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Curiously, America's Greatest Newspaper (not!) has never mentioned the White House Iraq Group. Not once.

Times never mentions W.H.I.G.

I wonder why?

Long story short:

The Times hasn't mentioned the W.H.I.G. because The Times was part of the W.H.I.G. disinformation campaign to sell the Iraq  War by planting stories in the press. In Traitorgate, Valerie Plame was outed not only for revenge, but to protect that operation, because the Niger uranium story was one of the planted stories. (Remember the crude forgery of mysterious provenance that the yellowcake story was based on?)

The reason it seems like they were all in on it, is that they were all in on it. All the Kewl Kidz, and all the media whores. The whole  Beltway 500 crowd is dirty. (Not you, Dan Froomkin, and not you, Walter Pincus.)

More at CorrenteWire.

Originally posted to lambertstrether on Fri Oct 14, 2005 at 09:57 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  re (4.00)
    bingo.

    Steve Holt says "Steve Holt!"

    by cookiesandmilk on Fri Oct 14, 2005 at 10:04:07 PM PDT

    •  Yet another example (none)
      of the so called "liberal media"
      •  Corporate Liberalism (none)
        During the war on Viet Nam the anti-war movement came to use the term "corporate liberalism" to describe the politics of the JFK and LBJ administrations. It was an important realization that "liberalism" was not the politics of decency and kindness, but was rather the dominant ideology of the corporate elite. Now, of course things have changed and the dominant ideology of that elite is conservatism. Unfortunately this has the effect of obscuring the big differences between the progressive politics of the rank and file of the Democratic Party and the loyalties to corporate power of Kerry, Clinton, Clark et. al.. But we are going to need to rediscover these differences if we want to really stop the war on Iraq and advance a progressive agenda. The corporate liberals are not our friends. Their votes for the war and the bankruptcy bill are not simply imperfections or aberrations from otherwise solid progressive commitments. They are the core of their politics and why we can not rely on them.

        "Tell no lies. Claim no easy victories." -- Amilcar Cabral (-10.00, -9.28)

        by Christopher Day on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 01:06:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Which Tells You What? (none)
          Corporations, not ideologies, are responsible for American policy.  Gee, if only we could hold them accountable some how.  But there are no institutions available to do that.
    •  There's more to this picture : (4.00)
      THE RECORD OF THE PAPER : Fifty Years of the New York Times on US Foreign Policy"

      "In this meticulously researched study -- the first part of a two-volume work -- Howard Friel and Richard Falk demonstrate how the newspaper of record in the United States has consistently, over the last 50 years, misreported the facts related to the wars waged by the United States.

       From Vietnam in the 1960s to Nicaragua in the 1980s and Iraq today, the authors accuse the New York Times of serial distortions. They claim that such coverage now threatens not only world legal order but constitutional democracy in the United States. Falk and Friel show that, despite numerous US threats to invade Iraq, and despite the fact that an invasion of one country by another implicates fundamental aspects of the UN Charter and international law, the New York Times editorial page never mentioned the words "UN Charter" or "international law" in any of its 70 editorials on Iraq from September 11, 2001, to March 20, 2003. The authors also show that the editorial page supported the Bush administration's WMD claims against Iraq, and that its magazine, op-ed and news pages performed just as poorly.

       In conclusion the authors suggest an alternative editorial policy of "strict scrutiny" that incorporates the UN Charter and the US Constitution in the Times coverage of the use and threat of force by the United States and the protection of civil and human rights at home and abroad. "

    •  So let's all ask them (4.00)
      let's email them, put in some back story to "refresh" their memories. Ask them directly:
      Is the NYT, or its editors & publishers, now, or ever have been a member of WHIG?
      Have you ever published information from them without checking it, INO, did you trust ther information to be factual, and, if so, why?
      Finally is, or did you know if Judy Miller is or was a member or conduit for WHIG?
    •  SOMEBODY!! (none)

      We don't have a dkos entry for WHIG! we need something ... anything.

      http://www.dkosopedia.com/index.php/Main_Page

  •  Ah (4.00)
    Very interesting my dear Watson.
    I do believe the plot thickens.

    Excellent observation. More people should pick up on this.

    •  In fact, amazing. And distressing. (4.00)
      I reran the search, in lots of configurations.
      I also used the NYTimes page to search for the term in all fields on the web - that returned 1750 hits of a major nature, all relevant.

      "Do not venture. Here be dragons!" - apparently.

      I've been catching some flak here for riding the NYTimes for having allowed its pages to be used to shill for war - but the extent of this is starting to have harrowing implications. It appears that the paper allowed a Memory Hole to develop on the issue of War in Iraq, and that is beyond disgraceful, it's contemptible.

      "I don't do quagmires, and my boss doesn't do nuance."

      by SteinL on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 01:47:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Good follow-up ... (4.00)
        Overall -- this is an excellent and important catch highlighting the biased nature of the NY Times reporting.  What is amazing is that this still retains such a reputation as a left-wing, commie newspaper, matched only by the Pravda on the Potomac (Washington Post) for the Rethug true believers.  They simply don't buy -- no matter the evidence -- just how much these 'left-wing' newspapers have bought into and been complicit in the BushCo criminal conspiracy.

        This item is one that I am sending to the 50 or so people who are NYTimes subscribers -- believe they (like I) will be surprised at this.

        Considering how Howard Kurtz is having fun going after the NYT on their (lack of real) coverage of Judy, he might actually pick this one up as well.

        This reporting is also an indication of just why so many Americans are ignorant of the "K Street Project" which -- when one considers it -- almost certainly could justify criminal conspiracy and other criminal counts against tens (if not hundreds) of Republicans (including many senior elected Republicans).  But, as far as I can tell, the only truly serious reporting on K Street project remains the truly excellent Boston Globe articles last year.  If I have the time (hard amid work, life, and trying to help Kilgore contribute to the private economic miracle of Virginia in the private sector), I will do a similar search on major papers (especially WSJ, NYT, and WP) on K Street project.  Have a feeling it appears but without shining serious light on the criminal nature of the activity.

        In any event, bravo to the diarist and kudos to you for the robust followup.

        •  K Street project (4.00)
          If that is not influence peddling, what is?

          We are supposed to be living in a democracy where every voice counts, and the biggest scandal of this administration is that only republicans have voice.

          I understand minority party status, but this is different.  Minority party status should allow at least a voice, even if frequently overruled.

          The K street project has resulted in only republican place operatives having influence. And should you oppose the game plan, you and your company are "cut off".

        •  I heard one story on the K Street Project (none)
          A couple of years ago, maybe, on Marketplace on NPR. Funny place for it, when no one else made a peep.
          •  k-street project (none)
            There's been a fair amount of coverage on it, 36 mentions since 2002 in the WaPo, for instance (per lexis/nexis search on "k street project" for 5 years). the NTY had...drum roll please...8. And only one in 2002. Krugman wrote about it once, about a year after it was first noticed (when Norquist sent the dossier report around).

            I don't know if limitng lobbyist access amounts to criminal consiracy (anyone here a lawyer and can answer that?), though it is a violation of house and government ethics rules. so at the very least, thanks to the ethics stuff, newspapers should have been all over this in more critical terms. The WaPo coverage was ardent at first, Vandenhei especially seemed to be all over it. But only one major editorial and only one or two front-page placements.

            •  Thank you for doing (none)
              the check that I mentioned ...  As  a WP subscriber, what I would note is that what I've seen have been pedestrian mentions, just sort of acknowledging its existence as if it is normal rather than any serious examination of how this has perverted this town.

              I know, personally, of a case where a senior aide to a very senior Rethug got rewarded with a $400+k position via a call from the K Street project.  The government relations office of a company received a call that said, in essence, 'this guy needs a job ... he has kids who will be going to college ... if you don't give him a job that will pay for the school, you will suffer ..."  To me, that is a crime but don't see the investigations into this from the DOJ ...

      •  I'll say this again here for emphasis : (4.00)
        Look up towards the top of this thread for my link to and excerpt from editors comments on the book The Record of The Paper

        The NYT has implicated itself in a pervasive campaign of propaganda in reagrds to the Iraq invasion and other foreign policy matters.

        I'd suggest sending this post to Howard Friel

    •  W.H.I.G. report (none)
      I should mention that I saw this first mentioned at the WHIG report -- linked to in the lead of the post.

      So be sure to send some love their way!

