Secret admirers: The Bushes and the Washington Post

Part 1 of a two part-series
Secret admirers: The Bushes and the Washington Post

By Michael Hasty
Online Journal Contributing Writer

February 5, 2004—Ever since the days of the Watergate scandal, when a series of front-page articles by Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein ultimately led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon, the Post has had a reputation among many Americans as one of the elite bastions of the "liberal media."

This opinion is especially prevalent among conservatives, who also fault the Post for its publication (along with that other "liberal" icon, The New York Times) of the Pentagon Papers—an action they correctly view as having made a major contribution to undermining domestic support for the war in Vietnam. During the '70s, there was an angry conservative boycott of the paper in the Washington, DC, area, with "I Don't Believe the Post" bumper stickers appearing on cars and WP vending boxes.

Fixed Is Fixed

TomPaine.com
Ray McGovern
June 22, 2005
Ray McGovern was a CIA analyst for 27 years, and is co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity. He now works at Tell the Word, the publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour.

With last week's hearings on the Downing Street memos concluded, much work lies ahead. Now, the information in the Downing Street memos needs to be collated carefully with evidence from the mainstream media, on the Internet, and from other sources regarding what was going on in top policymaking circles in Washington in the preparations for the invasion of Iraq.

DVDs of Hearing and Rally Available

TakeBacktheMedia will have ready by tomorrow a 2-DVD set with all the footage of the June 16, 2005, hearing on the Downing Street Minutes held in the U.S. Capitol and hosted by Congressman John Conyers, plus the delivery of Conyers' letter and 560,000 signatures to the White House, plus the rally in Lafayette Square Park, plus interviews of those involved. To get your DVDs, just go here, and make a donation of at least $20.

To get a taste of what you'll be buying, watch this clip.

Proof Of Deception, Not Intention

David Corn, TomPaine.com
June 21, 2005

David Corn writes The Loyal Opposition twice a month for TomPaine.com. Corn is also the Washington editor of The Nation and is the author of The Lies of George W. Bush: Mastering the Politics of Deception (Crown Publishers).

I'm obsessed with the Downing Street memos. Now, I don't want to come across as a cranky lefty who waves these memos about and calls for the impeachment of George W. Bush. But I've recently appeared on several TV and radio shows and have encountered mainstream media people who dismiss the memos as nothing new. And this is getting me angry. I expect conservatives who back Bush and his war in Iraq to try to spin these documents away. They're merely following the deny-reality strategy that has worked so well for their man in the White House. It's the non-ideologues who say the memos are no big deal who get me riled.

OTHER VOICES: The Downing Street memos

Detroit Free Press
June 22, 2005

Excerpts of commentary on the Downing Street memos:

Another confidential British memo has surfaced to fan fresh criticism about the run-up to the 2003 Iraq war. This time, the issue is whether the Bush administration ignored warnings to plan for the war's complicated aftermath. ...

The force of the British memo comes from the clarity of its language. It was written July 21, 2002, and its warning -- that "a postwar occupation of Iraq could lead to a protracted and costly nation-building exercise" -- now looks prophetic. ...

A White House spokesman said the memo was off base. "There was significant postwar planning," said David Almacy. "More importantly, the memo in question was written eight months before the war began; there was significant postwar planning in the time that elapsed." ...

Americans inching closer to a reckoning

ROBERT STEINBACK
DOWNING STREET MEMO
The Miami Herald

Do you want to know?

That's the only popular division that matters in the United States today: Those who want to determine once and for all if President Bush knowingly ''fixed the facts'' regarding Iraq, thereby misleading Congress and the American people into supporting an unnecessary war, and those who will cover their ears and hum loudly in order to maintain their belief that Bush and his advisors remain above reproach.

You're in one camp or the other. Either you want to know if you've been lied to, or you don't.

The American public is inching tentatively toward a reckoning unlike any this nation has ever experienced. The oh-so-clever Bush administration strategists and their quasi-media acolytes, who have kept the reckoning at bay with a deft combination of we're-at-war patriotic fervor and fear-the-evil-liberals rhetoric, are running out of parlor tricks.

Ivins: Media give Bush a free pass on Downing Street memos

By Molly Ivins
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Salt Lake Tribune

I hope this is not too Inside Baseball, but I am genuinely astonished by what the bloggers call "Mainstream Media." (In my youth, it was quaintly called "the Establishment Press.")

The New York Times, The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times have all gone way out of their way to deny that the Downing Street memos (it's now plural) are news. Like many of you, during the entire lead-up to the war with Iraq, I thought the whole thing was a set-up.

