Whiggate Update

Thursday, April 26, 2007
  Required viewing for New York Times "reporters"
Look, I know it's TV Turnoff Week, but how could I resist watching a show on Channel 13 last night that started off with these opening paragraphs from Bill Moyers?

BILL MOYERS: Four years ago this spring the Bush administration took leave of reality and plunged our country into a war so poorly planned it soon turned into a disaster. The story of how high officials misled the country has been told. But they couldn't have done it on their own; they needed a compliant press, to pass on their propaganda as news and cheer them on.
Since then thousands of people have died, and many are dying to this day. Yet the story of how the media bought what the White House was selling has not been told in depth on television. As the war rages into its fifth year, we look back at those months leading up to the invasion, when our press largely surrendered its independence and skepticism to join with our government in marching to war.

This 90-minute special edition of Bill Moyers' Journal from April 25, 2007 "Buying the War", which has a full transcript online here, was a good introduction or review for anyone interested in how and why the leading lights of the mainstream press were either dupes or collaborators in the march to invade Iraq. He did not (like the New York Times) ignore the group that gave this blog its raison d'être, the WHIG.

BILL MOYERS: As the WASHINGTON POST'S veteran reporter Walter Pincus would later report, the propaganda machine was run by the president's inner circle — officials who called themselves the White House Iraq Group, or WHIG.....
You wrote that WHIG included Karl Rove, the chief of staff, Andrew Card, Mary Matalin, Condi Rice, Steven Hadley, Lewis Libby and they were in charge of selling the war.
WALTER PINCUS: Selling the war. Yeah.
PRESIDENT BUSH (9/11/02): Good evening. A long year has passed since enemies attacked our country.
BILL MOYERS: Their chief salesman had the best props at his disposal [
spoken over a clip of Bush with the Statue of Liberty behind him on the 1st anniversary of 9/11/01]
…and we will not allow any terrorist or tyrant to threaten civilization with weapons of mass murder.
WALTER PINCUS: They created that link.
BILL MOYERS: The marketing group?
WALTER PINCUS: The marketing group. And the link was a twofold link. One, he had weapons of mass destruction. And two, he supported terrorists. And they repeated it everyday. anybody who watches-- television these days knows you sell a product, not just by saying it once, by saying it over and over again with new spokesmen two, three times a day and it sinks into the public.
BILL MOYERS: But is there anything unusual about an administration marketing its policy?
WALTER PINCUS: It's, I think each administration has learned from the other, and with this group is just the cleverest I've ever seen-- and took it to new heights.
NORM SOLOMON: The TV, radio, print, other media outlets are as crucial to going to war as the bombs and the bullets and the planes. They're part of the arsenal, the propaganda weaponry, if you will. And that's totally understood across the board, at the Pentagon, the White House, the State Department.
COLIN POWELL (9/26/02): A proven menace like Saddam Hussein in possession of weapons of mass destruction
PRESIDENT BUSH (Discussion with Congressional Leaders, 9/26/02): The Iraqi regime possesses biological and chemical weapons
DONALD RUMSFELD (DOD Press Briefing 9/26/02): We do have solid evidence of the presence in Iraq of Al Qaeda members.
PRESIDENT BUSH: The regime has long standing and continuing ties to terrorist organizations.
BOB SIMON: Just repeat it and repeat it and repeat it. Repeat Al Qaeda, Iraq. Al Qaeda, Iraq. Al Qaeda, Iraq. Just keep it going. Keep that drum beat going.
And it was effective because long after it was well established that there was no link between Al Qaeda and the government of Iraq and the Saddam regime, the polls showed that an overwhelming majority of Americans believed that Al Qaeda-- that Iraq was responsible for September 11th.

The Times, the Washington Post, and the major broadcast networks all come under fire in this show (as do the easy targets of the flag-waving cable news networks and saber-rattling pundits). The only heroes are two reporters for Knight Ridder (Warren Strobel and Jonathan Landay) who saw the holes in the government's stories with basic fact checking rather than high-level cocktail party access to the lies of Scooter Libby and Karl Rove.
The New York Times STILL has not mentioned "WHIG" or the "White House Iraq Group" in its news pages even though one of their reporters, Judith Miller, has been exposed as their chief tool (or maybe even an honorary member of the Group).
When the White House Iran Group feeds their reporters information from "Important High Level Administration Sources" (i.e., Liars), maybe the Times editors should think about the following quotation from a Knight Ridder editor before uncritically printing government "information" about Iranian WMDs on their influential front page.
BILL MOYERS: Knight Ridder's early skepticism was a rarity inside the beltway bubble…..
JOHN WALCOTT: A decision to go to war, even against an eighth-rate power such as Iraq, is the most serious decision that a government can ever make. And it deserves the most serious kind of scrutiny that we in the media can give it. Is this really necessary? Is it necessary to send our young men and women to go kill somebody else's young men and women?

crossposted on TrueBlueLiberal.org

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formerly WHIGGATE.org
The White House Iraq Group (WHIG), with members Rove, Card, Rice, Libby, Matalin, Hughes, Hadley et al., is the group that sold us the Iraq War with false information, and tried to silence one prominent critic by exposing a CIA agent's identity.
WHIGGATE is the scandal that will bring [or should have brought] down the Bush/Cheney Administration.
WHIGGATE UPDATE is a clearing house for information about this group and its activities.



White House Iraq Group on Wikipedia
White House Iraq Group on SourceWatch
WHIG Timeline at Democrats.org
Patrick Fitzgerald's official website
Pentagon Iraq Group (PIG) a.k.a. OSP
21 Plame suspects on Think Progress
Key Washington Post article 10 Aug 03
CBS on the WHIG subpoena of 22 Jan 04
First appearance of "WHIGgate" 12 Jul 05
The Crisis Papers of 19 Jul 05
Judy & Tubes of Terror Moore 3 Aug 05
Raw Story WHIG/Cheney links 12 Oct 05
Rich on WHIG in the NY Times 16 Oct 05
Kucinich Resolution of Inquiry 20 Oct 05
Libby Indictment 28 Oct 05
Rall "Bigger Than Watergate" 1 Nov 05
Snake Oil Merchants at tvnewslies.org
Articles of Impeachment 10 Jun 08


Karl Rove
Who's Who in Washington Post
SourceWatch Biography
Andrew H. Card
WHIG of the Week entry on WU
Official White House Biography
SourceWatch Biography
I. Lewis Libby
Official White House Biography
SourceWatch Biography
PDF of Libby Indictment 28 Oct 05
Karen Hughes
WHIG of the Week entry on WU
Official State Department Biography
BuzzFlash Article
SourceWatch Biography
Mary Matalin
Biography at American President.org
SourceWatch Biography
James R. Wilkinson
WHIG of the Week entry on WU
Official White House Biography
SourceWatch Biography
Nicholas E. Calio
WHIG of the Week entry on WU
Official CitiGroup Biography
SourceWatch Biography
Stephen J. Hadley
WHIG of the Week entry on WU
Official White House Biography
SourceWatch Biography
Condoleezza Rice
Official White House Biography
Official State Department Biography
SourceWatch Biography
Scott McClellan
Scott's WHIG of the Week entry on WU

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