      Anyone who isn't outraged isn't paying attention.

      by lambertstrether on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 07:56:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I've been ranting about this (4.00)
    for a while myself, so thanks for the diary.

    What do we know about the White House Iraq Group? The following is from Karl Rove's Wikipedia entry, and it is all footnoted to MSM sources:

    White House Iraq Group

    Rove chaired meetings of the White House Iraq Group (WHIG), a secretive internal White House working group established by August 2002, eight months prior to the 2003 invasion of Iraq. According to CNN and Newsweek, WHIG was "charged with developing a strategy for publicizing the White House's assertion that Saddam Hussein posed a threat to the United States."

    WHIG's existence and membership was first identified in a Washington Post article by Barton Gellman and Walter Pincus on August 10, 2003; members of WHIG included George W. Bush's chief of staff Andrew Card, National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, Rice's deputy Stephen Hadley, Vice President Cheney's chief of staff Lewis "Scooter" Libby, legislative liaison Nicholas E. Calio, and communication strategists Mary Matalin, Karen Hughes, and James R. Wilkinson.

    Quoting one of WHIG's members without identifying him or her by name, the Washington Post explained that the task force's mission was to "educate the public" about the threat posed by Hussein and (in the reporters' words) "to set strategy for each stage of the confrontation with Baghdad." Rove's "strategic communications" task force within WHIG helped write and coordinate speeches by senior Bush administration officials, emphasizing in September 2002 the theme of Iraq's purported nuclear threat.

    The White House Iraq Group was "little known" until a subpoena for its notes, email, and attendance records was issued by CIA leak investigator Patrick Fitzgerald in January 2004, a legal move first reported in the press and acknowledged by the White House on March 5, 2004.

    "[I]n all due respect to your profession [journalism], you do a very good job of protecting the leakers." -- Bush on Oct 7, 2003

    by QuickSilver on Fri Oct 14, 2005 at 10:16:25 PM PDT

    •  WHIG was planting stories in the press (4.00)
      [See Colonel Gardner's research on the planted stories.]

      That's the missing piece of the puzzle:

      7. I suggest that Times management--Keller, Sulzberger--was
      embedded in the disinformation campaign run by the White House Iraq
      Group, that Miller was their operative, and Libby was their handler
      .
      Of course, their White House handler wouldn't have been crass enough to
      offer them money; the access to power, and the promise of scoops, would
      have been enough. The scoops were to come from Chalabi. (It doesn't
      matter whether the White House still had faith in Chalabi; what matters
      is that the Times did).

      8. The players are not panicked about the Plame Affair at
      all; Rove outing Valerie Plame to Novak is the equivalent of the
      Watergate felons leaving tape on the doors of the Democratic
      headquarters they were burgling.

      9. Here's what the players--the White House Iraq Group, Times
      management,and all the other members of the press who agreed to plant
      stories--are panicked about:

      The White House Iraq Group records Fitzgerald subpoenaed
      will reveal a massive disinformation campaign, run from the White House
      by Bush's direct reports, and including many hitherto well-respected
      pundits, reporters, editors, and news gathering operations. (At least
      50 stories, remember?) As a direct result of this campaign, thousands
      of Americans, and many thousands of Iraqis, lost their lives.

      Anyone who isn't outraged isn't paying attention.

      by lambertstrether on Fri Oct 14, 2005 at 10:21:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  any concrete evidence of these claims? (none)
        I'd be very interested if you have some.
        •  Ancillary supporting evidence : (none)
          the New York Times editorial page never mentioned the words "UN Charter" or "international law" in any of its 70 editorials on Iraq from September 11, 2001, to March 20, 2003.

          See my comment up towards the top of this thread concerning the book "The Record of the Paper", which details the fact mentioned above.

        •  Thank god for the criminal justice system (none)
          •  All hinged on the referral to a special prosecutor (none)
            Don't be too grateful yet.  This could easily have been quashed -- and we still don't have either indictments or findings in hand.

            I'll be thankful after publication of findings in line with much of Kossacks' research.

            •  And this sort of thing is where..... (none)
              one extra loyal vote on the supreme court might come in handy.  Many on the left and right note Mier's utter incompetence as a supreme court nominee.  But it makes perfect sense if you realize that a legal shit storm is coming your way and you will be needing a legal fix at the last stop.  Meir's nomination is about keeping BushCo out of jail.

              Geonomist - Charge for privileges; abolish taxes on production.

              by Geonomist on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 08:30:57 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Judy and OSP (none)
          This is a 4 page editorial written by the NY Metro
          titled "The Source of the Trouble"in their June 04 issue, I have taken just one paragraph from this.  Its makes for a very interesing read about Judy Miller. She knew what she was doing to sell the war and grab the headlines.
          http://newyorkmetro.com/nymetro/news/media/features/9226/index2.html
          Her Iraq coverage didn't just depend on Chalabi. It also relied heavily on his patrons in the Pentagon. Some of these sources, like Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz, would occasionally talk to her on the record. She relied especially heavily on the Office of Special Plans, an intelligence unit established beneath Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith. The office was charged with uncovering evidence of Al Qaeda links to Saddam Hussein that the CIA might have missed. In particular, Miller is said to have depended on a controversial neocon in Feith's office named Michael Maloof. At one point, in December 2001, Maloof's security clearance was revoked. In April, Risen reported in the Times, "Several intelligence professionals say he came under scrutiny because of suspicions that he had leaked classified information in the past to the news media, a charge that Mr. Maloof denies." While Miller might not have intended to march in lockstep with these hawks, she was caught up in an almost irresistible cycle. Because she kept printing the neocon party line, the neocons kept coming to her with huge stories and great quotes, constantly expanding her access
      •  unfortunately (none)
        we don't know how complete the notes and records from WHIG are, or any notion how much the White House turned over...

        "[I]n all due respect to your profession [journalism], you do a very good job of protecting the leakers." -- Bush on Oct 7, 2003

        by QuickSilver on Fri Oct 14, 2005 at 10:33:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  But, if Lambert (none)
          is even close on this, then it makes it all the more interesting that Miller's attorney has said she will not be indicted.  

          Flip.  Flip.  Boing.  Flip.

          "In the beginning the universe was created. This has been widely criticized and generally regarded as a bad move." -- Douglas Adams

          by LithiumCola on Fri Oct 14, 2005 at 11:06:10 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  lambert, what are you quoting (none)
        in your last post? Is that from a blog, or...?

        "[I]n all due respect to your profession [journalism], you do a very good job of protecting the leakers." -- Bush on Oct 7, 2003

        by QuickSilver on Fri Oct 14, 2005 at 11:11:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  From Corrente (4.00)
          here.

          The earlier post on this topic; lays out the detail.

          I should stress that all this is just a working theory, a model. And direct evidence is thin; it's like inferrring the existence of a new planet from the peturbations in the orbits of existing planet. But it does explain a good deal.

          One thing it certainly does explain is the curious time lag in the Times [cough] "reporting" on Judy "Kneepads" Miller -- They were scooped by the Inky, for god sake!

          The lag would be because ANYTHING about Judy Miller had to go up the management chain to Keller and Sulzberger (and then wait for them to get done with dinner, or whatever).

          But why would that be? Surely Judy's legal issues are well handled by the Times's legal team? (Plus, none of the stuff about Judy's legal problems works anyhow, as everybody and their sisterhas noted.)

          So, I suggest that the Miller story has to go up to Keller and Sulzberger because they have fiduciary responsibility for the Times as an institution.

          So, ask yourself: What kind of story could place the survival of the Times as a credible news organization at risk? Something far worse than Jason Blair, eh? Something on the order of Times management being embedded in a WHIG disinformation campaign... Now, that would do it...

          Anyone who isn't outraged isn't paying attention.

          by lambertstrether on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 08:15:10 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Keller came on after Jayson Blair incident (none)
        Should he be on your list? He came back, was at the times earlier...
      •  thanks for posting this (4.00)
        I've been posting the Gardiner research wherever I could for a couple of months now, along with this article by Gar Smith that digests and gives some context for the original report.

        From my own notes:
        ...the text of an article about the work of Sam Gardiner--who identified many of the false plants, psyops and othe propaganda used by the administration during the war. Esp. naming of names (Jim Wilkinson) and  connecting dots with WHIG.

