have an equal obligation to face the facts about the war -- good, bad and ugly -- so that we can hold our government, and ourselves, accountable. If you or someone you know fought in the war, Americans need to hear from you. If you'd like to tell your story -- what you faced (or still face) on the ground in the Persian Gulf (or Afghanistan), and how the decision to go to war affected you and your family, please contact columnist Joy-Ann Reid to share your story. Reid's column appears in the Miami Herald. She can be contacted at temp715@democrats.com

The Judith Miller Scandal: 'Scoops' and Truth at the Times
11-Jul-03
Iraq War Media

"Who's the exact opposite of Jayson Blair, the... Times reporter accused of inventing sources and quotes, plagiarizing and other sins? Well, how about Judith Miller? Where Blair is young and black and inexperienced, a rookie journalist whose job was largely to interview ordinary people, Miller is middle-aged and white and a veteran Times star whose job it is to interact with the best and the brightest in science, academia and government. But Blair and Miller have more in common than you might think. Both are in trouble for giving readers dubious information. While Miller's alleged improprieties are of a more subtle nature, and she comes into this rough patch with an estimable reputation built over the course of a long and distinguished career, her case reveals a great deal about the state of today's news media... [She] risks playing with the kind of fire that starts or justifies wars, gets people killed and plays into the hands of government officials with partisan axes to grind."

Judith Miller Abused Embedded Role -- Acted as Liason to Chalabi, Made Threats of Negative Reporting, Invoked Pentagon Brass
25-Jun-03
Iraq War Media

"More than a half-dozen military officers said that [NY Times reporter Judith] Miller acted as a middleman between the Army unit with which she was embedded and Iraqi National Congress leader Ahmed Chalabi, on one occasion accompanying Army officers to Chalabi's headquarters, where they took custody of Saddam Hussein's son-in-law. She also sat in on the initial debriefing of the son-in-law, these sources say. Since interrogating Iraqis was not the mission of the unit, these officials said, it became a 'Judith Miller team,' in the words of one officer close to the situation. In April, Miller wrote a letter objecting to an Army commander's order to withdraw the unit, Mobile Exploitation Team Alpha, from the field. She said this would be a 'waste' of time and suggested that she would write about it unfavorably in the Times. After Miller took up the matter with a two-star general, the pullback order was dropped... [She would also] invok[e]... Rumsfeld or Undersecretary Douglas Feith."

George Galloway Sues Christian Science Monitor for Libel
22-Jun-03
Iraq War Media

"The Christian Science Monitor said documents from Baghdad - on which its April 25 report about left-wing British legislator George Galloway were based - were 'almost certainly forgeries.' 'We apologize to Mr. Galloway and to our readers,' the Boston-based publication's editor Paul Van Slambrouck said... But Galloway, one of Britain's most outspoken campaigners against the Iraq war and past Western sanctions on Baghdad, said he would press on with a libel case against the Monitor. 'The last two months have been a walking nightmare so I just can't accept an apology like this,' he told Reuters. 'The basic checks on the authenticity of these documents which they have now made should have been done before they were published on the front of an internationally renowned paper.' Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper also accused Galloway in April of taking at least $628,000 a year in pay-offs from the Iraqi government. He denies that too and says he is also planning to sue the Telegraph. "

MSNBC's Banfield: Media Filtered Realities of War
28-Apr-03
Iraq War Media

"War's sobering realities never reached American TV screens during the recent U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, according to NBC News correspondent Ashleigh Banfield. 'We didn't see what happen when Marines fired M-16s,' Banfield said during a Landon lecture appearance today at Kansas State University. 'We didn't see what happened after mortars landed, only the puff of smoke. There were horrors that were completely left out of this war. So was this journalism? Or was this coverage?' On the other hand, she said, many U.S. television viewers were treated to a non-stop flow of images presented by 'cable news operators who wrap themselves in the American flag and go after a certain target demographic'... In her lecture, Banfield noted inconsistencies in the Bush administration's announced war aims in Iraq... 'Conveniently, in the week or two we were in there, [rather than finding WMDs] it became a message of 'freeing the Iraqi people,' Banfield said." Yes, Operation Iraqi Liberation -- O-I-L.

