Britons continue to debate the Blair government's now-discredited claim that Iraq was 45 minutes away from launching chemical or biological weapons. Glenn Frankel and Rajiv Chandrasekaran British review in detail the history of the 45-minute claim and Blair's failure to "disclose that the claim had come secondhand from a single, uncorroborated source, and that some of the government's own experts believed it was questionable."
"Found: A Smoking Gun," declared the headline by New York Times columnist William Safire, which claimed that a "clear link" had recently been found between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden. But what did Safire base his case-closed pronouncement upon? A New York Times story that had appeared a day earlier. But the original Times story reached the opposite conclusion from Safire, stating that the recent discover not evidence of a link between al Qaeda and Ansar al-Islam.
"The New York Times offered a sharp editorial Tuesday critiquing the indisputable role of the White House in distorting the intelligence on Iraq and weapons of mass destruction, and in stampeding Congressional and public opinion by spinning worst-case scenarios -- 'inflating them drastically' -- to justify an immediate invasion last March to repel an alleged imminent threat to the United States.
"A new dirty tricks campaign to embarrass the Democratic frontrunner, John Kerry, backfired ignominiously yesterday when it emerged that a widely circulated photograph of a protest against the Vietnam war was a crude forgery," reports Suzanne Goldenberg. "The photograph, falsely credited to Associated Press, combined two separate images to make it appear as if Mr Kerry shared a stage at an anti-war rally in the early 1970s with the actress, Jane Fonda." The fabricated photos are not the only recent attempt to smear Kerry.
"Most Americans believe President Bush either lied or deliberately exaggerated evidence that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction in order to justify war, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. The survey results, which also show declining support for the war in Iraq and for Bush's leadership in general, indicate the public is increasingly questioning the president's truthfulness -- a concern for Bush's political advisers as his reelection bid gets underway. ...
The New York Times has obtained a June, 2002, memo written by the Iraqi National Congress, the CIA front group that has been tutored and advised by John Rendon's PR firm and instrumental in the propaganda campaign advocating war with Iraq.
The UN is pushing for the arrest on war crimes charges of General Wiranto, Indonesia's former military leader and a strong candidate in July's presidential elections. Wiranto has "hired American campaign advisers and published an English translation of his memoirs" to "burnish his image internationally." Major U.S.
Greg Palast writes that "the future for fake and farcical war propaganda is quite bright indeed. ... So M'Lord Hutton has killed the messenger: the BBC. Should the reporter Gilligan have used more cautious terms? Some criticism is fair. But the extraordinary import of his and Watts' story is forgotten: our two governments bent the information then hunted down the questioners. And now the second invasion of the Iraq war proceeds: the conquest of the British Broadcasting Corporation.
For the first time yesterday, George Bush publicly "appeared to back away from his once-emphatic claim that weapons of mass destruction would be found in Iraq." In response to questions about former chief Iraq weapons inspector David Kay's assertions that Iraq destroyed its WMDs years before the U.S.