|2003-03-31 12:27, by Julie Solheim-Roe|
WHAT EVERY PEACE SUPPORTER SHOULD KNOW AND TELL THE EXECUTIVES
This is so important, I am giving it a second post. I got my last entry emailed from Jay Levin again --- see the list of many many activists groups that are uniting for this media campaign. The prior post lists the news agencies to call and what date. The following, however, gives us specific things to say when we are calling and debating the situation:
"In speaking to news chiefs, insist that information refuting administration statements be mentioned every time the administration claim is mentioned. Prominent should be these facts: ..."
"When a newscaster reports US claims it is at war over Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction, the report must also state the essential role of key neo-conservatives in pushing a three-decade old agenda that predates Iraqi chemical/biological weaponry and which sees the U.S. first taking Iraq, then moving into Iran and Syria in order to control the Mideast and its oil power. That policy was openly codified in the formation in 1997 of a new and highly activist right-wing organization, The Project for a New American Century, which counts as key members most of the administration's top national security figures. Americans need to be reminded of this hourly.
Evidence of Administration lying to the public must be prominently and repeatedly mentioned. The evidence should include the following:
*** Knowing use by the Administration of a forged document – alleged evidence of Iraqi attempts to acquire nuclear materials from Niger -- to obtain Congressional authority to go to war. Senator Jay Rockefeller (W. Va) has now demanded an FBI investigation of this deceit and Rep. Henry Waxman (LA) has written the President demanding an explanation of "this breach of the highest order."
***Reports by the Philadelphia Inquirer and New York Times that intelligence analysts were under intense pressure by the Administration to "cook the books" on Iraq.
***The resignations of State Dept. diplomat John Kiesling protesting that "we have not seen such systematic distortion of intelligence, such systematic manipulation of American opinion, since the war in Vietnam."
***Newsweek’s disclosure that the Administration’s most oft-cited best source of intelligence about Iraq’s pre-1991 weapons of mass destruction, Saddam Hussein’s late son-in-law, told UN inspectors and the CIA in 1995 that Iraq’s biological and chemical weapons had been destroyed after the war – information not reported to the American public by Bush, Cheney or Powell in public statements referring to the son-in-law.
***The fact that virtually every statement Secretary of State Powell made to the UN in his famous "evidence" case against Iraq has now been refuted in the print media. British newspapers, for example, exposed that much of the information was not drawn from intelligence sources but from a years old doctoral study by a student who got most of his information from the Internet. The LA Times revealed that the alleged Al Qaeda base in Iraq was actually in territory not controlled by Iraq but overseen by US Kurdish allies and that the administration had refused to tell Congress why it had not been "taken out."
The Mid-East financial dealings of the Bush family, Vice President Cheney and Defense Secretary Rumsfeld and the new no-bid contracts to rebuild Iraq being given to their business associates. Cheney flatly lied during the election when he said he had no business dealings with Iraq.
The price we pay for war and the military buildup must also daily be moved front and center. This includes major budget
cuts in poverty, health, housing, transportation and other programs. Civil liberties and government spying must also be
Currently, many stories crucial for the public to know are uncovered by independent and foreign journalists or by the
print media and never see the light of day in TV newsrooms. This must change. For example, the networks have not informed the public in depth on the U.S. role in putting Saddam Hussein in power and on U.S. assistance in helping him acquire biological weapons and use chemical weapons. They avoid the President’s personal religious beliefs and close ties to fundamentalists seeking “apocalypse” in the Mideast - in other words, the very real question of whether the President is a closet religious fanatic.
They have kept from the public how the U.S. government misled Saudi Arabia in 1991 on the threat to its borders from
Iraq and then lied about babies being slaughtered by Iraq. These are clearly stories that, if referred to as regularly as
TV cites Saddam Hussein’s history, might shape public opinion in directions other than the war promoting in which TV engages.
Reforms are essential to reverse TV's abuse of its power with the public and its undermining of our democracy."