Andy Rooney Speaks His Mind - Stands Up to Jingoistic Morons
26-Apr-03
Iraq War Media

"Andy Rooney, who covered World War II and was one of television's few voices to strongly oppose the war in Iraq, says he's chastened by the quick fall of Baghdad but doesn't regret his '60 Minutes' commentaries. Rooney said Thursday he received thousand of letters in response to his anti-war statements... He said on CBS April 6 that he couldn't remember any more unpleasant times. ``I hate everything about this war except that we're winning it,' he said. 'You can't even be critical, either, without sounding unpatriotic.' He mocked the idea of the war being a coalition, and said 'the only real good news will be when this terrible time in American history is over.' A week earlier, Rooney said that 'we didn't shock them and we didn't awe them in Baghdad. The phrase makes us look like foolish braggarts. The president ought to fire whoever wrote that for him.' Since Osama bin Laden hasn't been caught, Americans were transferring the blame for Sept. 11 to Saddam Hussein, he said."

CNN Says its Silence on Iraq Atrocities Had Nothing to do with Maintaining Access
16-Apr-03
Iraq War Media

AP Reports: "A top CNN executive kept quiet about some atrocities in Iraq not because the network wanted to protect access but because it worried about putting lives in danger, CNN said Monday. Eason Jordan, CNN's chief news executive, revealed the incidents in an op-ed piece in The New York Times Friday headlined 'The News We Kept to Ourselves.'" Yeah, right...nothing to do with 'access.'

Crash Preceded by Gunfire Kills Two Argentine Journalists in Iraq
15-Apr-03
Iraq War Media

The New York based Committee to Protect Journalists [CPJ] is investigating reports of gunfire just before a car crash that killed two Argentinian journalists in Iraq on Monday. Freelance camerawoman Veronica Cabrera, 28, became the only woman among 14 journalists killed to-date while covering the war in Iraq. As reported by AFP, she and TV reporter Mario Podesta were riding with a convoy of journalists trying to get to Baghdad before nightfall when a tire exploded on their vehicle, causing it to roll several times. AFP reports, "Gustavo Sierra, a Baghdad correspondent for the Argentine newspaper Clarin, said the driver lost control after trying to avoid a possible shooting or robbery attempt." CPJ has already launched an investigation of three separate US military attacks that killed three journalists in Baghdad on April 8.

Peter Arnett Now Reporting for Arab Satellite Channel
08-Apr-03
Iraq War Media

"Axed NBC correspondent Peter Arnett is reporting for pan-Arab satellite channel Al-Arabiya, the station said on Saturday... He (Arnett) is an able reporter who has covered wars before and who knows Iraq well," the Dubai-based station's editor-in-chief Salah Nejm told The Associated Press. "I think he is unbiased and has a lot of experience," Nejm said... Since being fired by NBC, Arnett has been hired by a private Belgian TV network, a state-run Greek television channel and The Daily Mirror of London, a tabloid vehemently opposed to the war."

Now Playing: Saving Private Lynch
07-Apr-03
Iraq War Media

"One could have easily gotten the impression last week that the war in Iraq is being fought to liberate pretty young American girls from Iraqi hospitals. After a week of news of Iraqis strenuously resisting U.S. efforts to liberate them, the American campaign badly needed something to make war feel good again in the homeland. The rescue of Jessica Lynch proved just the thing. The cute 19-year-old private, who had enlisted in the army so she could get a college education and become a kindergarten teacher when she grows up, instantly became the human face of the U.S. war effort. With the Jessica story front and center, the most lethal war machine ever assembled in history could be presented as fresh-faced, innocent and eager to please. Suddenly the war campaign no longer seemed to be about dropping bombs (8,700 in 12 days) relentlessly on a city of 5 million people, or killing unarmed women and children in Baghdad markets or at army checkpoints; it was about saving sweet, young co-eds."

The Rashomon War
07-Apr-03
Iraq War Media

Ralph Peters writes: "The classic Japanese film 'Rashomon' relates the same incident from several points of view. Each successive narrator's perspective on events is jarringly different - yet each version of the tale might be equally true. The film is a brilliant early example of 'spin' and an uncanny metaphor for our present war... The least credible version of the war - at least outside of the Arab media - is that repeated daily in the Pentagon. While there should be no doubt that American and allied armed forces are winning impressively, OSD's adherence to a party line of almost Stalinesque rigidity becomes more untenable with each press briefing."