I raise this point not to prove how smart we are, but to emphasize that I followed the debate closely and probably unconsciously searched for evidence that reinforced what I already thought. Most people do that. I read some of the European press and most of the liberal publications in this country. I read the Times, the Post, the Wall Street Journal and several Texas papers every day. It's my job.

Distracted By History (Wolfowitz is on message: focus on present, that's old news, we're busy right now...)

Wolfowitz won't discuss critical British memos
By Jon Sawyer
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

(KRT) - WASHINGTON - World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz, a prime architect of the Iraq war during his service as Deputy Defense Secretary, said Tuesday that he hasn't read any of the recently disclosed British government memos that call into question his role and that of other senior administration officials in the run-up to war during 2002.

At a breakfast meeting with reporters, Wolfowitz said he hasn't read the memos because he doesn't want to be distracted by history from his new job as head of the world's leading development bank. He returned this weekend from a tour of four African nations.

Hardball Transcript - - copywrite karl rove, 2005?

MSNBC
HARDBALL 7:00 PM EST
June 20, 2005 Monday
David Shuster, David Gregory
GUESTS: David Kay, James Woolsey, Michael Smith, Mike Allen, Terence Samuel, Barbara Boxer, George Allen

The Democrats have blocked a vote on John Bolton, the president`s embattled nominee to be U.S. ambassador. Might the president consider a recess appointment now? What is fact and what is fiction in terms of the so-called Downing Street memo?

DAVID GREGORY, GUEST HOST: Tonight, the Democrats have done it again. They have blocked a vote on John Bolton, the president`s embattled nominee to be U.S. ambassador. Might the president consider a recess appointment now?

Conyers, Other Black Democrats Fired Up Over Downing Street Memo

Date: Tuesday, June 21, 2005
By: Monica Lewis, BlackAmericaWeb.com

A simple British memo is now causing a band of U.S. politicians to demand some concrete answers from President George W. Bush on how he plans to end the conflict in Iraq.

The “Downing Street Memo,

Starting a War the Old Way

Published on Tuesday, June 21, 2005 by the Denver Post
By Ed Quillen

Some well-meaning people are expressing outrage at the Bush administration following the disclosure of previously secret British memoranda from 2002, the year before the United States and Great Britain invaded Iraq.
It seems that President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair were discussing ground battle plans, and for the immediate future, the U.S. Air Force and Royal Air Force would increase their activity while patrolling a "no-fly zone" over Iraq. In March 2002, no bombs were dropped; in August, 14.1 metric tons fell on Iraq.

The Bush Dam Breaks

Published on Tuesday, June 21, 2005 by The Progressive
By Matthew Rothschild

The Bush dam is beginning to crumble.

The dam that defied opposition to the Iraq War.

The dam that kept Republicans from coming to their senses on Social Security.

The dam that held back critics of the USA Patriot Act.

It's no longer holding.

Bush's popularity is in the low forties, and may get to the freezing point soon.

And so his ability to keep getting away with "disassembling," as he would put it, is being washed away.

46 percent of Americans want U.S. troops to leave Iraq now.

Time to Go? Behind the Calls for an Exit Strategy

Published on Monday, June 20, 2005 by CommonDreams.org
As "The Feeling Grows"
by Danny Schechter

Suddenly, the words "exit strategy" has entered into the popular discourse. 41 Congress members have formed an Out of Iraq caucus. Four, including two Republicans are proposing a Congressional resolution to set the date. More newspapers and opinion columnists are mouthing the words that were downright unacceptable or even treasonous in last fall's Presidential election,
Then the Democrats were out bushing Bush in their fidelity to the "stay the course until we win" mantra. Anything else was "cutting and running" in the GOP parlance, and one by one the "opposition" party cleaved to the center for cover and respectability. MoveOn moved off the war issue while Howard Dean dropped his anti-war focus to become Party Chairman. All was quiet on the western front as the White House trumpeted success after success and the press abandoned analysis for hotel-based reporting of incidents. Even the anti-war movement seemed to have slowed its momentum,

Yes, they did lie to us

In the US the latest leaked memos are seen as a smoking gun on Iraq, but in Britain we are struggling to keep up

Jonathan Freedland
Wednesday June 22, 2005
The Guardian

Now try to work this one out. Before the war on Iraq, Britain witnessed a ferocious debate over whether the case for conflict was legal and honest. It culminated in the largest demonstration in the country's history, as a million or more took to the streets to stop the war. At the same time, the US sleepwalked into battle. Its press subjected George Bush to a fraction of the scrutiny endured by Tony Blair: the president's claims about Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction and links to al-Qaida were barely challenged. While Blair had to cajole and persuade his MPs to back him, Bush counted on the easy loyalty of his fellow Republicans - and of most leading Democrats.