      •  Rummy's "Office of Disinformation" (none)
        Remember at the beginning, he said would set up such an office in a press conference. The next day or two he backed down. I'll look for a link.

        It is better to die standing than to live on your knees. - Emiliano Zapata

        by cotterperson on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 06:02:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  office of misinformation (4.00)
          On February 21, '02, "Propaganda as a weapon...", on February 22, "The Pentagon has created an office to use information as a tool in this "war" " and on February 26, "The Pentagon office of misinformation has been canceled."

          Yes but ... Another article published by Newsweek (the March 4 issue) somewhat dampens our enthusiasm at this news. We found out that it will only be passed on to dependent services:

          "... Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was forced to deny that the office intended to spread falsehoods in the foreign press, but for once, it was hard to believe him-in part because his undersecretary, Douglas Feith, admitted that the Pentagon will just outsource the lying to contractors..."

          quotes from Le Monde

          It is better to die standing than to live on your knees. - Emiliano Zapata

          by cotterperson on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 06:14:58 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I remember seeing a weird bit of info (none)
            On a contract from the Pentagon for a disgusting amount of money with a fairly new firm that was set up, owned, operated by a Young Repug, would swear he was from New York area.

            Couldn't really tell what the services were for, believed to be related to Iraq.

            So was this a money-laundering outfit that in turn contracted folks who worked between NYT and WHIG?

            Has all the bashing of NYT by the Repugs been a smoke screen to encourage readers to believe the NYT wasn't in the WHIG's/White House's court?

            Gah.  Must find more info, pronto.

            •  Ah. Whiskey Bar (4.00)
              Follow this bit: http://billmon.org/archives/001900.html

              Ask yourself if there were contracts that preceded the ones cited in the article.

              •  See comment upthread : (4.00)
                fact : "the New York Times editorial page never mentioned the words "UN Charter" or "international law" in any of its 70 editorials on Iraq from September 11, 2001, to March 20, 2003."
              •  Great link! (none)
                <snip verbatim from Billmon>

                Even before the Iraq invasion, you may recall, Rummy and the gang were scheming to create their own in-house propaganda and disinformation operation, to be called the Office of Strategic Influence. The program was nominally killed after the critics pointed out how easily the phony news it created could drift back into the domestic media. (This was back when the Democrats still had a foot in the door of power, and Rumsfeld had to back down every once in awhile.)

                It is better to die standing than to live on your knees. - Emiliano Zapata

                by cotterperson on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 07:12:17 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  OSI <- subset of OSP (none)
                  Don't you think?  Assuming OSP <- subset of WHIG.

                  OSI was outsourced to companies like Iraqex and Lincoln Alliance.  Iraqex, in particular, looks like a spook outfit.

                  Occurred to me this morning there might be a tie between Iraqex's Christian Bailey and David Kelly.

                  What do you think?

                  •  Iraqex, Christian Bailey from Sourcewatch (none)
                    Iraqex (Iraqex LLC) was "formed with the backing of Lincoln Asset Management Group (1)(2) with the assistance of a cadre of investors, to pursue private sector opportunities in Iraq. Iraqex brings a unique combination of expertise in collecting and exploiting information; structuring transactions; and mitigating risks through due diligence, legal strategies and security. Iraqex has developed subsidiaries and private equity investments in Iraq spanning commercial real estate, manufacturing, metals, transportation, and communications.

                    "Iraqex recently won a three-year contract to provide all Public Relations, outreach, and media monitoring & analysis for Coalition Forces across Iraq.

                    link

                    Iraqex 2004

                    In September 2004, "Christian Bailey, an executive at Iraqex/Lincoln, told O'Dwyer's his company [had] established four offices in Baghdad and other outposts, including an additional operation in Basra. He said Iraqex began handling PR work for private entities in sectors like manufacturing and finance within the country last year and has established close ties with 300-400 members of the Iraqi media."

                    "The company, which submitted a proposal of $5.5 million for the first year of the sweeping PR and advertising contract, beat five other firms. A contracting officer for the military did not disclose the competitors" to O'Dwyer's "or an email address to this website or in an e-mail to the losing bidders."

                    link

                    Christian Bailey, "former CEO of ExpressAction, [is] now at Lincoln Asset Management Group LLC. (1)(2)

                    Affiliations

                    * Lead21: Member, Board of Directors (2004-2005) and NYC Co-Chair, Republican National Convention/U.S. presidential elect
                    Links to Lead 21, Political involvement for business leaders which has photos of lots of repugs, including FCC chair Michael Powell.

                    (Still looking for links to poor David Kelly.)

                    It is better to die standing than to live on your knees. - Emiliano Zapata

                    by cotterperson on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 08:12:32 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  This too is good research but IMNSHO off point (none)
                      One thing we know about [cough] authoritarian regimes is that they tend to set up competing agencies so that The Leader's authority is never threatened and he ends up arbitrating between them.

                      So, I have no difficulty believing that the OSP and the WHIG disinformation campaign were not connected, and were in fact competing.

                      It also seems highly unlikely to me that the WHIG disinformation campaign would be outsources. Way too delicate, and if done with laundered money, illegal.

                      Plus, Rove would want to control all the details.

                      So, OSP and WHIG are diffferent trails. In the same disinformational forest, but different.

                      Note that the WHIG trail leads to, well, the WH, and so could be considered more important.

                      Anyone who isn't outraged isn't paying attention.

                      by lambertstrether on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 08:21:17 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

        •  From the NYT (4.00)
          From TimesSelect Archive:

          A NATION CHALLENGED: HEARTS AND MINDS
          Rumsfeld Says He May Drop New Office Of Influence

          February 25, 2002, Monday
          By ERIC SCHMITT (NYT); Foreign Desk
          Late Edition - Final, Section A, Page 13, Column 6, 561 words

          DISPLAYING FIRST 50 OF 561 WORDS - The Pentagon may eliminate a new office intended to influence public opinion and policy makers overseas, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said today. Proposals from the new agency, the Office of Strategic Influence, have caused an uproar in Congress and elsewhere in the government. Its director, Brig. Gen. Simon...

          It is better to die standing than to live on your knees. - Emiliano Zapata

          by cotterperson on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 06:19:54 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  you bagged an elephant (4.00)
        great catch. I've had a gut feel the NYT did not come clean, not for legal risks, but cuz they're 1/3 of the story.

        Mind you, propaganda plants are not new but this story fanned lies, people including women and children died and continue to die. That color red you're seeing on NYT pages is real blood.

        Let's stop feeding greed. In fact, propose we make it a commandment: The greedy shall not be fed.

        by idredit on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 06:35:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I was very disappointed (none)
        when not a single Democrat showed up for Karen Hughes confirmation hearing this summer. They missed a huge opportunity to question her about her role and the activities of WHIG.  

        Bill Frist WAS in a persistent, vegetative state.. until he had to call his stock broker.

        by Voxbear on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 10:35:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Like any good operation... (4.00)
      The WHIG had two channels: Overt and covert.

      The overt channel was speechmaking, photo ops, and all the usual government paperflow.

      The covert channel was the 50 planted stories, and, if need be, planted intel to support the planted stories (yellowcake).

      The beauty part is that the stories planted in the overt channel support the speeches in the channel part.

      And the covert channel is the Watergate/Iran Contra equivalent. And that's the "national security" part ALL the players (White House and media) are desperate to conceal.

      [Remember, this is how Republican rule turns rancid: Outside any Constitutional Framework, they ALWAYS set up covert operations (Plumbers, Contras) funded illegally with laundered money. What's different this time is that the press has gone as rancid as the Republicans.]

      Anyone who isn't outraged isn't paying attention.

      by lambertstrether on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 08:05:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  So, what do I have to do to get a recommendation? (4.00)
    Just asking.

    I mean, I like Bingo as well as the next man, but....

    Anyone who isn't outraged isn't paying attention.

    by lambertstrether on Fri Oct 14, 2005 at 10:16:50 PM PDT

    •  Recommended. n/t (4.00)
    •  Someone mentioned the "blackout"... (4.00)
      ... in the NYT regarding this the other night on one of the threads about the upcoming WSJ article mentioning Fitzgerald looking at the WHIG (maybe it was you?)... I did a cursory search myself right then, and didn't come up with anything.

      Verrrry interesting, and worth picking apart.

      •  No it was QuickSilver who said it (4.00)
        here is the comment you're thinking of:

        Judy's resignation from the Times

        will (at least in theory) free New York Times reporters to write accurately about her.