Lynch's Doctor Calls Media's Sanitized War Coverage 'Disgusting'
07-Apr-03
Iraq War Media

"The daily White House press briefings and fuzzy real-time TV reports fall far short of conveying the brutality of war, Boulder neurosurgeon Gene Bolles told the Daily Camera. 'It really is disgustingly sanitized on television,' said Bolles, who has spent the last 16 months as chief of neurosurgery at Landstuhl, the destination for the war's most wounded soldiers. 'We have had a number of really horrific injuries now from the war. They have lost arms, legs, hands, they have been burned, they have had significant brain injuries and peripheral nerve damage. These are young kids that are going to be, in some regards, changed for life. I don't feel that people realize that.'" But to hear Tom Brokaw, Katie Couric, Paula Zahn, and the other soulless war cheerleaders tell it, this war is all about 'fallen heroes' and David Bloom's embolism - not nasty details like new parapalegics or severely brain damaged Americans.

The Thick Fog of War on American Television
07-Apr-03
Iraq War Media

Norman Solomon writes: "With a straight face, and with scant willingness to raise fundamental questions, American networks uncritically relay a nonstop barrage of statements from U.S. officials that portray deadly Iraqi actions as heinous and deadly American actions as positive. They have 'death squads,' and we have noble troops. Their bullets and bombs are odious; ours are remedies for tyranny. 'It looks and feels like terrorism,' a Pentagon official said on national television after several American soldiers died at the hands of an Iraqi suicide bomber. But if attacks on U.S. troops inside Iraq are 'terrorism,' what should we call the continuously massive bombing of Baghdad? Surely, to people in that city, the current assault looks and feels like terrorism."

Pro-War Media Pollsters Want Us to Believe 85% of Americans Think War is Going Well!
01-Apr-03
Iraq War Media

Pro-war media pollsters are stretching all credibility in their effort to prop up the Bush/Blair war. This past weekend, when Americans realized the war was not the promised "cakewalk," a few polls "leaked" the truth, revealing a plunge to 38% of Americans who think the war is going well. Now, a new CNN poll allegedly conducted over the past 24 hours shows that 85% of Americans think the war is going just dandy, while a London "We Love Blair" Times poll shows 65% of Brits think so too. So we're supposed to believe that, in the wake of the slaughter of women and children by our troops, the admission by many military officials that Bushfeld's warplan is a disaster, and the failure of Bush to achieve a single war goal yet, that the UK and US perception that the war is going well has shot 40 points or so?! At the very least, fake polls like that do NOTHING to help the world's deteriorating perception of the US.

Arnett Says, 'I am Still in Shock and Awe at Being Fired'
31-Mar-03
Iraq War Media

"I am still in shock and awe at being fired. There is enormous sensitivity within the US government to reports coming out from Baghdad. They don't want credible news organisations reporting from here because it presents them with enormous problems... I am really shocked that I am no longer reporting this story for the US and awed by the fact that it actually happened. That overnight my successful NBC reporting career was turned to ashes. And why? Because I stated the obvious to Iraqi television; that the US war timetable has fallen by the wayside. I have made those comments to television stations around the world and now I'm making them again in the Daily Mirror. I'm not angry. I'm not crying. But I'm also awed by this media phenomenon. The right-wing media and politicians are looking for any opportunity to be critical of the reporters who are here, whatever their nationality. I made the misjudgment which gave them the opportunity to do so."

The 'Embedded' Media or the 'In Bed With' Media? 15 Stories They've Already Bungled
31-Mar-03
Iraq War Media

Greg Mitchell writes for Editor and Publisher: "The war is only a week old and already the media has gotten at least 15 stories wrong or misreported a sliver of fact into a major event. Television news programs, of course, have been the prime culprits... The problem, I suggested, is that most of the TV commentators on the home front appear to be just as 'embedded' with the military as the far braver reporters now in the Iraqi desert... Here, then, is a list of stories that have been widely misreported or poorly reported so far: 1. Saddam may well have been killed in the first night's surprise attack (March 20)... 3. Umm Qasr has been taken (March 22) [See also #10 and #13]... 6. An entire division of 8,000 Iraqi soldiers surrendered en masse near Basra (March 23) 7. Several Scud missiles, banned weapons, have been launched against U.S. forces in Kuwait (March 23)... 9. Basra has been taken (March 23)... 11. A captured chemical plant likely produced chemical weapons (March 23)..."