Anti-war Brit finds solace in county

Fauquier Times Democrat (Virginia)
By Cheryl K. Chumley
06/21/2005


Laying bridges across the ocean, the Independent Party candidate who ran against England's Tony Blair for prime minister brought his anti-war message to America, staying with a Fauquier County family while attending a Capitol Hill impromptu hearing on the now-infamous Downing Street memo.

The memo, the talk of Britain this past month, is a run-down of a 2002 meeting between Blair and several of his advisors during which he was supposedly appraised of President George W. Bush's purported efforts to slant intelligence in favor of invading Iraq, post Sept. 11.

Boycotting the Washington Post

I wrote some criticism of the Washington Post's "reporting" yesterday:
http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/?q=node/407

Today one of the member organizations of our coalition, Democrats.com, announced a boycott of the Washington Post:
http://www.democrats.com/boycott-wp

I would like to see the Post transform itself into a democratic media outlet and succeed. The Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild, on whose executive council I serve, represents Post workers to the best of its ability, in the face of extreme hostility to workplace rights and discriminatory practices in the newsroom. There are workers at the Post who try hard and mean well, but who work for editors and publishers whose primary interests do not include quality journalism. We cannot shake up those editors and publishers without putting our money where our mouths are.

Post Explains "Wing Nuts" Label

FAIR-L
Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting
Media analysis, critiques and activism
http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=2561

ACTIVISM UPDATE:
Post Explains "Wing Nuts" Label

June 21, 2005

Washington Post ombudsman Michael Getler used his June 19 column to respond to FAIR's June 14 Action Alert regarding Post reporter Dana Milbank's use of the term "wing nuts" to describe activists pressing the media to take the Downing Street memos more seriously.

The relevant portion of Getler's column is below, followed by FAIR's response.

The White House spin cycle

The White House spin cycle (David Shuster)

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8158450/#050620a

I don't know if things are getting better or worse in Iraq. But I do know the Bush administration is now in total panic mode over the erosion of public support for the occupation. How else could one explain the President's bizarre radio address this past Saturday or the even more surreal comments recently from other administration officials?

First, the president's radio address: On Saturday President Bush defended the war in Iraq saying, "We went to war because we were attacked." Huh? In September 2003, the President himself stated, "We've had no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved with the September 11th attacks." (For the record, the 9/11 Commission is on the side of the Sept. 2003 President Bush — The commission found there was "no collaborative relationship between Iraq and Al-Qaeda.")

Will the U.S. Anti-War Movement Impeach Bush?

By Virginia Rodino
June 21, 2005

Cindy Sheehan, founder of Gold Star Families for Peace, an advocacy group for families of soldiers killed in Iraq, voiced her satisfaction at a June 16 "Presidential Accountability" rally which focused on the Downing Street Memo and the crisis of the Bush Administration regarding its continued occupation of Iraq.

The rally followed a hearing led by Representative John Conyers, Jr., the ranking Democratic member of the House Judiciary Committee and the Dean of the Congressional Black Caucus. The hearing explored details of the "Downing Street Memo," the leaked British document which shows that the Bush Administration planned the pre-emptive invasion of Iraq as early as July 2002.

Conyers: Thanks for Signing Letter

By Congressman John Conyers
http://johnconyers.com

Dear Friend:

Thank you for signing the Downing Street Minutes letter to the president. I personally delivered your letter to the White House last Thursday.

Your participation in this issue has made a difference. The mainstream media has been very slow to report on this British Intelligence document claiming that evidence was being "fixed" to support the lead up to war against Iraq.

Yet, neither the media nor President Bush could ignore the massive groundswell of interest demonstrated by the more than 560,000 individuals who joined you in signing this letter.

Where In the World Is W?

How about a peaceful nonviolent protest when he comes to town?

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

RICE in Middle East and Europe: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will travel to the Middle East and Europe from June 17-23, 2005. Secretary Rice will visit Ramallah, Jerusalem, Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia to discuss regional peacemaking efforts, support for democracy and reform throughout the region, and counter terrorism. The Secretary will then travel to Brussels for the International Conference on Iraq, where representatives from over 80 nations and international organizations will come together in support of the Iraqi Transitional Government and its effort to build a free, democratic, and prosperous Iraq. The Secretary will proceed to London for the Ministerial Meeting of the G-8 in preparation for the July G-8 Summit. [Department of State, 6/13/05]

Bad Times In Deed – Installment #4:  Times, Times, Times, See What’s Become of You

THE SAD AND CONTINUING SAGA OF THE DOWNING STREET MEMO'S 'COVERAGE'
IN THE NEW YORK TIMES

By David Michael Green

“Perhaps it's the result of my having worked as a correspondent in the Soviet Union for a few years, but I think there's a strong case that excessive government secrecy leads to waste and abuse, and that an aggressive press improves the effectiveness of intelligence agencies in the long run.

