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Study: False statements preceded war

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By DOUGLASS K. DANIEL, Associated Press Writer 6 minutes ago

WASHINGTON - A study by two nonprofit journalism organizations found that President Bush and top administration officials issued hundreds of false statements about the national security threat from Iraq in the two years following the 2001 terrorist attacks.

The study concluded that the statements "were part of an orchestrated campaign that effectively galvanized public opinion and, in the process, led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses."

The study was posted Tuesday on the Web site of the Center for Public Integrity, which worked with the Fund for Independence in Journalism.

White House spokesman Scott Stanzel did not comment on the merits of the study Tuesday night but reiterated the administration's position that the world community viewed Iraq's leader, Saddam Hussein, as a threat.

"The actions taken in 2003 were based on the collective judgment of intelligence agencies around the world," Stanzel said.

The study counted 935 false statements in the two-year period. It found that in speeches, briefings, interviews and other venues, Bush and administration officials stated unequivocally on at least 532 occasions that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction or was trying to produce or obtain them or had links to al-Qaida or both.

"It is now beyond dispute that Iraq did not possess any weapons of mass destruction or have meaningful ties to al-Qaida," according to Charles Lewis and Mark Reading-Smith of the Fund for Independence in Journalism staff members, writing an overview of the study. "In short, the Bush administration led the nation to war on the basis of erroneous information that it methodically propagated and that culminated in military action against Iraq on March 19, 2003."

Named in the study along with Bush were top officials of the administration during the period studied: Vice President ####### Cheney, national security adviser Condoleezza Rice, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Colin Powell, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and White House press secretaries Ari Fleischer and Scott McClellan.

Bush led with 259 false statements, 231 about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and 28 about Iraq's links to al-Qaida, the study found. That was second only to Powell's 244 false statements about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and 10 about Iraq and al-Qaida.

The center said the study was based on a database created with public statements over the two years beginning on Sept. 11, 2001, and information from more than 25 government reports, books, articles, speeches and interviews.

"The cumulative effect of these false statements — amplified by thousands of news stories and broadcasts — was massive, with the media coverage creating an almost impenetrable din for several critical months in the run-up to war," the study concluded.

"Some journalists — indeed, even some entire news organizations — have since acknowledged that their coverage during those prewar months was far too deferential and uncritical. These mea culpas notwithstanding, much of the wall-to-wall media coverage provided additional, 'independent' validation of the Bush administration's false statements about Iraq," it said.

___

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The center for Public Integrity's funding comes from George Soros. Does anything else need said?

Funding from George Soros

George Soros is a Hungarian-American billionaire[28] who has supported an array of political causes active in reforming the Soviet bloc in Eastern Europe, including the Solidarity labor movement in Poland, the Czechoslovakian human rights organization Charter 77, the Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov, the opposition to the Yugoslavian leader Slobodan Milosevic[29] and the Republic of Georgia's Rose Revolution[30]. In 2004, he asserted himself in American politics by donating millions of dollars to groups opposing the election of President George W. Bush[31].

Soros himself has become a public critic of Bush and the Republican Party, speaking out in books published under his name and in interviews with journalists. Republican activists have responded with strong criticism of Soros and the causes he supports. Conservative television host Bill O'Reilly has identified Soros as a leader in what he calls "the secular-progressive cause[32]." O'Reilly alleges that Soros exerts a destructive influence indirectly through groups his foundations fund. In October of 2006, O'Reilly commented:

He's given money to some of the worst people in United States of America. ... He wants radical change in this country. ... [H]e's damaging the country. He is the single most dangerous individual in the United States of America. And his assassins, the people he hires to harm the people with whom he disagrees. And he sits back and he goes, "Oh, I don't know what they're doing." Bull.[33]

O'Reilly and other critics point to Soros' support of groups whose agenda many conservatives oppose, such as the American Civil Liberties Union and Moveon.org[34].