        But the thing I'm really wondering is: when will The New York Times report its first story on the White House Iraq Group? WHIG has never been mentioned in the newspaper. WHIG was first described in the Washington Post more than two years ago, and subsequent descriptions have been offered by Newsweek, The Los Angeles Times, Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, and even CNN. Fitzgerald subpoenaed records from WHIG in January 2004. But never -- NEVER -- has The New York Times reported even on WHIG's existence.

        The problem isn't just Judy Miller. The problem is that the Times has censored itself from reporting on the White House's war propaganda machine.

        •  See comment upthread : (none)
          fact - "the New York Times editorial page never mentioned the words "UN Charter" or "international law" in any of its 70 editorials on Iraq from September 11, 2001, to March 20, 2003."
          •  And? (none)
            I know there's a bigger picture, but to paint today we need to use what's at hand...

            Anyone who isn't outraged isn't paying attention.

            by lambertstrether on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 08:24:57 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  And. (none)
              This is very significant to the case you are trying to make for the fact that the book I've cited establishes a clear pattern of intentional omission on the part of the Times.

              If you want to build a strong case of complicity of the Times in intentional propaganda and misinformation you will - especially lacking a smoking gun - need all of the well established ancillary evidence you can get.

              In failing to EVER mention International law or the UN Charter the NYT chose to ignore the most salient aspect of the build up to the invasion of Iraq :

              Was the invasion actually legal ?

              First, the Constitution requires Congress to declare war ( Article 1, section 8 )

              Second, the US is a signatory to the UN Charter and thus bound to certain aspects of evolving international law.

              Article 6, section 2 of the US Constitution states that ratified treaties are part of the "Supreme Law of the Land", and - to cite Howard Friel and Richard Falk - "a proper reading of the UN Charter [ Richard Falk is a professor emeritus of International law at Princeton ], a validly ratified treaty, would require Congress to refuse a requested declaration of war if the proposed war was not reconcilable with international law. "

              Such would have been the case only if 1) the action were taken in self defense or 2) it were mandated by the UN Security Council.

              Thus, the "non-war" was doubly illlegal.

              The NYT was complicit in this illegality by never mentioning international law of the UN Charter once in its many editorials during the build up to the invasion.

               

              •  Additionally...... (none)
                These proven omissions were statistically impossible.

                Go back to the first Gulf War : George Bush Sr. made damn sure that he covered his rear by getting the imprimature of the UN. Thus, the first Gulf War was legal.

                The second was not.

                If you look back at the reporting, you will find discussions of the UN in the Times and elsewhere in the buildup to Gulf War 1.

                _______

                I guess I'm a little taken aback that, given your diary is based on the determination the NYT hasn't covered or mentioned the WHIWG.  you wouldn't consider the well substantiated failure of the Times - to ever mention the UN Charter or International law in its editorials about Iraq prior to the invasion - to not be relevant :

                That omissions, per your claims, would have been the handiwork of the WHIWG and, as such, would represent prima facie evidence for the case you're trying to make.

                Would you agree ?

        •  Maybe Miller works for the Rendon Group (4.00)
          The Rendon Group was responsible for most of the propaganda crap that we saw come out of this war, starting with Chalabi's "Iraqi National Congress". Hersh says that they have been paid over $100 million by the CIA for their work with the INC alone.

          They were given the PR contract by the Pentagon for the entire Afghanistan war, and are heavily involved in the IRaq PR campaigns. For all we know, they put together the "Soldiers and Bush infomercial" that was aired earlier this week.

          Google Judy Miller and Rendon Group -there's more there than I can work through in the few minutes I used. She's probably not directly CIA, but a Rendon Groupie.

          The problem is that all this PR stuff - billions of dollars' worth - is probably illegal. She can't come clean, because not only will she go to jail, but a crew out of both the White House and the Pentagon will as well.

          •  I doubt the WH would outsource this (none)
            Too delicate. But, God knows, they've done stupid things before.

            Now, it would interesting to know if they used the Rendon Group to launder the money to pay the shills indirectly, at arm's length. That would be straight out of the Republican Playbook.

            Anyone who isn't outraged isn't paying attention.

            by lambertstrether on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 08:27:39 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Lambert, take a look at that Rendon Group link (none)
              The WH/Pentagon hired the Rendon Group to manage the PR of the Iraq War. It was the Rendon Group that hired the guys that were in the square pulling down the Saddam statue. It was the Rendon Group that put together the INC in the mid-90s, even down to creating the name, and getting Chalabi to hook up with it.

              Miller has been writing for the NYT since 1977, carrying water for the NeoCons since they were in the Reagan WH. As a NYT subscriber, I can get you a list of all her archived articles since 1981; she's been touting Chalabi from the beginning.

              Just because she gets paid by the NYT doesn't mean that she can't be under contract to Rendon, as well. Mylroie works with Rendon, as well - who put those two honeys together? John Rendon, in all likelihood. From Gardiner's flowcharts, it's difficult to see any difference between Coalition Information Center, WHIG, Global Information Center, Special Plans Office, Special Operations Command, Strategic PSYOPS Field Activity, and Rendon. They are all working in PSYOPS together.

              The only difference is that the members of Rendon are all civilians in the general populace, as opposed to members of the White House, the CIA, or the Pentagon. CIA is paying Rendon directly for its work - why wouldn't it also be supplying the baseline information, since it's supplying the directives?

              I know that the Smith-Mundt Act forbids the US government from disseminating its overseas propaganda to a domestic audience. Is there a similar legal caveat against developing propaganda here, or overseas, for distribution to American citizens?

          •  If Miller was CIA, (none)
            I don't believe she would have been so involved in the outing of Plame.

            AEI's Laurie Mylroie, with whom Miller coauthored a book on Saddam and Iraq in 1990, published a whole book attacking the CIA from the neocon standpoint in 2003 or so.

        •  Thanks smintheus, that's it... (none)
          And another question for everyone...

          What was the name of that PR firm Melody Townsel worked for when she had the oh-so-delightful encounters with John Bolton?

    •  Just (none)
      ask. Voila!

      War is not an adventure. It is a disease. It is like typhus. - Antoine De Saint-Exupery

      by Margot on Fri Oct 14, 2005 at 11:43:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  gonna have to mention it Soon (4.00)
    the WhiteHouse Iraq Group is the heart of the criminal conspiricy that a federal appellete court calls "The Plot Against Wilson"

    when Fitz hands down the indictments, the Times will have to mention the WHIG

    •  It would be funny (4.00)
      If NYT Front-Paged with:

      Fritz Indicts WHIG Memebers

      . . . and then right below that, another story . .

      NYT Mentions WHIG for First Time

      "In the beginning the universe was created. This has been widely criticized and generally regarded as a bad move." -- Douglas Adams

      by LithiumCola on Fri Oct 14, 2005 at 10:55:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Checked: Yes, this looks right. (4.00)
    The NYT's search function treats quoted strings as you'd expect, and a search for just "Iraq group" returns 4 hits -- none of them about a group in the White House. One is about a group at the CIA, one is about a government group in Australia, the others are about groups in Iraq itself.

    The Trade Center attack: Demanded a swift, forceful response.
    9/11: Changed everything, forever.
    No more "9/11", please.

    by technopolitical on Fri Oct 14, 2005 at 10:38:22 PM PDT

    •  Yes on the quoted string (4.00)
      I tried "George W. Bush" and got the hits I'd expect; the complete string.

      Anyone who isn't outraged isn't paying attention.

      by lambertstrether on Fri Oct 14, 2005 at 10:47:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Similar results for WaPo, LATimes (4.00)
      "Iraq Group" doesn't show up until 10/12/05 in WaPo, not at all at LATimes, so we can't really distinguish NYT on this. It's all bad.

      . . . solutions emerge from [our] judicious study of discernible reality.

      by realitybased on Fri Oct 14, 2005 at 11:21:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  One more WaPo hit (4.00)
        Correction: There is one more WaPo hit on Mar 6, 2004 for "White House Iraq Group". (WaPo apparently does not include archives in its default search.)

        . . . solutions emerge from [our] judicious study of discernible reality.

        by realitybased on Fri Oct 14, 2005 at 11:28:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Three more LATimes hits (4.00)
        Correction: LATimes has hits on March 5, 2004, March  6, 2004 and August 25, 2005. (As with WaPo, archive is not included in standard search.)

