A Free Press in Free Fall

Other countries possess weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles. With Saddam, there is one big difference: He has used them.

Not once, but repeatedly.

Bill Clinton

Many veteran observers have mused that had the American press in the early 1940s been as virulently anti-FDR as they are today anti-Bush, the allies may very well not have won World War 2. Others have opined that the left and its fellow travelers in the mainstream media have mysteriously evolved to the point where they seem to have lost their basic instinct for survival.

While the U.S. is again at war, media companies are now complaining that the U.S. Attorney’s office is pursuing some journalists who have allegedly conspired with secret sources to publish sensitive and or dangerous information. But I’d suggest that the problems faced by a large portion of the partisan media are much more severe than any current diminution of their first amendment rights. In their new book, America’s Right Turn, Richard Viguere and David Franke find that fifty percent of this year’s voters will get most of their news from alternative media. By 2008 that trend will go to 60 percent. As Secretary Rumsfeld referred to a “new and old Europe,” what we are witnessing is not only the rise of the new media, cable, internet, etc., but an old media in a systemic free fall.

In its lead editorial of October 12th, “A Free Press Under Attack,” the San Francisco Chronicle reported that the Justice department has subpoenaed several journalists who “outed” Valerie Plame, the CIA agent, who it is widely believed secured for her husband, Joe Wilson, a trip to Niger, in behalf of the Bush Administration. His mission was to vet the British intelligence reports describing Iraq’s attempts to purchase “yellowcake” uranium there. A Democrat partisan, Wilson returned and promptly went public with a New York Times op-ed and numerous television appearances in his attempt to repudiate Bush’s justification for war in Iraq.  But the Chronicle editorial omitted the real story, that being that Wilson lied.

Several weeks ago, the Senate Intelligence report conceded that both British government and Niger officials have produced documentation that confirmed that Iraq was attempting to buy uranium there. Perhaps the best proof that Joe Wilson is potentially convictable on sedition charges is the fact that the Kerry campaign website has scrubbed off all its former references to the Niger whistleblower.

The partisan anti-Bush media is experiencing a paradigm-shifting backlash. Stop to consider that there is no more serious a charge that anyone can level at a president than accusing him of falsifying reasons for taking the country to war. The real story about Wilson was that, with the complicity of many media organs, he was arguably falsely libeling an incumbent president while giving aid and comfort to an enemy in war time.

Meanwhile, another member of the old media, Dan Rather’s CBS News, spent several weeks enduring a firestorm of criticism for its blatant attempts to bring down the Bush administration with forged documents. This act of criminality or, at the very least, journalistic malpractice was exposed by an army of new media fact checkers angrily denounced by old media “suits” as the “pajamahedin.” Once exposed, and after some public equivocations, Rather then dug himself deeper in his hole by allowing that, although the documents might not be authentic, he still thought the story was true. Jonathan Last, writing for the Weekly Standard, put a sarcastic fine point on it,

CBS could still break one big story — Who gave them the forged memos? — but so far has hidden behind an invocation of longstanding journalistic ethics governing (once again) confidential sources. So forgers are now sources?”

Rather foolishly admitted that he and his staff spent five years chasing Bush’s National Guard past. And that’s my point. What the CBS/Dan Rather forgery debacle has made abundantly clear is that the partisan old media is experiencing a viewership freefall, not simply due to increased competition, or this administration’s attacks on their first amendment rights, or even a lack of credibility engendered by their political bias.  The partisan old media has wed itself so inextricably to the fortunes of the Democrat Party, it is failing to report many of the most important stories of a generation. While the partisan media is focused on trying to bring down a Republican administration, they’ve not been reporting the really big stories related to the War on Terrorists, nor what that war means to the preservation Western Civilization.

And in so doing, they have been also hard at work turning a shockingly large portion of the country against the government, while at the same time working themselves out of a job. Having said all that, I’d like to suggest that this situation can start to be fixed. What follows are a few suggested stories for those of you in the partisan media, stories that you must agree are of inestimable importance to the country and the world.

Hussein’s Connection with Terror

Since one of the main pillars on which the Kerry campaign rests is the certain knowledge that Hussein had no connection to terror, might I suggest you assign some of your staff to checking out and refuting the very large body of reports and allegations presented in publications such as  Deroy Murdoch’s website, www.husseinandterror.com, or in Stephen Hayes’ book, The Connection or, at CNS News where Scott Wheeler reports his internet news network has received a cash of  Iraqi intelligence documents captured by U.S. forces (see Exclusive: Saddam Possessed WMD, Had Extensive Terror Ties, CNSNews.com, October 04, 2004).

These documents prove that there were deep working relationships between by Saddam Hussein’s government and many of the world’s most notorious terror organizations, including al Qaeda and the Zarqawi network. The documents have been analyzed by many  lots of experts, including Walid Phares, the eminent Lebanese-American scholar who has read them in the original Arabic. Phares contends that Kerry’s Middle East advisors have committed an enormous blunder. He adds that they wouldn’t have even needed to see the documents although they do reprsesent hard evidence because various Middle East media for years have reported the presence of international “jihadists” operating openly in Baghdad.

Some  in the partisan press may be able to cast doubt on some of Iraq’s connections to terror because intelligence gathering is always an imperfect endeavor. But an honest inquiry will not be able to refute all the very large and rapidly growing body of evidence because much of those connections to terror are now easily corroborated and part of the public record. To the Democrats’ and the partisan media’s discredit, there is simply too much information to credibly make the charge that Hussein had no connection to terror. He was in fact a terror master and able to fool those who wanted to be fooled.

