I never thought I would have anything negative to say about Bill Moyers, but when he ended his special, “On Buying the War” last night, with the comment that last year 35,000 civilians were killed in Iraq, my heart sank.
The portion of the special that I heard was generally informative and a good contribution to the national dialog, but why did he have to end it with an estimate offered by an administration that almost never tells the truth about anything. If the best estimate we have is that over 650,000 excess civilian deaths have occurred as a result of the war, then certainly a lot more than 35,000 Iraqis died last year. It's my understanding that the Lancet has been making these kinds of estimates for about 100 years and is considered the best in the business at doing so.
Moyers just threw out that 35,000 number with no explanation. What a way to undermine and discredit what was otherwise was a great effort.
Gee Whiz Bill, please explain yourself.
I tried to post what I wrote above to The Blog on the PBS website on 4/26/07 but my entry was not published (at least not yet). http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/blog/
I also did a search of the 232 blog entries that were already there in response to Moyers’ introductory welcome to the blog and at the time I tried to post my own comment not one of those already there mentioned this issue.
In a Q and A with the Knight Ridders reporters, of the 1224 blog entries on that segment only 2 mentioned this discrepancy and even then, just in passing.
It is interesting to note that the transcript of the special on this website stops before the actual end of the program... just before the deception I'm talking about is offered to the public. I can’t believe it came out of Moyers’ mouth, but I heard it with my own ears. You might wonder, when weighed against the overall thrust of the program, can it really be said that this is important? Yes. of course it is. This administration is guilty of egregious war crimes… crimes against humanity... crimes for which a good many people should spend the rest of their lives behind bars.
Justice demands the truth and the truth must be told if we are to preserve the rule of law, our nation, and our precious heritage.
I can only imagine that Bill was given an option he couldn’t refuse… either continue to misinform the public and quote the party line on this death estimate or we’re not going to allow you to publish all the rest.
Is that what happened, Bill?
Regarding my comments above of 4/26/07, Bill's introducction that I spoke about has been moved and my contribution was never included.
Regarding Bill's motives, I had another thought that I am loathe to suggest, but here goes:
Is it possible that Bill's effectiveness has been compromised in some way, either by some heavy handed manipulation on the part of PBS executives or by some threat against Bill that renders him impotent to speak out or act as he normally would be inclined to do?