        . . . solutions emerge from [our] judicious study of discernible reality.

        by realitybased on Fri Oct 14, 2005 at 11:32:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  links to the Washington Post and LA Times (4.00)
        The first mention of WHIG was by Barton Gellman and Walter Pincus in the Washington Post on August 10, 2003 ("Depiction of Threat Outgrew Supporting Evidence").

        The Los Angeles Times mentioned WHIG for the first time in an article by Tom Hamburger and Sonni Efron on August 25, 2005 ("A CIA Cover Blown, a White House Exposed").

        I have been hunting for WHIG references in the New York Times for a while, and have at several points challenged others to find them. No luck! I bitched about it earlier this week, too...

        "[I]n all due respect to your profession [journalism], you do a very good job of protecting the leakers." -- Bush on Oct 7, 2003

        by QuickSilver on Fri Oct 14, 2005 at 11:34:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  you're right (4.00)
          The LA Times had earlier mentions, in connection to the subpoena for WHIG records first reported in March 2004.

          To my eye, the LA Times aricle of August 25 2005 article essentially paraphrased what was already in the Washington Post...

          "[I]n all due respect to your profession [journalism], you do a very good job of protecting the leakers." -- Bush on Oct 7, 2003

          by QuickSilver on Fri Oct 14, 2005 at 11:37:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  WHIG (4.00)
    Great catch on the WHIG and Times.  Also lets not forget the OFFICE OF SPECIAL PLANS set up by Rumsfeld  to work around the CIA and FBI. This group did not want any one to know what they where doing.  
    +++
    The Office of Special Plans, which existed from September, 2002, to June, 2003, was a Pentagon unit created by Donald Rumsfeld and led by Douglas Feith, dealing with intelligence on Iraq.

    In an interview with the Scottish Sunday Herald, former CIA officer Larry Johnson said the OSP was "dangerous for US national security and a threat to world peace. [The OSP] lied and manipulated intelligence to further its agenda of removing Saddam. It's a group of ideologues with pre-determined notions of truth and reality. They take bits of intelligence to support their agenda and ignore anything contrary. They should be eliminated." (Mackay, 2003)

    Seymour Hersh writes that, according to an unnamed Pentagon adviser, "[OSP] was created in order to find evidence of what Wolfowitz and his boss, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, believed to be true--that Saddam Hussein had close ties to Al Qaeda, and that Iraq had an enormous arsenal of chemical, biological, and possibly even nuclear weapons that threatened the region and, potentially, the United States. [...] 'The agency [CIA] was out to disprove linkage between Iraq and terrorism,' the Pentagon adviser told me. 'That's what drove them. If you've ever worked with intelligence data, you can see the ingrained views at C.I.A. that color the way it sees data.' The goal of Special Plans, he said, was 'to put the data under the microscope to reveal what the intelligence community can't see.'" (Hersh, 2003)

    These allegations are supported by an annexe to the first part of Senate intelligence committee's Report of Pre-war Intelligence on Iraq published in July 2004. The review, which was highly critical of the CIA's Iraq intelligence generally but found its judgments were right on the Iraq-al Qaeda relationship, suggests that the OSP, if connected to an "Iraqi intelligence cell" also headed by Douglas Feith which is described in the annexe, sought to discredit and cast doubt on CIA analysis in an effort to establish a connection between Saddam Hussein and terrorism. In one instance, in response to a cautious CIA report, "Iraq and al-Qa'eda: A Murky Relationship", the annexe relates that "one of the individuals working for the [intelligence cell led by Feith] stated that the June [2002] report, '...should be read for content only - and CIA's interpretation ought to be ignored.'" (Report, 2004)

    In another instance, an "Iraqi intelligence cell" briefing to Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz in August 2002 condemned the CIA's intelligence assessment techniques and denounced the CIA's "consistent underestimation" of matters dealing with the alleged Iraq-al Qaeda co-operation. In September 2002, two days before the CIA's final assessment of the Iraq-al Qaeda relationship, Feith briefed senior advisers to Dick Cheney and Condoleezza Rice, undercutting the CIA's credibility and alleging "fundamental problems" with CIA intelligence-gathering. As reported in the conservative British newspaper The Daily Telegraph, "Senator Jay Rockefeller,...senior Democrat on the [Senate] committee, said that Mr Feith's cell may even have undertaken 'unlawful' intelligence-gathering initiatives." (Coman, 2004)

    Larry Franklin, an analyst and Iran expert in the Feith office, has been charged with espionage, as part of a larger FBI investigation. (see AIPAC espionage scandal) Allegations have also been made that Pentagon employees in the Feith office have been involved in plans for overthrowing the governments of Iran and Syria. [1]

    •  Great point (4.00)
      Excellent post.

      As I see it, WHIG was the marketing arm of the OSP. OSP gathered/manipulated intelligence, WHIG sold it to the public, most likely through journalists such as Judy Miller.

      Cheney and Libby were key to both groups. According to a Guardian article on the OSP, "The president's most trusted adviser, Mr Cheney, was at the shadow network's sharp end. He made several trips to the CIA in Langley, Virginia, to demand a more "forward-leaning" interpretation of the threat posed by Saddam. When he was not there to make his influence felt, his chief of staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, was."
      •  You could be right, logorrhea (none)
        But, points against the idea:

        1. I tend to believe that WHIG and OSP were separate, given the well-known tendency for (let's be polite) authoritarian regimes to set up competing and overlapping chains of command, so that the Leader's authority is not threatened. So it's entirely possible OSP and WHIG were operating in parallel.

        2. The scale of the WHIG disinformation is quite small, by the standards of an intelligence gathering organization. 50 planted stories is not a large number, especially considering that the relationships to do the planting had already been developed (Rove's rolodex).

        So, I tend to believe that random bits of cherrypicked or faked (yellowcake) were fed to WHIG, rather than OSP essentially acting as WHIG's intelligence arm.

        3. The WHIG operation was domestic and probably illegal (especially if money laundering is involved). So the WHIG players would have kept their cards very very close, which argues against involving a huge institution like Rummy's fiefdom.

        Anyone who isn't outraged isn't paying attention.

        by lambertstrether on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 08:36:21 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  you nailed it (none)
        That Guardian article really puts things in perspective.  What was this stuff about Newt Gingerich?  Never heard that before.

        The final paragraph is prescient:

        As he prepares for re-election, Mr Bush may opt to tough it out, rather than acknowledge the severity of the problem by firing loyalists. But in that case, it will inevitably be harder to re-establish confidence in the intelligence on which the White House is basing its decisions, and the world's sole superpower risks stumbling onwards half-blind, unable to distinguish real threats from phantoms.

        Moralizing is the first refuge of a sociopath--Grand Moff Texan

        by YankInUK on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 08:56:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Cite your source, please (none)
      The OSP content above was from Wikipedia.

      Readers may want to read the embedded links at that  Wikipedia document.

    •  See comment upthread : (none)
      fact : "the New York Times editorial page never mentioned the words "UN Charter" or "international law" in any of its 70 editorials on Iraq from September 11, 2001, to March 20, 2003."
    •  Larry Johnson (4.00)
      You can still see him et al. online at cspan, "Hearing on Security Implications of Revealing Covert Agent's Identity."

      His Oct. 13 piece, "Why Fitzgerald Gets It" is at TPM cafe.

      Gotta love that guy!

      It is better to die standing than to live on your knees. - Emiliano Zapata

      by cotterperson on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 08:33:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  OSP (none)
      As you observe, WHIG might more accurately been viewed as the exectutive branch recipient of the spin being conceived and distributed from the Office of Special Plans.  That is the mother lode of the neocon Leo-Straussian master plan for invading Iraq.

      This LATimes interview with Karen Kwiatkowski lays it out.

      Moralizing is the first refuge of a sociopath--Grand Moff Texan

      by YankInUK on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 09:46:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Have you written to the NYT public editor about (4.00)
    this?  I've had email exchanges with them last year on various issues.  I think you should bring it up to them.
  •  My greatest fear: This will become SOP (4.00)
    I see no reason why "stove-piping" intelligence, media plants, CIA subversion will not become Standard Operating Procedure in the future for most future Presidential Administrations. This is the kind of PSYOPS we've been pulling on less powerful countries for decades. It was only a matter of time until it came back to bite us in our American ass.

