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Ray McGovern to Dana Milbank


Dear Dana,

What's happened to you? You were often quite good when you were on the Post's White House beat...perceptive�occasionally even courageous�especially in exposing White House dishonesty. Is that why you were taken off that beat and assigned yesterday to trivialize the historic proceedings in the Capitol basement and Congressman Conyers' courage in convening them?

You used to get your facts straight, at least. It appears that in your new assignment meticulousness is not a requirement. Even your "search of the congressional record" concerning mention of the Downing Street Minutes came up short. Do you not consider Sen. Harry Reid a member of Congress?

It troubles me that you should find it "awkward" that I mentioned Israel and its interests as perceived by the "neocons" as a motivating factor in the Bush administration's decision to launch an unprovoked war on Iraq. That, Dana, is a no-brainer. Let me suggest you simply familiarize yourself with the documents of the "neocon" Project for a New American Century.

I did not say that "Israel should not be considered an ally." I think the transcript will show that I simply noted the fact that Israel is not an ally of the United States. It is a point of fact. And I, for one, object not only to the president's repeated references to such an "alliance," but to his behaving as though there were one. Is it possible that he actually believes there is one? If so, I doubt that any in his shrinking circle of advisers would take the risk of disabusing him of that notion, particularly if his father's national security adviser, Gen. Brent Scowcroft, is correct in saying that our current president has been "mesmerized" by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

I am among the first to defend Israel's right to exist within secure and internationally recognized borders, and to deplore our nation's slowness in recognizing and doing something to stop the Holocaust. (And I deplore violence of all kinds�whether against Israel, or initiated by it.) But, unless I am mistaken, an alliance requires a treaty ratified by the Senate. Have I missed something?

What is saddest of all is your willingness to be enlisted in the cabal against Rep. James Moran (D-VA). The record will show that Moran's question to the panel did NOT, as you write, include "wondering whether the true motive [for the attack on Iraq] was Iraq's threat to Israel." The thought was all mine, and I stand by it.

What does merit the word "awkward" is that I have to write you this note. I used to look forward to reading your column. Until now, I had thought that your professional standards�like those of an intelligence analyst�ruled out the kind of slant reflected in your column today.

Were I not to have admired your past record, I might even think you are campaigning for a Gold Star from your editors, since your inaccurate, tendentious report dovetails so well with their torturous effort to play down the implications of the Downing Street Minutes. Those minutes are, indeed, a smoking gun. You'll see.

Yours truly,

Ray McGovern

Dana Milbank's Article
Dana Milbank's Email Address

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May be a bit too over the top, but I couldn't help sending Millbank the following memo:

Dear Mr. Milbank,

The reason for writing this letter is your article

Hey, here's a great article from Dana regarding media bias. That column is one of the most disgusting shrug-offs of a serious matter that I have ever seen.

"As Conyers and his hearty band of playmates know, subpoena power and other perks of a real committee are but a fantasy unless Democrats can regain the majority in the House. But that's only one of the obstacles they're up against as they try to convince America that the "Downing Street Memo" is important."

The more pressure that's applied, whether we have the technical majority or not, the more obvious the cover-up actions of the Republicans become. It's only a matter of time, we must never give up! Ignore vomitron poo-pooing from conservative "journalists".. they're all preaching to the choir anyway.

Oh, and thank you so much Ray - the knowledge you brought to the table yesterday was refreshing and so valuable to free people.

Your letter to Mr. Milbank is marvelous. Here's mine:

Dear Mr. Milbank,

I find it pitifully ironic that your article on the Downing Street Memo hearing appeared in today's Post on the 33rd anniversary of the Watergate break-in. In 1972, the Washington Post backed Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward's efforts to expose a chain of criminal activity reaching all the way to the White House. Ultimately, their work led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon in disgrace, and earned a place in history.

Your article is the antithesis of Woodward and Bernstein's tremendous investigative reporting. I was a newspaper reporter for nearly 30 years (including an 11-year stint at the Newark Star-Ledger), and I am appalled that the Post permitted publication of such a biased, vitriol-filled piece of writing on an ostensible news page. To make mockery of Rep. John Conyers in such a childish and mean-spirited fashion speaks volumes, not about him, but about yourself.

I am saddened that the Post has sunk from a pinnacle of journalistic courage to become an overt shill for the Bush administration and its agenda. The Post's reportage has truly reached its nadir. We should mark a moment of silence today, the Watergate anniversary, in memory of the late, once-great Washington Post.

Shame on you.

You go!

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