Fat Steve's Blatherings

Saturday, June 18, 2005

More Ineffective MSM Lying


      The Main Stream Media continues to slant stories by editing-as-lying, but it no longer works well.  People are catching on to the tricks.
  • In Paul Krugman's Friday column, an alleged Ohio wrongdoer is identified by political party (Republican).  Other alleged wrongdoers' political affiliation isn't mentioned.  Take a quick guess.

  • Tom Maguire and Red State quickly look into this, and provide the data Krugman tries to hide.

  • In another example, Pat Oliphant had a cartoon Tuesday claiming that "British Memos Indicate Bush Misled U.S. Into War."  Not only is this a lie, it's an easily exposed lie.

  • Bias that backfires this way is worse than saying nothing.

      The question is no longer, will the MSM lose influence.  The question is, what will be left when the present institutions finish self-destructing?

At Length:

      I seldom bother with Paul Krugman, but Tom Maguire's hit piece was so funny, I went over and read it.

      Krugman's writes a moral fable, spun around the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation (BWC).  As the name suggests, if you get injured on the job in Ohio, the Bureau is the agency that pays you worker's compensation.

      Krugman starts out by mentioning Capital Coin, a rare-coin business that ended up with $50 Million worth of the state of Ohio's workman's comp. money.  Allegedly, this purchase was profitable for the agency, at least on paper.  However, in one of those little details that people so often miss, the state neglected to take delivery of said coins.  Insead, they were left "stored" with dealers across the country.  One hundred nineteen coins seem to have been stolen, and $10-12 Million has vanished, about one fourth the invested funds.  It seems possible, though, that once the records are audited, some of that will be found.

      The moral of Krugman's fable is that you shouldn't allow one party to control all parts of government for a long time, because it causes corruption.  Capital Coin was run by Tom Noe, a Republican fundraiser, as Krugman is careful to point out.  Somehow, though, it's only Republicans who have such control.  Democratic corruption isn't mention.

      Yet the coin losses pale before the $215 Million lost by the BWC in Mark D. Lay's MDL capital management.  Who is Mark Lay, and how did he get the $225 million, every penny of which is lost?

      Krugman doesn't tell you, but The Columbus Dispatch has some info, and .  In 1997, the state decided to practice affirmative action with its investment funds (something Krugman doesn't mention).  Lay, who is black (party affiliation, if any, unknown), hired Jerry Hammond, a black Democrat and former President of the Columbus City Council.  Hammond got in touch with the BWC Oversight board, and introduced Lay to three of its members.

      These were Neal Schultz, white, political independent, owner of a unionized window-cleaning company and with close ties to the AFL-CIO; William A. Burga, white, President of the Ohio AFL-CIO, and a member of the Democratic Party National Committee; and George Forbes, black, a Democrat, and former President of the Cleveland City Council.  Forbes is also the father of Mimi Forbes, former employee of -- why, of MDL!  What a coincidence!

      With these three backing him, Lay got a large amount of money from the Ohio BWC, and lost it all.  About sixteen to twenty two times as much as Noe and Capital Coin.  But when it comes to this story, suddenly we stop hearing names and party affiliations.  Krugman says not a word about the party affiliations of those who lost the really big money.

      Once, Krugman would have gotten away with this.  Now, the blogosphere is on the case immediately, and the missing information gets out.

      In another case, much is being made of the so-called Downing Street Memo.  It was from Matthew Rycroft, a foreign policy aide to Prime Minister Tony Blair, to David Manning, Her Majesty's Ambassador to the United States, summarizing a meeting on Iraq held on July 23rd, 2002.  Pat Oliphant would have it that this proves the President "misled" the nation into war.

      The alleged smoking gun is paragraph four [my numbers], which mentions:
Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.

      "Being fixed around" is kind of ambiguous, so, let's look at all paragraphs that mention intelligence, terrorism, or weapons of mass destruction.  I've added some information in brackets:
3) John Scarlett [former C, current chief of the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC)] summarised the intelligence and latest JIC assessment. Saddam's regime was tough and based on extreme fear.  The only way to overthrow it was likely to be by massive military action.  Saddam was worried and expected an attack, probably by air and land, but he was not convinced that it would be immediate or overwhelming.  His regime expected their neighbours to line up with the US.  Saddam knew that regular army morale was poor.  Real support for Saddam among the public was probably narrowly based.

4) C [Sir Richard Dearlove, head of Britain's foreign intelligence service] reported on his recent talks in Washington.  There was a perceptible shift in attitude.  Military action was now seen as inevitable.  Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD.  But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.  The NSC had no patience with the UN route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime's record.  There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action.

14) The Foreign Secretary said he would discuss this with Colin Powell this week.  It seemed clear that Bush had made up his mind to take military action, even if the timing was not yet decided.  But the case was thin.  Saddam was not threatening his neighbours, and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran.  We should work up a plan for an ultimatum to Saddam to allow back in the UN weapons inspectors.  This would also help with the legal justification for the use of force.

16) The Prime Minister said that it would make a big difference politically and legally if Saddam refused to allow in the UN inspectors.  Regime change and WMD were linked in the sense that it was the regime that was producing the WMD.  There were different strategies for dealing with Libya and Iran.  If the political context were right, people would support regime change.  The two key issues were whether the military plan worked and whether we had the political strategy to give the military plan the space to work.

18) For instance, what were the consequences, if Saddam used WMD on day one, or if Baghdad did not collapse and urban warfighting began?  You said that Saddam could also use his WMD on Kuwait.  Or on Israel, added the Defence Secretary.

28) (e) John Scarlett would send the Prime Minister a full intelligence update.

     As you can see, there's nothing there that says that Saddam had no WMDs.  Quite the contrary, the memo shows that the British believed Saddam had them, and might use them.

      The rest is 'Saddam must go.'  That was official U.S. policy since 1998.  The difference was, after 9/11, Bush meant it.

      The MSM will continue to lie about the world.  But it will do less and less good.



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