Critics have used the Center's connections to Soros in efforts to discredit its journalism[20][23][24][25][26]. The Web site of one of Soros' organizations, The Open Society Institute, discloses four grants to the Center, all made before his entry into the 2004 presidential contest. They are:

* A $72,400 one-year grant in 2000 supporting "an investigative journalism series on prosecutorial misconduct."[35]

* A $75,000 one-year grant in 2001 supporting "an examination of wrongful convictions resulting from prosecutorial misconduct."[36]

* A $100,000 one-year grant in 2002 "to investigate the political spending of the telecommunications industry on the federal, state and local levels."[37]

* A $1 million three-year grant in 2002 "to support the Global Access Project."[38]

The first two grants funded what eventually became the "Harmful Error" report, which was headed by Steve Weinberg. Weinberg is a professional journalist and former director of Investigative Reporters and Editors.

The telecommunications grant supported the launch of the Center's ongoing "Well Connected" project. According to the Center's site, other funding for that endeavor has been provided by The Ford Foundation[39]. The project has won an Online News Association award for enterprise reporting[40] and the Sigma Delta Chi Award for Public Service in Online Journalism[17].

According to its Web site, the Global Access project -- now known as Global Integrity -- seeks to "collect and disseminate trustworthy, credible, comprehensive and timely data and information on governance and corruption trends around the world." It publishes the Global Integrity Index, "an annual ranking of 50-100 diverse countries in more than 290 indicators of openness, governance, and anti-corruption mechanisms[41]."

[edit] The Center's Coverage of George Soros's Political Activity

Despite their previous connections, the Center documented Soros' political donations during the 2004 political elections as a part of its "Silent Partners" project, which won an Online Journalism Association award for its reporting on the "527" groups that bypassed campaign finance disclosure regulations to funnel millions of dollars to both candidates[17].

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Center_for_Public_Integrity

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I can't see the problem with this personally - its not as though this group made up the news that they studied; and from what I saw in the UK media, and in the US after I moved here - their conclusions don't seem very far off.

I wonder how many people who think this is all hogwash had next to no exposure to foreign media coverage and/or foreign debates on this subject during the time this was all going on...

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This is old news....The fact is that they, Bush, Condy, and Colin were using the best available intellegence at the time.

The premise here is that they intentionally mislead the people, and the world, to go to war. That's absurd.

The fact is that they did not use the best available intelligence but dismissed some of it in favor of testimony by the enemy that furthered their case to go war. Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi. Nothing more needs to be said.

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This is old news....The fact is that they, Bush, Condy, and Colin were using the best available intellegence at the time.

The premise here is that they intentionally mislead the people, and the world, to go to war. That's absurd.

The fact is that they did not use the best available intelligence but dismissed some of it in favor of testimony by the enemy that furthered their case to go war. Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi. Nothing more needs to be said.

and just who made the determination that they didn't use the best intel? :huh:


* ~ * Charles * ~ *
 

I carry a gun because a cop is too heavy.

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This is old news....The fact is that they, Bush, Condy, and Colin were using the best available intellegence at the time.

The premise here is that they intentionally mislead the people, and the world, to go to war. That's absurd.

The fact is that they did not use the best available intelligence but dismissed some of it in favor of testimony by the enemy that furthered their case to go war. Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi. Nothing more needs to be said.

Well the whole UK debate was a circus - even the govt there couldn't convince people that there was a sudden and real threat to our national security.

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This is old news....The fact is that they, Bush, Condy, and Colin were using the best available intellegence at the time.

The premise here is that they intentionally mislead the people, and the world, to go to war. That's absurd.

The fact is that they did not use the best available intelligence but dismissed some of it in favor of testimony by the enemy that furthered their case to go war. Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi. Nothing more needs to be said.

Well if you say nothing more needs to be said then I guess that's the final word on the matter. Closed minds always dominate......

Please listen up everyone. No more input to this thread as "nothing more needs to be said".... :lol:


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