    I'd like to think a Dem wouldn't do it, but I'm not that trusting. All it takes is a corporate media culture willing to go along with it. That kind of power, I imagine, is very tempting.

    The only way I'll ever trust another President again is if they push strongly for independent media. I want a PBS and an NPR equivalent to the BBC. I want muckrackers with substantional claims highlighted, not shunned. Leaving it to the blogs is far from enough.

  •  What about other papers? (none)
    I did a search on the Washington Post for the same string and only had a single hit -- the Dan Froomkin article Coming to a Boil. However, using WAPO's own search engine (powered by Yahoo) did not find this August 2003 article which also mentioned WHIG: Depiction of Threat Outgrew Supporting Evidence. Ok, I now see that the standard search just searches the last 14 days. When I did an archive search (1987 to present), I had two hits (1) the August 2003 article again and (2) Leak Investigators to Get Phone Log but this search did not include the Froomkin article. So I'm entirely sure that the search engine can be entirely relied upon.

    Has anyone found mentions in newspapers other than the Washington Post?

    •  Up thread (none)
      realitybased did the same thing as you did with similar results -- also searched the LATimes and got no mention of the Whig there either.

      Maybe this is just an example of how piss poor the MS print media has been in reporting this case, in general. Ugh.

    •  WaPo search engines (none)
      I've had problems with the Post's search engines a couple of years ago, the last time I tried to use them. Not just in the main paper, but also the search engine for their message boards. Some things just don't show up even though you know they are there. I never figured this one out, but suspect it has some innocent technical explanation such as a buffer overflow or a limit on the number of processor cycles allowed for a search.
  •  WHIG - White House Iraq Group (3.50)
    1. Deputy White House chief of staff Karl Rove
    2. Bush advisor Karen Hughes
    3. Senior Advisor to the Vice President Mary Matalin
    4. Deputy Director of Communications James Wilkinson
    5. Assistant to the President and Legislative Liaison Nicholas Calio
    6. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
    7. National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley
    8. I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby - Chief of Staff to the Vice President and co-author of the Administration's pre-emptive strike policy.

    Remember it is ALL 8 of them:

    ROVE, HUGHES, MATALIN, WILKINSON, CALIO, RICE, HADLEY, LIBBY

  •  WHIG (4.00)
    Out of curiosity I did a search of the Guardian Unlimited.

    Nothing there either. But something very interesting did turn up. I might have missed this earler but this link ...  

    http://books.guardian.co.uk/extracts/story/0,,1579841,00.html

    will take you to a story which appeared on 28 September, on how "the CIA plotted to use a UN weapons inspection to overthrow the Iraqi regime - and how fiasco turned to tragedy when it failed"

  •  I don't think the corruption in the press (none)
    is so extensive that it reaches down to that many members of the press. Now, I wear a very tight tin foil hat, with blinking lights, and I think corruption is everywhere in the government, but I don't agree with the diarist that the press could be that corrupt as a whole. Perhaps the editer or whoever makes sure to get WHIG changed. Considering other major papers didn't have a WHIG story, are they all corrupt too?

    "Blogging doesn't make it so" - Rep. Hayworth (R) AZ 1/6/2005. Oh yeah?

    by bejammin075 on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 12:23:26 AM PDT

    •  Perhaps you may look in other newspapers (none)
      before you assert that WHIG hasn't been an element of interest to the Grand Jury.

      You could start with the WAPO.  

      Perhaps Rep Hayworth is correct: you commenting on this blog, misinformed as you are, doesn't make much of a case.  

      As long as people like you comment without facts to back you up, Hayworth is right.  As for  me, I'll listen to the commenters who have facts, not untrue assertions, as their basis for commenting.  

      Sounds like you're what Hayworth is concerned about.  

      •  I didn't assert that the WHIG hasn't been (none)
        part of the grand jury investigation. To me, the lack of reporting on the term "WHIG" doesn't mean the same thing as every reporter is corrupt.

        Let me explain my signature line: on 1/6/05 the electors for Bush were certified. When Sen. Boxer and the Representative objected to the certification of Ohio's stolen votes, in the ensuing debate, representative Hayworth (R) of Arizona said "blogging doesn't make it so", refering to bloggers (like us) raising a (deserved) hysteria over how Ohio's votes were counted. I disagree with, Hayworth (thus the "Oh yeah?" in my sig. I think bloggers are a force of change that will change the pollitical landscape. I think Blogs are a great & democratic way for people & the grass roots to communicate, without the editing and filtering that goes on in the media. Perhaps you thought I meant something else, or thought I was a Repub posting here (just check my diaries for my street credentials). Perhaps I should change my sig to something less obscure.

        "Blogging doesn't make it so" - Rep. Hayworth (R) AZ 1/6/2005. Oh yeah?

        by bejammin075 on Sun Oct 16, 2005 at 06:08:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  the corruption (4.00)
      is so extensive that it reaches down to infect the journalism students just heading out of college now. The ones I met had no sense of history, no curiosity, and no idea how to investigate anything. (I suggested to a senior thesis student that he begin his historical research over at the library on campus, and he mused, that it hadn't occurred to him because he never uses it and had only been there twice... too bad he wasn't kidding.)
        When I stood up in class and said (re: WMD's) that compared to the rest of my research (I had been reporting on anthrax), Judy Miller was lying her ass off and that she was one of the reasons I refused to read the NYT, they didn't want to hear it, and when I said that the NYT had been running on the fumes of their reputation for twenty years at least, they said "old bitch, shut up and sit down."
         So p'raps there's better journalists being trained out there, but I have only met young people determined to shore up the status quo.

      ...learn something new every day...

      by nhwriter on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 05:28:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  My experience (4.00)
        was similar. A friend teaches a journo class at a small, extremely select eastern college, and I have a couple of times done guest stints, talking about various aspects of the craft. The level of collective unconsciousness in the room was stultifying.

        It can't be blamed on that teacher or that class, however. I also audited a senior-level class at the same college about eight years ago, and was staggered at how many common, cultural references were completely unknown to the students, who were supposedly the best and the brightest.

        I think it's more than journalistic/cultural corruption. It seems to be lack of intellectual curiousity, and a way of thinking conditioned by the early training of rote learning necessary to survive all those standardized tests.

        Death has a tendency to encourage a depressing view of war. -- Donald Rumsfeld

        by Mnemosyne on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 06:04:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Starts in grade school (4.00)
          You are absolutely right.  I am watching our society and teaching system suppress the native curiosity of my children culturally, by demanding conformity over competitive excellence.  My kids lose 15+ days a year of learning to testing alone, let alone the time lost on test preparation.

          I do what I can to make up for it at home, but what awaits them as adults?  My seven-year-old son told me he wants to be a reporter, too.  [sigh]

          •  The Record of the Paper : (4.00)
            fact : "the New York Times editorial page never mentioned the words "UN Charter" or "international law" in any of its 70 editorials on Iraq from September 11, 2001, to March 20, 2003."

            source towards top of thread.

          •  Encyclopedia Brown (none)
            was my favorite fictional character at that age. If you are not familiar with him, check out amazon.com's reviews of the books. Really fun brain-twisters that many people still remember as our introduction to logic and deduction.
               Along with reading, reading, reading, I try to teach the young ones to play chess. Mostly I find they are too scatterbrained to stick with it, but with a few it's wonderful to watch them learn how to think ahead and plan strategy. The weirdest thing is that so far I'm finding that among the kids even willing to try it, many are either so high-strung (as we used to call it) that when they lose they trash the board like Dogbert, or else they are so apathetic they don't have any competitive spirit or the drive to win.
               ps- maybe I was a bit of a nerd, but I used to read the dictionary just for fun too. Recently it really bothered me that a youngster I was helping at the library had an assignment to find the definitions of his spelling words "on the computer" and NOT in the book.
             

            ...learn something new every day...

            by nhwriter on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 11:44:10 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Thanks for the reminder! (none)
              I'd forgotten all about Encyclopedia Brown, was very popular when I was a kid.  I think he'd enjoy them.

              I never read Encyclopedia Brown myself; like you, I'd have rather read the dictionary, or surf an encyclopedia.  At my son's age I was already reading high school level material, many classics, varied stuff like A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, The Good Earth, The Old Man and the Sea.  I try to teach my kids to read as much as they can get their hands on, not to read "baby stuff" because the world demands something far more of them than pulp-for-brains.  This is where most parents have gone wrong -- too much emphasis on sports to the detriment of reading and critical thought.

