Bill Moyers Journal

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Four years ago on May 1, President Bush landed on the aircraft carrier USS Lincoln wearing a flight suit and delivered a speech in front of a giant “Mission Accomplished” banner. He was hailed by media stars as a “breathtaking” example of presidential leadership in toppling Saddam Hussein. Despite profound questions over the failure to locate weapons of mass destruction and the increasing violence in Baghdad, many in the press confirmed the White House’s claim that the war was won. MSNBC’s Chris Matthews declared, “We’re all neo-cons now;” NPR’s Bob Edwards said, “The war in Iraq is essentially over;” and Fortune magazine’s Jeff Birnbaum said, “It is amazing how thorough the victory in Iraq really was in the broadest context.”

How did the mainstream press get it so wrong? How did the evidence disputing the existence of weapons of mass destruction and the link between Saddam Hussein to 9-11 continue to go largely unreported? “What the conservative media did was easy to fathom; they had been cheerleaders for the White House from the beginning and were simply continuing to rally the public behind the President — no questions asked. How mainstream journalists suspended skepticism and scrutiny remains an issue of significance that the media has not satisfactorily explored,” says Moyers. “How the administration marketed the war to the American people has been well covered, but critical questions remain: How and why did the press buy it, and what does it say about the role of journalists in helping the public sort out fact from propaganda?”

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US Congress Subpoenas Condoleezza Rice

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice addresses the media in Oslo, Norway, 26 Apr 2007
The US Congress has approved a subpoena for Condoleezza Rice, the Secretary of State, to testify concerning pre-war claims that Saddam Hussein, then President of Iraq, was seeking to buy uranium from Niger.Rice has said previously she would not testify because she fears incriminating herself and that she was protected by the constitutional principle of executive privilege and would only reply by writing.

Ms Rice told reporters “If there are further questions that Congressman Waxman has, then I am more that happy to answer them again in a letter, because I think that that is the best way to continue this dialogue.”

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