Wednesday, August 01, 2007

The Republican Media- No. 5

I don't mean to pick on CNN as a part of the pro-Republican media. It would be easy to select items from FOX News to demonstrate a pro-GOP slant. But given that FOX News is a virtual arm of the Republican Party, demonstrating bias there would not prove bias in the mainstream media generally. And besides, one can go to the Republican National Committee's website and get reports nearly as objective as those on FOX News. Herewith an exchange from Larry King's interview with President Cheney televised last night on CNN:

King: "So, those 3,000-plus lives have not died in vain?"
Cheney: (agreeing) "Yes, sir."
King: "So in restrospect you would still go into Iraq."

The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (9/11 commission) found no evidence of a "collaborative relationship between Saddam and Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda organization before the U.S. invasion." Further, Acting Inspector General Thomas F. Gimble, in a Defense Department report released in April, 2007 and here summarized by WashingtonPost.com, reported that "captured Iraqi documents and intelligence interrogations of Saddam Hussein and two former aides 'all confirmed' that Hussein's regime was not cooperating with al-Qaeda before the invasion of Iraq."

Sure, the Administration has been trying since that disastrous day in 2001 to make the linkage between al-Qaeda and the late Saddam Hussein. According to TIME.com, NBC reported that former NATO commander-in-chief General Wesley Clarke stated that "people in and around the White House had made a concerted push to link 9/11 to Iraq and... he was urged to make that link during his TV appearances." CBS, TIME noted, reported that "Defense Secretary Rumsfeld had urged his aides to begin making the case for striking Saddam as well as bin Laden within hours of the atacks."

Richard A. Clarke, the counter-terrorism adviser on the U.S. National Security Council on September 11, 2001, recounted in his book Against All Enemies Inside America's War on Terror- What Really Happened this regime's push for war by manufacturing a link. Shortly after the attacks, Wolfowitz told Clarke (who had argued that only al Qaeda was "an immediate and serious threat to the United States") "you give bin Laden too much credit. He could not do all these things like the 1999 attack on New York without a state sponsor. Just because FBI and CIA have failed to find the linkages does not mean they don't exist."

So Larry King conflates our incursion into Iraq with the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. And therein repeats a key Republican talking point, the myth that Iraq was involved with the attacks, thereby suggesting a connection between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda. And this is repeated throughout "the liberal media."

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