When Telling the Truth Will Get You Fired from the Networks
31-Mar-03
Iraq War Media

Doug Ireland writes: "When NBC - which is owned by General Electric, a prime military-industrial complex contractor - decided to fire Peter Arnett for the thought crime of plain speaking, it was undoubtedly responding both to pressure from the White House (which accused Arnett of 'pandering' to the Iraqis) and to the imperatives of its MSNBC ratings chase against the gung-ho, pro-war frothers of Fox News... CNN 's Jeff Greenfield rushed to endorse the veteran war correspondent's firing. Greenfield dismissed the notion of an anti-war movement whose challenge was 'growing' - as if the millions who have taken to the streets of major U.S. cities and the some 5,000 American civil disobedients who have so far been voluntarily arrested in 'die-ins' and other nonviolent forms of political action ... were not energized by the heart-rending accounts of civilians shredded by American bombs and bullets in an unnecessary and obtusely-run war."

NBC Fires Peter Arnett for Telling the Truth about W-ar Setbacks
31-Mar-03
Iraq War Media

"NBC fired journalist Peter Arnett today, saying it was wrong for him to give an interview with state-run Iraqi TV in which he said the US-led coalition's initial plan for the war had failed because of Iraq's resistance... Arnett, on NBC's Today show today, said he was sorry for his statement but added 'I said over the weekend what we all know about the war.' ... 'It was wrong for Mr. Arnett to grant an interview to state-controlled Iraqi TV, especially at a time of war,' NBC spokeswoman said. 'And it was wrong for him to discuss his personal observations and opinions in that interview.' [In the interview, Arnrett] said the United States is reappraising the battlefield and delaying the war, maybe for a week, 'and rewriting the war plan.' 'The first war plan has failed because of Iraqi resistance. Now they are trying to write another war plan.' 'Clearly, the American war plans misjudged the determination of the Iraqi forces,' Arnett said." We can hear Rummy saying: "Off with his head!"

Was Strike on Iraqi Ministry of Information a Murderous Attack on Western Journalists Likely to Tell the Truth?
30-Mar-03
Iraq War Media

When the BushFeld Ministry of Propaganda released the news of the strike on the Baghdad Ministry of Information, they described it as the destruction of the Iraqi "propaganda center." What they didn't mention was that the building was also being used by western reporters - reporters who, as eyewitnesses inside Baghdad, are in a position to report the TRUTH. So far in this war, nearly 10 reporters have been killed or injured by car bombs, friendly fire or "mysterious accidents" or "disappeared." None of them were US-government-controlled "embeddees". Was this bombing an attempt to "eliminate" as many troublesome reporters as possible in murderous attack?

Daniel Ellsberg Rips Aaron Brown to Shreds
30-Mar-03
Iraq War Media

Interviewing Daniel Ellsberg, CNN's Aaron Brown revealed that he is simply Sean Hannity without the rage. He kept asking the same vile question: isn't the anti-war movement really just a fifth column for Saddam? Ellsberg made mincemeat of Brown, saying Saddam would have to be a complete idiot to think anti-war protesters could stop Bush's killing machine. Memo to Aaron Brown: we're trying to save the lives of innocent Iraqi's - and Americans - who will die during and after this criminal war. When the next 9-11 attack hits the U.S., will you figure out that government terrorism only produces more anti-government terrorism?

Is BushFeld Targeting Independent Journalists for 'Elimination'?
30-Mar-03
Iraq War Media

Back in early March, veteran journalist Kate Adie warned that the Pentagon planned to target journalists it considered "in the way." Now, as of March 30, at least 9 non-embedded journalists have been killed, injured, or "disappeared." The causes of death? A car bomb, friendly fire, and a mysterious accident - not, as usually happens in a war zone, the result of being "caught in the crossfire." The journalist casualty rate is the highest for any single group in the war zone. Now Newsday reports that four independent journalists were detained, mistreated, and forcibly expelled form Iraq by U.S. troops. Is Kate Adie's prediction coming true? Cheryl Seal Reports.

