Mudcat Café message #1522899 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #62901   Message #1522899
Posted By: Amos
17-Jul-05 - 10:08 AM
Thread Name: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
"Reporters in the US have expressed concern about their duty to protect the anonymity of their sources. What is becoming evident, however, from the unfolding soap opera that the White House and newspapers like the WSJ are bringing to the world, is that the sources of government information that US reporters have available, like Karl Rove, are sources who are willing to use their public office to involve reporters in activities of political retribution.

The crime that the U.S. Congress and the American people have to understand is the fact that they were presented with a set of lies, including carefully crafted misrepresentations, to justify an illegal invasion of another country and the killing of many people. The period leading up to the invasion of Iraq by the US government, was a period when much of the US media, and reporters like Judith Miller, who is now in jail to protect her sources, created a fraudulent public pretext for the US government's steps to war.

What the WSJ doesn't mention, is that before the US government invaded Iraq, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had clearly disclosed the forged nature of documents the US used to claim that Iraq had sought uranium ore in Niger. The US government at the time said that they had just gotten the documents themselves in October 2002, yet they didn't give them to the IAEA until February 2003 ("Macbeth" and the Forged Documents of Niger).

How the US government could present forged documents to the IAEA as proof that Iraq was seeking to buy uranium ore from Niger, is a serious question. The lies and forgeries that the US government has been willing to present as its justification for an illegal war continue. Also the WSJ continues to applaud government officials for their lies and use of forgeries and in so doing helps them to cover up their abuse of public office. The US press is faced with a serious challenge. If it continues to protect as sources government officials who lie, it stands to lose any of its credibility that remains with people in the US and around the world. The obligation of the press is to expose the misdeeds of government, not to be the mouthpiece to broadcast, or to cover up these misdeeds.

A serious principle is at stake in the current investigation into the role played by the White House (not just by Rove) in leaking information about Joe Wilson's wife. The principle is: Will the press act as a force to stop the US government from presenting lies and misrepresentations as a pretext to justify illegal and harmful deeds and policies? Or will the press be complicit in spreading or covering up the illegal and misleading deeds of the US government?

Almost two hundred years ago, in an encyclopedia article about the "Freedom of the Press, James Mill, the father of John Stuart Mill, explained that without a press exposing the corruption and misrule in government, government officials will not be able to resist the temptation to be corrupt"

See for balance of piece.