I think it’s about time to stop complaining that the media isn’t doing a good job of asking questions. In the end, the American public may or may not care about the WMD issue — although I hope they do — but it’s definitely out there. You can tell the media is covering the story when John Dean asks if lying about the reason for a war is an impeachable offense. He thinks it is, unsurprisingly. Meanwhile, the New York Times reports doubts about those two trailers.
Before John Dean accuses the President of lying he might want to be sure his own argument isn’t full of lies. For instances, he writes:
Recent statements by one of the high-level officials privy to the decision making process that lead to the Iraqi war also strongly suggest manipulation, if not misuse of the intelligence agencies. Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, during an interview with Sam Tannenhaus of Vanity Fair magazine, said: “The truth is that for reasons that have a lot to do with the U.S. government bureaucracy we settled on the one issue that everyone could agree on which was weapons of mass destruction as the core reason.”
Actually, Vanity Fair’s editorial process strongly suggests manipulation, if not misuse of
Wolfowitz’s words. What he actually said was: “The truth is that for reasons that have a lot to do with the U.S. government bureaucracy we settled on the one issue that everyone could agree on which was weapons of mass destruction as the core reason, but there have always been three fundamental concerns. One is weapons of mass destruction, the second is support for terrorism, the third is the criminal treatment of the Iraqi people. Actually I guess you could say
there’s a fourth overriding one which is the connection between the first two.”
That’s pretty egregious misquoting if you ask me, but it gets worse. He also writes:
More recently, Wolfowitz added what most have believed all along, that the reason we went after Iraq is that “[t]he country swims on a sea of oil.”
Of course, he said nothing of the sort. The Guardian has since made
href=”http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,3604,972482,00.html”>this admission of its own reporting on the matter.
In re the NYT story on the two mobile weapons labs: two of the three teams that inspected the labs have concluded they were used to manufacture biological weapons, while the one thinks the official Iraqi explanation — that they are mobile hydrogen factories for weather balloons — is at least plausible. Given the other details of the NYT story I find that explaination hard to believe, especially since these two trailers weren’t disclosed by Iraq along with the other mobile labs it submitted in a list to the UN. Just
more bad paperwork?