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American press behaving like Pravda

excerpts from a report by Linda McQuaig. from the Toronto Star. July 3, 2005

To an astonishing extent, the U.S. media have avoided scrutinizing this U.S. president, even after it became clear he'd launched a war in the name of disarming Iraq of weapons that didn't exist. The Bush administration and the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee blamed this on "faulty intelligence," an explanation the media have largely parroted.

The Senate committee promised last summer to probe what role the White House may have played in concocting the faulty intelligence — but only after the presidential election. Once the president was re-elected last fall, the Senate committee chairman, Republican Pat Roberts, simply cancelled the promised investigation. Roberts's decision to let the administration off the hook on Iraq was barely covered in the media.

Recently, some top-secret British government memos, leaked to the British press, have revealed that America's chief ally believed Bush's case for war was fabricated. Still, the U.S. media have barely stirred. The British memos reveal the Bush administration had decided by April 2002 — a year before the invasion — to use military force against Saddam. This contradicts Bush's insistence that war was only a last resort.

In a televised address last week, Bush portrayed U.S. actions in Iraq as defensive, as necessary to protect America from another 9/11.

I saw no mention in the TV coverage of what the British memos reveal: that those with inside knowledge knew Saddam's arsenal posed no danger, that the intelligence was being "fixed" and that the U.S. dropped bombs to try to provoke a war — while insisting it was doing everything it could to avoid one. Instead, the media kept their focus on what the president said in his speech. Pravda, covering a Soviet leader's speech, would have been similarly respectful.

You have been reading excerpts from "Pliant American press behaving like Pravda in coverage of the U.S. president" by Linda McQuaig. You can read her column in its entirety here: http://tinyurl.com/7sd4o.

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