The Message is the Media

The U.S. corporate media has rolled over, yawned, stretched, cleared its throat, and rubbed its eyes. All that's needed now, after all the noise we've been making, is an ice cold bucket of water in the face.

Here's How to Deliver It:

Go to the AfterDowningStreet.org site, and find the Take Action box on the right.
http://www.afterdowningstreet.org

After writing to your Congress Member, click also on
"Contact Local Media Outlets,"
"Contact TV Networks,"and on

'LIBERAL' MEDIA DROVE PAST DOWNING STREET

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pennsylvania)
June 21, 2005 Tuesday REGION EDITION
SECTION: LIFESTYLE, Pg.C-2

Graduates of the Cheers for Us School of Journalism (Motto: "Cheers for Us and All the Great Stories We Write!") have been put off their self-congratulatory stroke by the rise of the "Downing Street memo" story on this side of the Atlantic.

If by now you have not heard of the Downing Street memo, I trust that your cave is pleasantly cool during the summer months and the paper is being delivered right to its mouth so that you can read this explanation.

The Downing Street memo was the confidential notes of what British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his aides discussed at a meeting at No. 10 Downing Street on July 23, 2002 -- eight months before President Bush took the United States to war against Iraq. It was leaked to the Sunday Times in London and published May 1.

Washington Post Piece With Better Headline

Believing own war rhetoric worse than a lie
Fort Wayne Journal Gazette

WASHINGTON – President Bush planted the seeds of the destruction of his Iraq policy before the war started. Salvaging the venture will require an unprecedented degree of candor and realism from a White House that was never willing to admit – even to itself – how large an undertaking it was asking Americans to buy into.

The notion that Bush led the country into war through indirection or dishonesty is not the most damaging criticism of the administration. The worst possibility is that Bush and his advisers believed their own propaganda. They did not prepare the American people for an arduous struggle because they honestly didn’t expect one.

BREAKING THROUGH US MEDIA BLACKOUT

ILLEGAL WAR IRAQ (Part 2)
By Grace Reid

URUKNET TAKES NUMBER ONE SPOT NEWS OF ILLEGAL WAR IRAQ:Top > Society > Issues > Warfare and Conflict > Specific Conflicts > Iraq > News and Media(Source: ALEXA BROWSE)
Number One. URUKNET.INFO ITALY www.uruknet.infoI just received this e mail message from my editor in Italy, Paola of Uruknet. We are dancing. She is in her office, and I am in my kitchen.
You might remember a diary I did about a week ago "Censorship of the News in America -- Google Shuts Off Uruknet." Well, it is true, Google de-listed the number one News Source about the war in Iraq for 6 and a half days, from the 4th of June through the 10th of June, 2005. More about that below.
Top > Society > Issues > Warfare and Conflict > Specific Conflicts > Iraq > News and Media

Most Popular In News and Media

The Documents Are Authentic

RANT WARNING

Yes, the brain dead are among us and as such, we have to re-educate them to a 2+2=4 system. The very brain dead, confused, and clearly misguided followers of such pond scum as Neo-Nazi Barbie, Narco Slob, and other like luminaries keep confusing fact with talking points.

See, they did not get talking points on DSM, so they are dumbfounded by the facts, cooing, gasping, and grasping like crack addicts. So for the ethically challenged among us, or the value of hate/kill/rape crowd, and mostly the lonely peeping conservators who spank the keyboard daily to feel like they have a life... for those moronic twits who need to be told over and over that truth has nothing to do with patriotism... ONE more time:

MEDIA TRACKING TO BRING END TO WAR IN IRAQ

By Grace Reid
June 21, 2005

Dear AfterDowningStreet.org,
I need your help with US media tracking on some very important issues:
1. RAF Bombing to Goad Saddam Into War.
This was first reported to dKos by Welshman on the 29th of May. That was Michael Smith.
Today we have another article on the same subject by Norton Taylor RAF bombing raids on Iraq no-fly zone defied Foreign Office legal advice, say Lib Dems
http://politics.guardian.co.uk/iraq/story/0,12956,1510847,00.html.
It has been 30 days and this story has NEVER been reported in the US media. (I do mean mainstream, and not blogs, and not alternative news like Alternet, Common Dreams, or Iraq Occupation Watch.

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