The Duelfer Report and Iraq’s WMD Programs

As another suggestion, you might consider assigning one of your reporters the task of actually reading Duelfer’s Iraq Survey Group (ISG) report. (To give credit where it is due, the very fair, San Francisco Chronicle’s Op-Ed page ran the piece by David Brooks of the New York Times, Duelfer report supports Bush’s view, October 13, which vindicates Bush’s decision to invade.) What this report, as well as the British Intelligence assessment produced by Lord Butler make clear is that Hussein was bribing various officials with influence on the U.N. Security so that he could get sanctions and the threat of future inspections lifted. Additionally he was rapidly buying from our bribed allies equipment and expertise necessary for his weapons programs so that weapons production could be quickly restarted once the sanctions were lifted. Duelfer states that “Iraq could have reestablished an elementary BW program with a few weeks to a few months…” And further, Duelfer has stated that, in his judgment, the Security Counsel was indeed close to lifting both sanctions and inspections. The ISG also found clear evidence Hussein was already producing, albeit in small quantities, sarin, ricin, and aflatoxin “to be bottled in perfume bottles with sprayers and to be “shipped to Europe and the U.S.”

Perhaps you could break a story which would inform your readers or viewers about the large truck convoys photographed by satellite moving across the Iraq/Syria border prior to the Iraq invasion. What were their cargoes? Admittedly, it would be difficult to develop Syrian sources for such a story, much easier and a whole lot safer to use as background the Moore movie and just label Bush a liar.

The Shadow War and Bush’s Reputed Multilateral War on Terror

In addition to the fighting we know about in  Afghanistan and Iraqi, Richard Minitar reports, in his book, Shadow War, that the Bush administration, just since 9/11, has put together a vast network of undercover operatives, members of intelligence services from both Western and islamic countries and they have killed or captured 3,000 al Qaeda terrorists in 102 countries. Perhaps you might want to assign a couple of reporters to check out Minitar’s story. This can’t be true.

The Tora Bora Outsourcing Charge

Recently Kerry and Edwards have been trying to sully Bush’s performance as a wartime commander in chief by charging that he lost bin Laden in Tora Bora where, they tell us he “outsourced that battle to Afghan warlords.”In this Kerry proves again that he’s unfit for command while the partisan media can add no value.  Why? Because he continues to insult our allies, those who he called the “coalition of the bribed.” This latest slur would now include, the Afghan troops who fought with us to liberate their country.

General Tommy Franks refutes the charge in his New York Times, Op-Ed, War of Words, (see October 19). He points out that the battle for Tora Bora required the use of our local Afghan fighters because it was a very mountainous region that was heavily caved and crawled with anti-western Taliban and Qaeda sympathizers. Moreover, special forces from the U.S. and other countries were present in the battle. Second in Command Lieutenant General Mike DeLong writes in his book, Inside CentCom, ‘…we couldn’t put a large number of our troops on the ground. The mountains of Tora Bora are situated deep in territory controlled by tribes hostile to the United States and any outsiders. The reality was, if we put our troops in there, we would inevitably end up fighting Afghan villagers—creating bad will at a sensitive time—which was the last thing we wanted to do. So, instead using CIA, our Special Forces, and friendly Pashtun generals, we created an “Eastern Alliance” forces.”

Special-forces personnel who’ve made their opinions known are to a man appalled that Kerry could become our Commander in Chief. As some of them have pointed out, one of the reasons that our military will not need a draft is because we have superb special forces whose job, among other things, is to be force multipliers, highly trained to recruit and train indigenous fighters who can help us defeat enemies and to whom we can handover the sovereignty of their liberated countries. Realistically however, this topic is not something we can expect old media reporters to understand any time soon.

The Significance of the Afghanistan Theater

We’ve now seen orderly elections take place in Afghanistan where women who had been treated as cruelly as chattels before their U.S. led liberation, lined up to vote in equal numbers to men despite the threats of murder.  In a country known to foreign invaders as “the graveyard of civilizations,” how could the illegitimate, pretender to the White House have put together a team and a battle plan to accomplish in 76 days what the Soviets had tried for ten years to do and failed? And how did this unilateralist president get basing rights in Uzbekistan, fly over rights with Turkmenistan and Tajikistan, and an alliance with Pakistan, all Islamic countries, and did so in a couple of weeks, not months or years? What a cowboy.

What does the liberation of Afghanistan mean to the western world in terms of its war against radical Islam? It was not Bill Clinton’s or Al Gore’ s or John Kerry’s; it is George Bush’s idea, that being the notion that the spread of freedom, through wars of liberation will serve to extinguish the dark side of Islam which seeks to either conquer or kill the infidel. Is our success in Afghanistan a beacon that suggests such a monumental, globally significant idea can succeed? Why don’t you check it out and let us know.

By | 2017-02-28T07:31:31-08:00 October 25th, 2004|Disarming America|Comments Off on A Free Press in Free Fall

About the Author:

Larry Kelley’s life was utterly changed by 9/11. On the day after the attacks, on his way to work, he was struck by the sudden realization that World War III had commenced. Like most Americans he desperately wanted to find out who were these people who attacked us, what could ordinary citizens do to join the battle and how can those plotting to kill us in future attacks be defeated. Mr. Kelley has written scores of columns on the dangers of western complacency.