The good stuff:
Interestingly, the administration no longer claims that Hussein actually had such weapons at the time Bush led the country into war in order to eliminate them. "The flaws in the intelligence are plain enough in hindsight," Cheney said on Monday. So-called WMD (weapons of mass destruction) were not the only argument for the war, but the administration thought they were a crucial argument at the time. So the administration now concedes that the country went to war on a false premise. Doesn't that mean that the war was a mistake no matter where the false premise came from?
Cheney and others insist that Bush couldn't possibly have misled anyone about WMD since everybody had assumed for years, back into the Clinton administration, that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. That's why any criticism of Bush on this point is corrupt, reprehensible, distasteful, odiferous, infectious and so on. But this indignation is belied by Cheney's own remarks in the 2000 election. In the vice presidential debate, for example, Cheney was happy to agree with Bush that Saddam Hussein's possession of weapons of mass destruction would be a good enough reason to "take him out." But he did not assume that Hussein already had such weapons. And he certainly did not assume that this view was the general consensus. "We'll have to see if that happens," he said. "It's unfortunate we find ourselves in a position where we don't know for sure what might be transpiring inside Iraq. I certainly hope he's not regenerating that kind of capability."
If you're looking for revisionist history, don't waste your time on the war's critics. Google up Cheney's bitter critique, in the 2000 campaign, of President Bill Clinton's military initiatives, specifically the need for more burden sharing by allies and a sharply defined "exit strategy." At the time, there were about 11,000 American troops in Bosnia and Kosovo, working alongside about 55,000 from allied countries. If only!
It's time for the mainstream media to say "enough." There must be an end to the Bush administration's nihilistic accusations and empty rhetoric. Voices outside the liberal blogosphere must bring hold this administration accountable for their shameless political attacks and their failed policies.
I've had a number of conversations with friends recently about the problems with the mainstream - particularly print - media. The NY Times and Washington Post simply have been unable to keep up with the pace of public opinion and the public's desire to make the Bush administration and their mouthpieces. It's infuriating and it's making me read them less and less -- and I've been reading the Times pretty much my whole life.
I don't understand why journalists covering politics are such ineffective wimps. I don't understand why they're so scared of telling the world when they know the administration is lying, bending the truth, or unfairly attacking their critics. The problem ISN'T journalists, but political journalists. A Times reporter covering a Broadway play or SoHo restaurant can be brutally honest, vocally critical, and publicly confrontational, but a reporter covering Cheney's statements won't call a lie a lie, a distortion a distortion, or revisionism revisionism. It's simply absurd and it's increasing my contempt for these organizations every day.
The mainstream media needs to earn back my readership and my trust in their ability to do their job. I'm waiting...