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By Brad Friedman on 4/1/2004 9:44am PT  

Yesterday, there was a horrible Mogadishu-style attack against Americans in Fallujah. Nine Americans were killed, and four of them were burnt, dragged through the streets, dismembered and hung from lightposts and bridges.

The American Media, perhaps taking their cue from the Whitehouse who will not allow pictures of coffins returning from Iraq, decided that Americans are simply too fragile to be shown the horrible images that came out of Fallujah yesterday. The rest of the world saw them, but not Americans.

All of which brings me to a point I've been pondering for a while. After Richard Clarke last week displayed the first real act of contrition from an American Official since the 9/11 Attacks by apologizing for the Government's failure to protect us, there was one lone member of the Media, Rick Mercier - sadly from a tiny paper in Fredericksburg, VA --- who had the courage to admit the Media's culpability in this whole fine mess:

THE MEDIA are finished with their big blowouts on the anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, and there's one thing they forgot to say: We're sorry. Sorry we let unsubstantiated claims drive our coverage. Sorry we were dismissive of experts who disputed White House charges against Iraq. Sorry we let a band of self-serving Iraqi defectors make fools of us. Sorry we fell for Colin Powell's performance at the United Nations. Sorry we couldn't bring ourselves to hold the administration's feet to the fire before the war, when it really mattered. Maybe we'll do a better job next war.

Since the attacks of 9/11 (but also in the months leading up to it) the complicity the Major Media outlets have shown by simply going along with the Whitehouse line, wholly unchallenged and uninvestigated, is a National Disgrace. They have, by and large, played Hired P.R. Hand to virtually every hollow, misleading and frequently out and out incorrect line that the Whitehouse has tried to sell the American People since that day.

Their sycophantic behavior shows little sign of abating. Last week's Radio & Television Correspondents Association Dinner featured a slide-show narrated by Dubya, with photos of him looking around the oval office along with the repeated lines: "Those WMD's gotta be somewhere!"

The packed house of DC Media and Insiders yucked it up together. What a riot. 600 or so Americans and countless Iraqis are now dead because they all failed to do their job of keeping the Government honest by actually investigating their claims and by and large wholly shutting out or even mocking (ask Scott Ritter) all viewpoints which ran contrary to the Whitehouse line. Alternative viewpoints which turned out to be correct in the end, right in front of their noses, but they were too busy - I suppose - hoping not to be branded "unpatriotic" or otherwise losing their much sought insider status.

Is it any wonder then, that Americans have such a high view of themselves even while seeming to have no clue why the rest of the world could possibly hold us in such contempt?

The swamp is hardly being drained --- and there is plenty of blame for that to go around.

ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 4/1/2004 8:24am PT  

ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 3/30/2004 12:20pm PT  

So the Whitehouse has finally come to their senses and will "allow" Condoleezza Rice to testify in public under oath before the 9/11 Commission. How very thoughtful. I guess I was wrong, they really do wish to investigate what went wrong that day and how it might be avoided in the future.

But wait, another caveat or two from the Whitehouse counsel before proceeding:

"the Commission must agree in writing that it will not request additional public testimony from any White House official, including Dr. Rice."

...That way, they won't have to bother with cleaning up any inconvenient loose ends in the future.

Furthermore, they care so much that they will not only have the President testify (in private, not under oath) to the Commission, but they'll be kind enough to throw in the Vice-President on that same day, at that same session at no additional cost! More from the counsel to the President:

"I would also like to take this occasion to offer an accommodation on another issue on which we have not yet reached an agreement - Commission access to the President and Vice President. I am authorized to advise you that the President and Vice President have agreed to one joint private session with all 10 Commissioners, with one Commission staff member present to take notes of the session."

Why waste time asking the President and Vice-President to testify separately, when they can be in the same room at the same time in a "joint private session" to keep their stories straight and avoid any confusion?!

These guys are amazing.

ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 3/30/2004 11:57am PT  

From Drudge just now...

9-11 COMMISSION TO ASK Condoleezza RICE TO TESTIFY UNDER OATH...White House officials worked Monday evening to negotiate compromise that would allow public release of Condoleezza Rice testimony before commission looking into 9/11, the WASHINGTON POST and NY TIMES are planning to report in Tuesday editions. White House did not allow a recording to be made of what Rice said when she met privately with commissioners for 4 hours in Feb. However, staff members have notes that were described as being nearly verbatim.... MORE... Rice may submit to another private session with the commissioners and allow them to release a transcript... 'I would like to have her testimony under the penalty of perjury' the commission's chairman says... Two Dem senators, Ed Kennedy and Charles Schumer, planned to introduce formal resolution in the Senate calling on Rice to testify under oath, the LOS ANGELES TIMES reporting in its bulldog edition...

...Could that be right? Condi's first testimony was not even allowed to be recorded? By order of the Whitehouse?!

