WaPo Misleads Readers With Iraq War Reporting
The Washington Post has a story today which misinforms the public in three significant ways, while also piling on the Bush administration with faulty journalism. The first issue deals with the article’s headline.
Lacking Biolabs, Trailers Carried Case for War
Administration Pushed Notion of Banned Iraqi Weapons Despite Evidence to Contrary
A subtle but critical point here. The intelligence cited was gathered basically long after the war started. The story’s incredibly poorly chosen headline leaves the impression that the Bush administration is guilty of knowingly mis-stating the case for war with Iraq.
That is clearly not the case. The Post’s story clearly defines intelligence, right or wrong in hindsight, which was accepted by many before the war and used in part as a justification for the war. The faulty headline blurs that point significantly.
The second issue with the story has to do with their claiming a certain report was received prior to the President making certain claims. Clearly the final report wasn’t issued until weeks later. Nothing in the article suggests the President knew of any of the information before the cited statement.
A secret fact-finding mission to Iraq — not made public until now — had already concluded that the trailers had nothing to do with biological weapons. Leaders of the Pentagon-sponsored mission transmitted their unanimous findings to Washington in a field report on May 27, 2003, two days before the president’s statement.
The three-page field report and a 122-page final report three weeks later were stamped "secret" and shelved. Meanwhile, for nearly a year, administration and intelligence officials continued to publicly assert that the trailers were weapons factories.
And the third glaring issue is that we find the report was not unanimous at all.
So much for all that talk of layers of editing in the MSM. At best this is sloppy journalism, at worst, it is intentional deceit.