Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Fisking the NY Times Editorial Page 
These people are so stupid, fisking them is like grenade fishing in a bucket.

To avoid having to account for his administration's misleading statements before the war with Iraq,

Objection. It has not been established that Bush was "misleading" about anything. After all we did find illegal missile programs, the key parts to an illegal centrifuge, and 1.77 tons of Uranium, along with evidence of other "weapons of mass destruction program activities," according to the Duelfer report. We also found a number of chemical weapons in Iraq - chemical weapons which were supposed to be destroyed years before. Saddam didn't destroy his stocks. He lied. He was in violation.

President Bush has tried denial, saying he did not skew the intelligence.

Well, it wasn't just Bush. A bipartisan Senate committee came to the same conclusion. The Times, of course, hobbled as it is by a hopelessly selective memory, doesn't bother to point that out.)

He's tried to share the blame, claiming that Congress had the same intelligence he had, as well as President Bill Clinton.

This is only a problem if you don't regard Congress as a separate and coequal branch of government, and only a problem if you agree with Sen. Rockefeller that a congressman is not responsible for his or her own vote.

He's tried to pass the buck and blame the C.I.A.

If you believe, as the Times does, that the Administration was wrong about WMD, then that's a "slam dunk." As it were.

Lately, he's gone on the attack, accusing Democrats in Congress of aiding the terrorists.

Yesterday in Alaska, Mr. Bush trotted out the same tedious deflection on Iraq that he usually attempts when his back is against the wall: he claims that questioning his actions three years ago is a betrayal of the troops in battle today.

Wrong. Does the Times have a problem with reading comprehension? The President specifically allowed for a place for criticism and honest debate. The President was not taking aim at the practice of criticizing him. The President was taking aim at the specific practice of historical revisionism. The President was taking aim at hypocrisy.

It all amounts to one energetic effort at avoidance.

What of the Democrat avoidance of their own words, back in 1998 and 2002? Aided and abetted by their willing stooges at the New York Times.

But like the W.M.D. reports that started the whole thing, the only problem is that none of it has been true.

Objection. I've already pointed out the latent nuclear program, the chemical shells found by U.S., and Polish troops, and the illegal missile programs. The fact that even one chemical shell was found, or the fact that one centrifuge was found buried under a rose garden in order to decieve the inspectors alone falsifies the foolish Times statement that "none of it has been true."

Actually, a good deal of it was true, including the fact that - as verified by one of the 9/11 commissioners, there were "all kinds of ties, all kinds of connections," between Saddam and Al Qaeda.

Mr. Bush says everyone had the same intelligence he had - Mr. Clinton and his advisers, foreign governments, and members of Congress - and that all of them reached the same conclusions.

Substantively true. Who were the big dissenters? Even the German and French intelligence services were convinced that Saddam possesed WMD prior to the war. If the Times says there were serious dissenters, they sure don't bother to mension them. Didn't these jokers take Freshman Comp class? You don't raise a controversial point or accuse someone of lying without bothering to cite the evidence for your claim. This is like reading a sophomoric 10th grade paper from a not-very-bright kid.

The only part that is true is that Mr. Bush was working off the same intelligence Mr. Clinton had. But that is scary, not reassuring. The reports about Saddam Hussein's weapons were old, some more than 10 years old. Nothing was fresher than about five years, except reports that later proved to be fanciful.

Welcome to the real world. Information doesn't fall from trees. It takes years of investing in human intelligence sources. Clinton couldn't even keep the inspectors there consistently. Where else was intel going to come frm.

Foreign intelligence services did not have full access to American intelligence. But some had dissenting opinions that were ignored or not shown to top American officials.

And you don't name any examples? Go on back to school, kid. You aren't up on the whole critical thinking or expository writing concept yet.

Congress had nothing close to the president's access to intelligence.

False. A congressional investigation found no substantial differences between the two.

The National Intelligence Estimate presented to Congress a few days before the vote on war was sanitized to remove dissent and make conjecture seem like fact.

It's hard to imagine what Mr. Bush means when he says everyone reached the same conclusion. There was indeed a widespread belief that Iraq had chemical and biological weapons. But Mr. Clinton looked at the data and concluded that inspections and pressure were working - a view we now know was accurate.

That's a crock of baloney. Clinton looked at the data and decided to bomb the crap out of Iraq.

France, Russia and Germany said war was not justified.

The Times' failure to mention France and Russia's involvement in the Oil for Food scandal is just beyond the pale here.

Even Britain admitted later that there had been no new evidence about Iraq, just new politics.

One word. Yellowcake.

The administration had little company in saying that Iraq was actively trying to build a nuclear weapon. The evidence for this claim was a dubious report about an attempt in 1999 to buy uranium from Niger, later shown to be false,

False. Joe Wilson's original report to the CIA actually substantiated the idea that Iraq had, indeed, planned to acquire uranium, over and above the 1.77 tones already tagged by the inspectors (and which they weren't supposed to have).

The fact that the Times does not understand this facet of Plamegate tells you they're incompetent to cover the picture.

and the infamous aluminum tubes story. That was dismissed at the time by analysts with real expertise.

So why was Iraq concealing a centrifuge?

The Bush administration was also alone in making the absurd claim that Iraq was in league with Al Qaeda

False. The 9/11 commissioners concluded that there were "all kinds of ties, all kinds of connections" between Saddam and Al Qaeda. And Clinton indicted Bin Ladin in 1998, in part, on suspicions that Saddam and Al Qaeda had agreed to cooperate on WMD development.

and somehow connected to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

A contemptible lie. No senior Administration official publicly tied Saddam to 9/11. There were, however, some connection between Saddam and the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center, as we found after the war.

Wish I had time to finish this. Unfortunately, I'm too zonked on cough medicine to continue coherently.

Maybe tomorrow.

Splash, out


Hey - you deleted the comments! I'll try again...

"Didn't these jokers take Freshman Comp class? You don't raise a controversial point or accuse someone of lying without bothering to cite the evidence for your claim. This is like reading a sophomoric 10th grade paper from a not-very-bright kid."

I agree totally! If I'd turned in a paper with these gaping holes and lack of sources, I'd have gotten a big fat "F." Oh, and for those who want to question my academic abilities - I'm an official doctoral candidate, which means I've written quite a few research papers over the years.

The Times should follow the example of Michelle Malkin. In her latest books she exposes a lot of liberal insanity - and footnotes every last bit of it. Now that is journalistic integrity...
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