So she not only had to testify under oath, but they wouldn't even allow the session to be recorded or a stenographer to take a verbatim transcript of the National Security Advisors testimony with the Commission investigating the greatest National Security failure in the history of our nation!

Man...Of course, the pundit echoes continue to the effect of "We've heard Condi on every show in the world, clearly she has nothing to hide! She should testify".

The more I keeping hearing that "Condi has nothing to hide" from the talking heads, the more I begin to wonder if she must!

Keep in mind, all the Whitehouse "precedent" protestations aside, including Condi's own tortured logic on 60 Minutes, to wit:

"We have yet to find an example of a national security advisor, sitting national security advisor, who has - been willing to testify on matters of policy. "

...Which is valid only if you disregard Sandy Berger (Clinton's NSA) and Zbignew Bzerzinksi (Carter's NSA), both "sitting national security advisors" at the time having testified in the past and consider their testimony to not have been about "policy" but about a criminal investigation. More to the point, though, the precedent being shoehorned into this situation concerns an NSA testifying before Congress. The 9/11 Commission, however, is not "congress". It was created by a vote of Congress with it's Head chosen by the President of the United States. A fact conveniently omited by the dubious and ultimately self-defeating explanation from Condi and friends.

As, once again, Josh Marshall so brilliantly put it:

She might just as easily have argued that they have found no record of a National Security Advisor named Rice testifying before congress, or a female NSC Director testifying, or one who served under a Republican president. Each would have made about as much sense.

UPDATE: Since writing the above yesterday, when this site was down due to a network outage, the Whitehouse has finalized their "accommodation" with the 9-11 Commission for Condi to testify. Well, that took long enough, huh? More on that shortly....

ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 3/24/2004 9:06am PT  

ReddIt this story!



A Public Service to America
By Brad Friedman on 3/15/2004 6:05pm PT  

It seems to me that the most dangerous internal threat to our country, may just be the coup d'�tat by the Right to counter what they see as Liberal Media Bias by taking over said media and spinning it so far beyond reason to the Right, with such daily lockstep consistency, that it's become very difficult for the average American to even realize they are being spun anymore.

Thus, the Brad Blog - as a public service to America - is pleased to offer the occasional correction to the record.

True, we don't have a 3-hour-a-day radio show (yet), but we gotta start somewhere. So here we go:

Dear DittoHeads: Today Riush is telling you that "Liberals were in a panic" after the terrorist attack in Madrid last week because it demonstrated that Bush was proven right about this being a dangerous world. The "Liberals were terrified", Rush told you, until, of course, they began dancing with the joy three days later after the surprise victory of the Socialist Party in the elections which ousted the Conservative Administration that was complicit with Bush and his elective War on Iraq.

The result of those elections, Rush instructs you, was that "the terrorist have won" (true) and thus Liberals in this country are beside themselves with happiness over those results (a complete and total fabrication made up to suit Rush's agenda).

Now despite Rush's misinformation to the contrary - he doesn't actually know any Liberals or what they actually think about anything, or if he does, he won't waste his time by reporting it, but rather will simply makes up an absurd position for them that best fits his need to fill 3-hours-a-day with Pro-Republican propaganda.

Yo, Rushies, you are being played by your Master! Don't be a DittoChump!

It was the Bush Administration that was, and continues to be in a panic over these attacks. At least they should be (you see, I don't actually know anybody in the Bush Administration, so I'd merely be speculating on what they feel. See how I've actually told you about that? - That's what intellectual honest folks do. Get it?) But, if I were them, I would certainly be concerned. Both over the attacks, and the chill that must be running through their bones upon seeing the reactionary results of the election that followed.

It was the Bush Administration who didn't want to admit to you over the weekend (see Colin Powell's contortions on Sunday's Meet the Press for example) what was so obvious from the beginning: That these attacks were clearly the work of al-Qaeda. The same al-Qaeda that you have previously been told are "on the run" and "decimated" and "crippled". They are - clearly - no such thing. They have been radicalized and enthused by the West having fallen into the sand trap they've laid for us. We fell for it. Lost the focus on the War on Terrorism by our distraction in Iraq. An invasion which is the very Public Service Announcement that The Terrorists were looking for to display to their potential recruits that America is a threat to Islam.

That can't be admitted, of course, because it wouldn't do for the Bushies to be seen again as misleaders. Especially on the issue of Terrorism. Not for now, anyway. Not until they do their inevitable pre-Election switcheroo and go into The-World-is-More-Dangerous-than-Ever-and-only-Republicans-Can-Save-You! Mode. Coming soon to a Presidential Campaign near you!

It may take a while, but we will do our best to de-Spin you, DittoHeads! It's our patriotic American duty at least to try.

For the record, anybody who could speculate that the attacks in Madrid weren't the work of al-Qaeda, should note that the attack in Madrid came on March 11, 2004 - the precise 2� year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and exactly 911 days since that day! Coincidence? We report, you decide. But try not to be a sucker in the meantime. Really, it's just not good for the country - or the world.

ReddIt this story!



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