The Evil of historical revisionism


Quite frankly, I hate it, people with gilded tongue or pen who are able to change facts to present a narrative that is completely opposite to reality and what really took place.  Such revisionist work in the service of the “empire”, people of power who enlist the help of scribes to change, conceal, cover up historical facts and outcomes in order to preserve power.  A very good example of that in these morst recent times is what happened vis-a-vis the Iraq war and the media’s implication in propelling a frightened Nation into that war.  We’ve posted several pieces on how media played a willing hand in inciting racial animus towards a non-existent enemy and resulting carnage it caused for all involved.  In keeping with being unrelenting, here’s another article written by Greg Mitchell that details media’s complicity in the Iraqi war and particularly again the WashPost

The Washington Post killed my assigned piece for its Outlook section this weekend which mainly covered media failures re: Iraq and the current refusal to come to grips with that (the subject of my latest book)–yet they ran this misleading, cherry-picking, piece by Paul Farhi claiming the media “didn’t fail.”  I love the line about the Post in March 2003 carrying some skeptical pieces just days before the war started: “Perhaps it was too late by then. But this doesn’t sound like failure.”

Here’s my rejected piece.  I see that the Post is now defending killing the article because it didn’t offer sufficient “broader analytical points or insights.”  I’ll let you consider if that’s true and why they might have rejected it.

Now let’s revisit my recent posts here on when probe in the Post itself by Howard Kurtz in 2004 showed that it failed big time.  For one thing, Kurtz tallied more than 140 front-page Post stories “that focused heavily on administration rhetoric against Iraq”–with all but a few of those questioning the evidence buried inside.  Editors there killed, delayed or buried key pieces by Ricks, Walter Pincus, Dana Priest and others.  The Post‘s David Ignatius went so far as offering an apology to readers this week for his own failures.  Also consider Bob Woodward’s reflections here and here.   He admitted he had become a willing part of the the “groupthink” that accepted faulty intelligence on the WMDs.

Woodward, shaming himself and his paper, once said it was risky for journalists to write anything that might look silly if WMD were ultimately found in Iraq.  Rather than look silly, they greased the path to war.   “There was an attitude among editors: Look, we’re going to war, why do we even worry about all the contrary stuff?” admitted the Post’s Pentagon correspondent Thomas Ricks in 2004.  And this classic from a top reporter, Karen DeYoung:  “We are inevitably the mouthpiece for whatever administration is in power.“  See my review, at the time, of how the Post fell (hook, line, and sinker) for Colin Powell’s fateful U.N. speech–and mocked critics.  Not a “fail”?

In Farhi’s piece, Len Downie, the longtime Post editor, is still claiming, with a shrug, hey, we couldn’t have slowed or halted the war anyway.  Farhi agrees with this.  Nothing to see here, move along.

Kurtz last week called the media failure on Iraq the most egregious in “modern times,” which echoes my book.  This week neither the Post nor The New York Times published an editorial admitting any shortcomings in their Iraq coverage.   Back in 2003, the Times at least called for caution in invading Iraq, in editorials.  On the other hand, as Bill Moyers pointed out, in the six months leading up to the U.S. attack on the Iraq, the Post “editorialized in favor of the war at least 27 times.”

 

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Dick Cheney’s descent into mental illness


dick_cheneyIt’s safe to say Dick Cheney has lost his mind.  There’s so much wrong with this individual and his perception of reality that for the public good he needs to be locked up in a mental facility or jail or one of the two that houses the other.  In fact, Obama should put Cheney out of his misery and prosecute him for torture, but Obama doesn’t seem to have the heart to put the mad dog Cheney away.  Cheney’s attempt on Obama’s life should be all the catalyst the Holder led Justice Department needs to lock him up and throw away the key.  In language that was called treasonous just a few short years ago, Cheney said a sitting President of the United States was endangering the safety of America through his policies which overturned those of the Bush/Cheney era.  Such highly inflammatory comments against such a symbolic president as Obama are enough to get the crazies all hot and bothered.  It’s not enough that one sicko has already been found who felt the same thing as Cheney and sought to act on that belief, now America is faced with the specter that  other wackos duly encouraged by Cheney’s remarks may feel it an obligation to answer the call to protect the Homeland from Obama.

Cheney’s other gaffe was to elevate the status of a draft dodger and entertainer over that of a retired Army  general and civil servant who served his country honorably in both capacities.  Questioning Colin Powell’s commitment to party politics, especially after Powell’s shameful display he made at the UN in defense of the Bush push to war with Iraq is disgusting.  I guess Cheney forgot how Powell made him, Cheney, look good during the first Gulf war when as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Powell decimated Saddam Hussein’s army and country while showcasing a strong and powerful American military to the world under Cheney’s leadership.  Only Cheney, and his selection of neocons are to blame for the lackluster US military that now still sits in Iraq because of bad planning and inept leadership, which Powell on the other hand had nothing to do with.