        •  It is the drugs, not the tests (none)
          Don't be absurd. It is more likely the psychoactive drugs that school systems require kids to take to make the classes more manageable. Ritalin may work as an administrative tool, but it also may eliminate intellectual curiousity.

          " It seems to be lack of intellectual curiousity, and a way of thinking conditioned by the early training of rote learning necessary to survive all those standardized tests. "

    •  Let's hope the few bad apples theory is right (none)
      bejammin -- I tend to think that it is right, even though my tinfoil hat is on at all times.

      The scale of the WHIG operation is small -- 50 planted stories (from Gardiner's research) is not a great number, given the scale of newsgathering in the country.

      The actors are (I'm guessing) a small percentage of the Beltway 500 -- certainly well under 10% (50). The circle of knowledge that something like this was going on was probably larger -- dinner conversations among the Kewl Kids.

      But the Beltway 500 occupies key positions at the top of the media dominance hierarchy, so if we want these corrupt editors and reporters not to be emulated, and news not to turn into disinformation campaigns by whichever party is in power, we have to expose and stop this now.

      Deconstrucing the (I assume) forthcoming Times story on Miller will be a very good start, and this thread is a very good start.

      We really are fighting to save the soul, if that is possible, of an important American institution...

      Anyone who isn't outraged isn't paying attention.

      by lambertstrether on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 08:47:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  "Interlocking Directorates" (none)
      FAIR spells out media connections:

      Media corporations share members of the board of directors with a variety of other large corporations, including banks, investment companies, oil companies, health care and pharmaceutical companies and technology companies. The following list shows board interlocks for June 2001: Disney/ABC, General Electric/NBC, Viacom/CBS,
      AOL Time Warner, News Corporation/FOX, New York Times Co., Washington Post Co., Dow Jones/Wall Street Journal, Tribune Co., Knight-Ridder, Gannett.

      It is better to die standing than to live on your knees. - Emiliano Zapata

      by cotterperson on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 09:02:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great Catch (4.00)
    I'm a long time participant here and this strikes me as one of the most important diaries ever posted. What's great is the simplicity of the research and its already collaborative nature. I feel that collectively we might be able to paint an exact picture of how and where the Times didn't show this.

    Let's see if this amazing, disturbing fact makes it way into other media stories.  

    "We have found the weapons of mass destruction" -- George Bush, May 30, 2003

    by awol on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 12:34:43 AM PDT

    •  Very disturbing aspect to this. (4.00)
      NYT editorial staff has been largely silent on the whole matter of Miller and her role in this mess.  

      Check out this article

      Check out these quotes:

      Frank Rich, for example, asked about the lack of commentary, replied: "We are independent operators who work outside the newsroom." Thomas Friedman said: "We are truly home alone. We can write whatever we want."

      John Tierney, however, explained, "I didn't feel a need to weigh in," indicating that his "Nadagate" column represented all he had to say on the issue. "A column really works best when you really have something to say about something. I haven't had a great original thought on this."

      I haven't had a great original thought?  When WHIG wasn't mentioned in his news division?

      That's how bad things are at the NYT.  No pressure on the editorial page, and they still have nothing to say on WHIG.  

      It's worse than we thought.

      •  Crimes of omission, crimes of comission (4.00)
        It's been something waiting, along with Editor and Publisher, for when the Times finally releases its story (maybe this Sunday?). What this diary points to is that there are extremely disturbing silences and elisions that are operating co-extensively with the already infamous WMD-misinformation that was published.

        So on the one hand, not an article -- or a single word -- about a key, top-level organization in Bush's run up to war; on the other hand, many many words -- and front-page articles -- that are now acknowledged by everyone to be full of lies.

        "We have found the weapons of mass destruction" -- George Bush, May 30, 2003

        by awol on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 12:58:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Key phrase: "independent operators" (none)
        I've speculated that Miller was a contractor as well as an NYT employee.  Is Rich making a point without appearing to bite the hand that feeds him?
      •  The Record of the Paper : (2.50)
        fact : "the New York Times editorial page never mentioned the words "UN Charter" or "international law" in any of its 70 editorials on Iraq from September 11, 2001, to March 20, 2003." - source upthread.
        •  Why all the repetition? (none)
          You repeated this comment SEVEN times! What gives?
          •  Yes. And you know why ? (none)
            Because the lack of knowledge of this book represented a massive hole in the diary and the ensuing discussion. There are other missing bits too, but I didn't have all the time in the world to devote to trashing the Times. Though it probably deserves it.

             I wasn't specifically criticizing the diarist either, and I also knew of the possibility that people would troll rate me for making redundant comments.

            I was willing to take that risk.

            There were many people discussing the NYT on the thread, and NONE of them, as far as I could tell, were at all aware of the existence of a recent book - by a journalist and an international law scholar - demonstrating, and quite rigorously, the NYT habit of propaganda by omission.

            I thought that quite significant to the discussion. Do you ?
            I repeated the comment, also,  so that individuals who left the discussion but checked on responses to their comments would learn about this.

  •  Lexus Nexus search of NYT: Ziltch (4.00)
    Nada, Bupkiss.

    I ran a full text search of all available dates for "White House Iraq Group". Nothing.

    I think it's time that progressives lead the charge for boycotting the New York Times until the entire senior management is replaced, or the paper folds.

    lambertstrether, can you add a boycott reference, now that you are on the recommended?

    Maybe I'm going to far, or a boycott is unrealistic, but it's scary that the press could be this bad at informing the public. SOMETHING must be done.

    And as for the low odds of a successfull boycott starting on the dkos late, late one Friday night, we've seen stranger things here.

    •  The NYT has a "Credibility Commitee"? (4.00)
      You can't deny the editorially the Krugman, Rich, Herbert have been at the forefront of the 'good fight' against Bush Admin corruption.

      Krugman pours over the numbers and does real nitty gritty work. He doesn't just say they're wrong, he shows who-where-when-how and why. Dowd makes fun of everybody. And Friedman comes in his own category. Brooks said he could 'understand how Mark Sheilds feels about Bush' during Katrina. He seems to waver between playing his role as NYT conservative and being sincere.

      There is nothing my 'red state' friends and family have been happier about than the nytimes 'muzzling' Krugman et al by putting them all behind the TimesSelect wall. Truthout.org has some of what we've been missing. Rather than a boycott of the Times, I'd like to sees some pressure to 'TEAR DOWN THAT WALL'

      OMG - look the NYT has a Credibility Committee (PDF). but a search of their own archive on the words "Credibility Committee" comes up with zero results.

      •  They published Wilson's op-ed piece! (4.00)
        It was Wilson speaking to Kristoff and giving him off-the-record tips that (I believe)started Libby talking to Scottera bout Plame in that infamous un-mentioned June meeting. They were preparing the slime and then got caught off-guard when Wilson published in the NY Times.

        I never thought playing devil's advocate would mean standing up for the NYTimes.

        your contrarian...

        •  In fact, we ARE standing up for the Times (none)
          The fish rots from the head (Sulzberger, Keller).

          Corruption makes for a lousy working environment. You've got work with a lot of ***holes (like the guys in the Bush administration). It's stressful, and demeaning.

          So, I'm convinced most reporters, and most editors, just want to do their jobs, editing and reporting. We should look on ourselves as liberating them from an oppressive regime, rather than condemn them all indiscriminately.

          We won't make any of 'em imaginative, let alone shining lights of progressivism, but maybe there's a chance that the soul of the Times, as a newsgathering organization, can still be saved.

          [We're seeing the results of being demeaned in the gagggle--there's a lot of anger being released, eh? And if real reporting can't be done, you get people like Jodi.]

          Anyone who isn't outraged isn't paying attention.

          by lambertstrether on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 08:55:46 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  $ilenced: Dowd, Krugman, Hebert (none)
        There was a good discussion on Kos' post about the effect of the Wall on The waning influence of the NYT Times columnists

        People are wondering how much they are actually making off this venture -- apparently not so much.     They refuse to actually disclose.

        Keller hailed early returns on TimesSelect, which grants online access to the paper's columnists only to Times subscribers and those who pay $49.95 a year, saying a "couple hundred thousand people" have signed on for the service. However, a Times spokeswoman later clarified this figure, explaining that it includes current Times subscribers, who get TimesSelect for free, saying that the paper was not disclosing how many people were paying for TimesSelect.