Independent Journalists Arrested and Expelled from Iraq by US Troops
30-Mar-03
Iraq War Media

"Four reporters - Boaz Bismuth of the Israeli daily newspaper Yediot Ahronot, Dan Scemama of Israel's Channel One television, and Luis Castro and Victor Silva of Radio Televisao Portuguesa - had been traveling independently of the Army when they were detained at gunpoint Tuesday night, 62 miles from Baghdad, according to Israeli media reports and broadcast accounts by the journalists. After being stripped of their belongings and held in a Jeep for at least 48 hours, they said, they were flown by Army helicopter to Kuwait, where they arrived Friday. 'It was really unpleasant,' said Bismuth, 'The Americans don't want the independent journalists in Iraq.'" So reports Newsday, which had two of its journalists "disappear" last week.

America's Warmongering Sweetheart Katie Couric and 'Old Soldier Wannabe' Tom Brokaw
28-Mar-03
Iraq War Media

50-50 Lie falls to new low!: "On 'Today,' a 5-minute slot selectively highlighted the Maine town of Brunswick, pop. 22,000, as an example of a 'typical,' 'deeply divided' American town. But they left out one little detail: Brunswick is a major Naval Air Base that accounts for a large percentage of the population - over 4,000 enlisted persons and officers. Including their families, that accounts for well over one-fourth of the population! For NBC to 'cameo' Brunswick as a town with a 'typically divided' viewpoint on the war is like cameoing Haight Ashbury during the Vietnam war as a 'typically divided' town. Sheer calculated deceit!" - Cheryl Seal Reports

Disinformation, USA
28-Mar-03
Iraq War Media

Russian intelligence reports that the story of surrender of an entire Iraqi division was a total media fabrication and that Gen. Franks may be sacked as the war stalls.

'Fog of War' - or Just Damn Lies?
28-Mar-03
Iraq War Media

BBC writes, "First, British and United States military officials said that Umm Qasr had been 'taken' while BBC reporters on the ground said that pockets of resistance remained - which continued for several days. Then, military officials reported a 'civilian uprising against Saddam Hussein' in Iraq's second city of Basra, hard evidence of which has yet to materialise. On Wednesday, 'a column of up to 120 tanks was leaving Basra'. The convoy later proved to be just three-strong. And the death of 15 Iraqi civilians in a Baghdad shopping centre has been shrouded in mystery. British journalist Martin Bell says the best way of cutting through the 'fog of war' is to return to journalistic basics: 'be sceptical.'"

And the Global Media Winner Is... Al Jazeera
25-Mar-03
Iraq War Media

CNN became a media power during Gulf War I, when Peter Arnett and Christiane Amanpour broadcast the only live war images to the world. Heading into Gulf War II, there was much anticipation of a defining 3-way battle between CNN, FOX, and MSNBC. But the far and away winner is not an American outlet, but rather Al Jazeera, which reaches 35 million Arabic speakers, and is pirated widely in the third world. As the Guardian reports, Al Jazeera "has signed up 4 million new subscribers in Europe since last Wednesday, doubling its viewership on the continent... al-Jazeera's media consultant said, 'The fact that we provide alternative images means people are coming to us rather than us going to them.' Outside the Middle East, only 10 million people had access to the network, but this figure has swollen since the outbreak of hostilities last week... An English-language version of al-Jazeera is planned and could launch by the end of this year." That's BIG trouble for Bush...

Pictures Bush Does Not Want You To See
25-Mar-03
Iraq War Media

This site contains: Carnage on the Iraqis; American Casualties; The Results of the Use of Depleted Uranium; These are undated pictures - NOT a result of current war; Miscellaneous Pictures of the War; Al Jazeera Cartoons; and Al Jazeera Video Clips.

English Al-Jazeera Site Hacked for Displeasing Bushies
25-Mar-03
Iraq War Media

AP reports: "Hackers attacked the website of Arab satellite television network Al-Jazeera on Tuesday, rendering it intermittently unavailable, the site's host said. The newly launched English-language page, which went live Monday, was hardest hit in a bombardment of data packets known as a denial-of-service attack."

 


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