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Too Little, Too Late

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Message Missy Beattie
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If it's the responsibility of our media to be mechanisms of the checks and balances essential to prevent abuse of power, then, many of our mainstream anchors and investigative reporters should slink off to other fields of employment. Most (the maverick Jack Cafferty is an exception) have been wallflowers during the presidency of George W. Bush.

Recently, though, two emerged, ready to rock and roll, argue and dispute, asking the questions they should have raised prior to this war that has killed more than 2500 coalition troops and countless Iraqis. Too bad it's too little too late.

In "The Situation Room" on CNN, Wolf Blitzer interviewed the former Republican presidential candidate and Viagra enthusiast Bob Dole. Blitzer tossed out the strong statement of Ted Kennedy that 'it is clearer than ever that Iraq was a war we never should have fought and the administration's Iraq policy is not worthy of the sacrifice of our men and women in uniform.'

Dole countered with: "Well, what he didn't say, that there were over 3,000 killed on 9/11, and maybe Ted, like"most people have forgotten, you know, really why we we're there."

Blitzer displayed disbelief that Dole would say this and asked him to clarify not once, not twice, but three times before, finally, extracting from the former senator that Saddam had nothing to do with September 11, 2001.

Bob Dole, obviously, is suffering from more than erectile dysfunction. His deliberate attempt to connect the attack on our soil to energize support for George Bush, the Republican Party, and the war in Iraq indicates that he has a medical condition requiring more drastic treatment than a little blue pill. In fact, Dole must have the same illness plaguing George Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and Condoleezza Rice. All of them need a heaping dose of truth serum.

Thank you, Wolf, for finally insisting on the facts even though your effort is tardy.

Some unenthusiastic praise also must go to Chris Matthews who said to Don Imus:

Well, I am just going to stick to this point that the president led us in there with the background music of American culture. Everybody was led to believe that we were getting payback. We were avenging what happened on 9/11 and that we are going to get them. Vice President Cheney said we are going to attack terrorism at its base. Over and over the language was this is where it came from. In fact, most recently the President suggested that it was always the hot pursuit, like a New York police chase. We chased them back into their country. We pursued the terrorists back to Iraq and it's all nonsense. The reason there are terrorists in Iraq today like Zarqawi is we created the opening by blowing the country apart. From the beginning it's been not true. Now you can't prove motive and you can't prove somebody lies, but from the beginning everything about how they've got WMD, they are a threat to us, they are going to bomb us with a nuclear weapon, this country is going to be an easy liberate, it's going to be a cakewalk. As Cheney said as recently as ten months ago the insurgents are in their last throes. Everything that is said is not true. And right to the end here, here we are now and it's not a civil war and when Allawi the Prime Minister is saying it is a civil war and here is the president quoting his own people that it's not a civil war. I mean the denial has been continuous. So you really can't count on the administration to tell you what is going on. That is just the fact. You've got to check it out. By the way, the president said this week that he wants the whole truth about what is going on in Iraq, the whole truth and that the media isn't telling the whole story. I'll tell you what we are not telling. We are not showing pictures of the 2500 bodies coming back because they won't let us show the pictures. They don't want the whole truth out and that's the fact.

Thank you, Chris, for finally reporting reality when you were giddy over Bush for so long that your wife must have been wondering about your sexual orientation.

But Imus, who usually castigates Bush at every opportunity on his morning show, appeared on Larry King Live and when asked by King to comment on the war in Iraq surprisingly did the Texas Sidestep. He mumbled: "Well, they flew those planes into the towers." What? I guess since Don has to wake up early to be limousined to the studio he may have been too tired to remember that he usually pulls no punches.

Predictably in the midst of much needed honesty, George Bush was defending his war and deceiving his audience in another lame attempt to place the public back in his corner. This man who most Americans no longer trust was grinning, joking, saying the word 'progress' over and over, and taking questions from admirers. He said, I don't want to be argumentative, but I was very careful never to say that Saddam Hussein ordered the attacks on America." Yet, throughout his spin, he referenced 9/11 and Iraq over and over in his pursuit of approval:

Here's the basis from which I made decisions"is that 9/11 affected the way I think"And so I told the American people that we would find the terrorists and bring them to justice, and that we needed to defeat them overseas so we didn't have to face them here at home. My most important job is to protect you, is to protect the American people. Therefore, when we see threats, given the lesson of September the 11th, we got to deal with them.

Bush continued to stress that it's his job to never forget 9/11. Apparently, it's his job to convince us that those "folks" who used our airplanes as weapons were from Iraq. And he is passing the buck (trillions in dollars as well as incalculable costs in human life) to the next president.

So, Wolf and Chris, please confront BushCo. with some of that newly acquired courage to demand the facts. Ask them about the men who hijacked those planes. Remind them that most were from Saudi Arabia. Tell George Bush to quit using 9/11 and Iraq in the same sentence unless he's going to look all of us in the eye and say, "I apologize for betraying our troops and this country by linking September 11 and Saddam Hussein countless times." Remind him that most of our soldiers on the ground in Iraq even think that's why they're fighting. Then ask him if the progress in Tal Afar is worth the sacrifice so many families have and are continuing to make.

And if neither of you has the nads to penetrate what the salivating Kelly O'Donnell, NBC News White House Correspondent, calls the presidential aura, then train for some other career where no lives are at stake.
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Missy Beattie lives in New York City. She's written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. An outspoken critic of the Bush Administration and the war in Iraq, she's a member of Gold Star Families for Peace. She completed a (more...)
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