On Fox News' Special Report, Weekly Standard executive editor Fred Barnes claimed that Pentagon war planners and the Bush administration had not "expected" the looting that occurred in Baghdad immediately after Saddam Hussein's regime fell. But a 2003 New York Times article reported that the administration and the Pentagon were warned repeatedly by exiled Iraqi leaders that "without a strong plan for managing Iraq after toppling Saddam Hussein, widespread looting and violence would erupt."
In an article in The Weekly Standard, senior writer Stephen F. Hayes attacked a 2003 article by New York Times staff writer James A. Risen that, according to Hayes, falsely claimed the Bush administration had selectively used intelligence to suggest a link between Iraq and Al Qaeda. To refute the Times article, Hayes quoted a line allegedly from a CIA report referenced by Risen, but the line does not address the administration's alleged selective use of intelligence, or even provide support for the claim of a connection between Iraq and Al Qaeda.
A Washington Times editorial asserted that "Iran has shown no serious interest in negotiating" about its alleged nuclear weapons program, despite evidence that, in May 2003, Iran made diplomatic overtures toward the United States.
In an article that purported to undermine a recent National Journal article by Murray Waas alleging that Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS) had leaked sensitive intelligence shortly after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, Knight Ridder staff writer Matt Stearns quoted only Republican supporters of Roberts. Stearns also highlighted evidence that contradicted his argument.
On Fox News' Your World, Neil Cavuto falsely claimed that Sen. Jospeh R. Biden Jr.'s recently released plan for Iraq is "one that divides the country into three countries separately by religion." In fact, Biden's plan "is to maintain a unified Iraq by decentralizing it" into three "largely autonomous regions," Kurd, Sunni, and Shiite, "with a viable but limited central government in Baghdad."
Fox News chief White House correspondent Carl Cameron and former Pentagon spokeswoman Victoria Clarke both obscured the role the White House played in the display of the "Mission Accomplished" banner that appeared behind Bush on May 1, 2003, when he declared an end to major combat operations in Iraq. Cameron referred to the banner as a "Navy banner," while Clarke claimed "it's still a matter of debate" who printed and put up the banner, despite a 2004 report that a White House spokesperson confirmed that White House staff had the banner made.
Fox News host Neil Cavuto asked whether the May 1 "Day Without Immigrants" protests were "freedom of expression or economic terrorism."
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On the third anniversary of President Bush's premature declaration of victory in Iraq, Media Matters has compiled examples of media that sounded alarms over Iraq's purported weapons of mass destruction capabilities now sounding similar alarms over Iran.
On MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews, Wall Street Journal national political editor John Harwood claimed that White House senior adviser Karl Rove was at most guilty of "backhanded confirmations" of classified information and therefore cannot reasonably be accused of leaking. Harwood's assertion amounts to the claim that mere confirmation -- as opposed to actual disclosure -- of classified information does not constitute an unauthorized leak. Harwood's assertion is not supported by the law or the facts.
John Gibson claimed that the CIA "thinks" former intelligence officer Mary O. McCarthy "might have been a source" for Washington Post staff writer Dana Priest's article that first reported the alleged existence of CIA "black site" prisons in Eastern Europe. In fact, while initial reports indicated that McCarthy had admitted to leaking classified information on the prisons, McCarthy has since denied doing so, and the CIA has not drawn a connection between McCarthy and the revelation of the alleged secret prisons.
The New York Post asserted in an editorial that the administration has "often come off as treating its top priorities -- the War on Terror and, particularly, Iraq -- as near-afterthoughts." Far from treating those subjects as "near-afterthoughts," however, the Bush administration has made them a central theme in every major policy agenda and electoral strategy for the past four years.
Four days after former high-ranking CIA official Tyler Drumheller revealed that the Bush administration dismissed clear-cut evidence undermining President Bush's central case for war -- that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction -- the media, except for MSNBC and now CNN, have largely ignored the story.
Washington Times columnist Douglas MacKinnon repeated his claim that the December 2005 Pulitzer Prize-winning report by The New York Times on the National Security Agency warrantless domestic spying program "hurt the United States dramatically." In making the statement, MacKinnon assumed two things: 1) that the program had been effective before the Times article appeared, and 2) that suspected terrorists altered their conduct after the article. MacKinnon added: "I'm not convinced that if they [the Times reporters] didn't have the information for D-Day on June 6, 1944, they wouldn't have revealed that as well."
An April 23 Los Angeles Times editorial falsely asserted that President Bush "has acknowledged with increasing explicitness that he was wrong to believe that Saddam Hussein harbored weapons of mass destruction [WMD]." In fact, while Bush has described the intelligence as "wrong," has accepted responsibility for "the decision to go into Iraq," and has said he was "responsible for fixing what went wrong by reforming our intelligence capabilities," he has never stated he was wrong to believe the flawed intelligence or assumed responsibility for the intelligence failures.