The only way to legitimately  shut Cheney up is to prosecute him for the crimes of torture, a prosecution that would certainly lead to a conviction with all the evidence so far compiled against him.  Doing so would preoccupy Cheney with his own defense and tone down the  rhetoric and free time he seems to enjoy with nothing else constructive to do than take pot shots at Obama.  I am increasingly amazed at the impotence of the Obama administration at threats from hostile politicians at home and abroad.  As long as he is careless there is a lot more at stake than just his political reputation or reelection.  Cheney is one such threat, and he needs to be put out of his misery for his own sake and for the sake of the country.  Mr. Obama….are you listening?

The Racist Campaign of the Republican Party and its surrogates


There are plenty of people willing to “front” for THE REPUBLICAN PARTY in its fight against the Obama campaign, and none more diligently than the pages of the Drudge Report.  They are still running, as I type this, a story about a McCain volunteer who was robbed and then assaulted after it was discovered she was a John McCain supporter. The woman’s story is apparently so fishy that even those on the right of Drudge don’t support it.

Police planned to administer a polygraph test to Ashley Todd, 20, because her statements about the attack conflict with evidence from the Citizens Bank ATM where she claims the incident occurred, police said.

When it’s debunked, that story of it being a hoax won’t grace the pages of PARTY surrogates like Drudge who will go on to other sleaze.  The image below also appeared on a DrudgeReport page with the caption below: Obama +7.3 There is much more THE REPUBLICAN PARTY has up its sleeve. The late surge of Republican supporters for Jesse Helms who aired a racially charged commercial in his race against African-American Harvey Gantt was produced by some of the same people who have played a part in Party politics up to this point! The art of subliminal advertising in an election as historic as this will be used to the maximum degree to give the advantage to McCain.

But let’s not forget that today’s REPUBLICAN PARTY doesn’t always feel the need to be so subtle in their message.  Colin Powell’s endorsement of Obama has already been attributed to race by many on the Right.  Limbaugh suggests Powell is an “uncle Tom” and should give back his four stars to Ronald Reagan and/or George H.W. Bush because they weren’t black.  But the excuse that Powell’s endorsement is about race ignores the fact that a lot of other people are endorsing Obama that have nothing at all to do with race but with the direction they perceive their candidate is going to take the country.  Kenneth Adelman, Chris Buckley, Scott McClellan, former Republican governor of Massachusetts William Weld all come to mind.  Would Limbaugh et.co say that black supporters of McCain back him because he’s white?  The idiocy of THE PARTY’S surrogates and THE PARTY itself is apparent.  One should expect much more of the same thing in the days remaining.

UPDATE ON THE ASHLEY TODD STORY

It appears her story is already falling apart and all that remains is why she came up with such a really big lie.  It’s not unusual for people to use racism to cover their personal faults.  The man who shot his wife in Boston and blamed it on a non-existent black thug or the teenager who claimed she was kidnapped and raped by white men in upstate New York, or the woman who drowned her children in South Carolina and claimed they were hijacked by a black bandit said these things when elections weren’t at stake. So the fault for why this was tied to an election lies at the feet of a corporate media that likes to sensationalize, and to the political hacks who want to advance their candidate at the expense of the welfare of the society.  Ms. Todd has “issues” and I hope she gets them resolved, but we as a Nation have the same issues that need fixing and unless we get help for them, we’re as likely to continue down the same road of destructive behavior as this young woman.

Colin Powell-In Your Face!


I  really was not that much of a fan of Colin Powell, but I might change my mind after his blistering endorsement of Obama where he scorched today’s  REPUBLICAN PARTY, taking no prisoners.  He said what Obama should have said, and what I have been hollering for him to say ever since the RACIST RIGHT has made being a Muslim an issue.  In case you missed it, this is what Powell said:

I wish more people would stand up to this right wing cabal that has played every racist card in their deck to keep Americans off balance and in the dark while they rob the country blind of its money and its wealth of freedom and liberty.  I hope Powell’s declaration in support of Obama will start a trend long missing in the political arena where people are confronted when they make racist, insane accusations against other Americans because of their dislike or hatred of them.  It’s clear we still have a tendency to do that here and not talking about it has only made it worse in the last eight years.  Powell said some things that needed to be said and I take my hat off to him.  Finally, some one with balls!  In fact, in my opinion, more balls than the man he’s endorsing, but at this stage in his life, Powell has nothing to lose and such a proclamation is appropriate for him to make.  Surely he’ll receive a lot of political fall out for it, but why should he or any of us care?  There’s more at stake than the professional career of someone who’s on the downswing of that career.  Powell’s imagery made us all confront our prejudices, that though we may have, should never get in the way of our rights and freedoms as citizens of this great country.  Oh, and it’s more than appropriate to show you the mother  who made Colin Powell proud to be American….and me too.