What Fresh Hell Is This?

April 30, 2007

Buying the War

If you missed Bill Moyers' most excellent documentary Buying the War on PBS last week, I urge you to check it out online (you can watch it in its entirety here).

It tells the story of how the MSM got the run up to the War on Iraq so very wrong and how they were complicit in the web of lies told by the Bush Administration through a mixture of their own fear and indifference.

For example, Phil Donohue tells how after 9/11 his bosses at MSNBC demanded that his guests be 2 to 1 Republican to Democrat as they feared being accused of being unpatriotic.

You also get to see Tim Russert explain what a shame it was that none of the scientists who were saying at the time that the aluminum tubes in Iraq had nothing to do with nuclear bombs didn't call him to tell him this. (Apparently Timmy's phone can only receive calls and not make them.)

The program is particularly instructive when it plays parts of Colin Powell's televised address to the United Nations Security Council in February of 2003 where he argued in favor of military action against Saddam Hussein. One part that sticks in my mind is Powell stating ominously that Saddam had built a roof over a building which was under suspicion for weapons building activities without mentioning that UN inspectors were in that building and had installed video cameras there which operated 24/7.


The show would be completely depressing if it didn't also cover the efforts of reporters for the Knight Ridder media company (now The McClatchy Company) who were doing real journalism at the time and who give lie to the claim that everyone believed the same intelligence.

Watch it!


EdHeath said...

Yeah, I remember listening *in the '90's* to more than one NPR story about the weapons inspectors, about how they had developed increasingly sophisticated means of discovering chemical and nuclear weapons (I’m not sure about biological, but so far that has turned out ok). Yeah, they were thrown out in, what, 97 or 98, but Iraq had sufficient sanctions on it that only a tiny amount of chemicals or other materials oculd have been smuggled in. The MSM had access to all this information, but I guess they realized it wouldn’t play well after 9/11 to credit the UN and argue with the administration. And I heard story after story about how the secular Saddam Hussein infuriated Muslim fundamentalists. Al Qaeda had a lot more in common with the government of Iran, and indeed it seems likely worked with them some before 9/11 (and as I recall, Iran turned on them after).

Well, never underestimate the power of public opinion.

Schmuck Shitrock said...

Also please recall that the inspectors went back into Iraq months before Bush invaded. In fact, they had to scurry out of the way lest they be caught in the "shock and awe" campaign.