        Now it makes more sense that this is just to shut them up and if they make a few bucks along the way so much the better.  

  •  well played (none)
    Waving a high 5 to you sir.
  •  CNN, CBS, NBC, FOX, ABC (4.00)
    CBS - 2 articles in their news archives, both from spring 2004 reporting on the CIA leak investigation.

    CNN - Their search capacity is limited, 900+ hits on "White House Iraq Group" but after reading several high relevance articles the exact phrase only turned up in articles reporting the CIA leak probe (1). I was disgusted all over again skimming the articles and seeing things like this:

    Another official cautioned that a "military victory" is only the beginning of the process, pointing out that "the mission is two-fold: disarmament of Iraq and regime change." The White House is starting to privately warn that disarming Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, which have yet to be found, may take a while. (link)

    NBC - Their results links (2 hits only) take you back to the homepage so their search function is useless.

    FOX - Every news article they've ever written contains the words White House Iraq Group, though it's impossible to search the exact phrase. After going back through 180 articles in their results list it locked up my machine. Good luck if anybody else wants to try.

    ABC - no luck here either.

  •  WTF? (none)
    http://www.scrappleface.com/MT/archives/001881.html

    Sorry - the NY Times endorsed Kerry twice before the election. What gives?

  •  Little turds are blossoming in my brain (none)

    But the NY Times endorsed Kerry (twice) for president - what gives?

    http://www.theleftcoaster.com/archives/002900.php

    •  You think the Times doesn't hedge their bets? (none)
      It's a twofer--if the WHIG operation comes off, and this was set up before the 2004 election, remember, they own Bush (even though Bush owns them), plus they get a massive scoop, or even a series of them. If Kerry wins, well, do you think they won't do the same for him?

      The Times is a family-owned corporation. Institutional survival is paramount to them....

      Anyone who isn't outraged isn't paying attention.

      by lambertstrether on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 09:30:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  All above makes sense (none)
    but then why did they publish Wilson's op-ed piece?
    •  Editorial (none)
      and news decisions are made separately. In theory, there is an unbreachable wall separating the two. In practice, not completely unbreachable but still pretty strong.

      Death has a tendency to encourage a depressing view of war. -- Donald Rumsfeld

      by Mnemosyne on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 05:55:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And maybe this was important (none)
        I implied out upthread that the RNC's bashing of the NYT as a liberal rag makes Miller's work suggest that even liberals must believe there was adequate reason for war.

        Why would WHIG/OSP want to use a known vehicle like Weekly Standard to make the case?  It would only further disenfranchise progressives from getting on board.

        Trojan Horse = NYT

    •  because Joseph Wilson would have published (none)
      his "What I Didn't Find in Africa" editorial somewhere else. Simple as that.

      Remember, this was a HOT issue in June 2003. According to his book, Wilson got wind from a journalist that he was soon to be named in public. (Wilson had been mentioned, though not by name, in several editorial and news pieces citing his Niger mission, notably pieces by Nicholas Kristof and Walter Pincus.) I'm sure Wilson felt he would have more control by telling the story firsthand.

      So Wilson outed himself as the ambassador who went to Niger on behalf of the CIA. If the Times hadn't published his piece, the Post would have. After all, it was a scoop.

      "[I]n all due respect to your profession [journalism], you do a very good job of protecting the leakers." -- Bush on Oct 7, 2003

      by QuickSilver on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 12:08:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I have no doubt that WHIG was planting (4.00)
    stories. All White Houses leak selectively, and this one was particularly aggressive about using the press to create whatever impression they wanted.

    I think the complicity of the journalists is more complex--except perhaps for Miller--I suspect she knew exactly what she was doing (although some think she was a dupe of her own sources and--these are my words--she liked being the "Queen of All Iraq").

    NY Times has been assaulted by the Republican smear machine and those assaults got more persistent in the buildup to the war. I suspect that there was a process going on within the NY Times that was similar to what our elected Democrats were doing, which involved a lot of self-censorship.

    They ARE guilty as an institution, however. We have had lots of information that incontrovertibly proves the pre-war claims were deliberate and systematic lies. They helped make this case and they have never done an adequate job of self-examination, nor have they apologized to the readership in the manner they should have done.

    •  Doesn't it seem like (4.00)
      the editors and reporters of the Times forgot (or neglected) one of the first rules of thumb of journalism, which is that when someone comes TO YOU with a story, that it should be assumed that they have an agenda.

      Which means any info gotten from such sources should, at best, be suspect, and at worst be vetted intensely.  ESPECIALLY considered the lip service we get from the White House about war being a "last resort"  We all know that it isn't.  Never has been, never will be.

      Not to mention the benefit to the newspaper.  I would guess its circulation increases dramatically at wartime, no?  Lots of advertising dollars there, doncha know.

      If Jesus Christ came back today and saw what was being done in his name, he'd never stop throwing up... - Hannah and Her Sisters

      by AlyoshaKaramazov on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 07:27:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  But that assumes WHIG/OSP/OSI (none)
        ...went to NYT.  What if they were already in NYT?  What if someone who appeared neutral asked for more reporting on WMD and uranium, and lo, someone on staff was eager to do it...

        My gut tells me nobody went TO the NYT with a story.

      •  Absolutely. I think they really failed as (4.00)
        journalists. My idea of what a journalist in a democracy should be is a relentless truthseeker, but one with professional and ethical guidelines as to the complexity of truth. This kind of journalist wouldn't be caught dead pimping for the government or any other interest.

        However, the climate for journalism here is very stifling. I've heard various statements from journalists in the last year like the following: They can't look into an issue (e.g., possible election cheating) because the candidate (i.e., Kerry) didn't bring it up. What kind of nonsense is that? Of course they can bring it up. It's called investigative journalism.

        Let's take a perhaps less controversial idea: They can't question something the president says because it is unseemly. Where did an idea like this come from? It is absolutely ridiculous in a democracy, where we elect mere human beings to office, that journalists shouldn't examine what they are doing and saying. Journalists and ordinary people should strenuously and noisily object to this idea.  

        However, the idea that we can't question this administration and that it is entitled to a unsupportable degree of secrecy has installed itself in our political discourse as settled truth.

        Why does our press corps in general seem to be more constrained and more susceptible to a very biased conventional wisdom than press corps in other democracies? Is it the people who are going into the jobs (possibly this is true in TV "journalism", but I think print journalists still seem to be--largely--aggressively extroverted and liberal-minded people if you could remove them from this stifling cultural context), or is there a groupthinkish type of pull toward conventional wisdom, with the implicit threat of social isolation and threats to one's career if a journalist goes outside the box?

        I gotta pick up my son. It's raining hard once again!

  •  probably because Judy was working for them (none)
  •  If this we're true..... (4.00)
    which I have no doubt to some degree that it is, then why did the NYT publish Wilson's Niger/Yellow Cake piece? If the NYT were truly a covert operative organization of say, the CIA or something, why did they publish this?

    I'm thinking more that the NYT is a part of the whole "neocon" conspiracy (Pinch+Miller+Keller+Friedman+Wolfowitz+Libby+Perle
    +Cheney+Ledeen, etc., etc.), and published Wilson's piece, simply because if they hadn't, he may have taken it to one of their competitors, like WAPO.

    Thoughts/explanations anyone?

    "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by Hornito on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 05:30:50 AM PDT

    •  Power is still decentralized in this country (none)
      Good question, and I'm not sure I have the answer.

      First, it isn't as if the entire Times organization is run by the WHIG; we don't yet have Gleichschaltung here.

      I think that the Times involvement in the WHIG disinformation campaign was limited to Sulzberger, Keller, and Miller. Miller was supposed to find (or, perhaps, "find") the WMDs; that was the Times scoop. Their motivation would have been institutional survival, i.e., not ideological. (IOW, they made a devil's bargain...)

      Like any operation, the WHIG disinformation campaign would have been compartmentalized on a need-to-know basis. That means that Keller and Sulzberger wouldn't have known that the crude forgery (from the intelligence service of Bush's good friend, Berlusconi) was planted.

      Also, Keller and Sulzberger would have compartmentalized the WHIG operation within the Times itself, also on a need-to-know basis. Most of the Times probably ran itself as usual. Keller and Sulzberger couldn't possibly censor every story; that would blow the cover of what they were censoring faster than anything.

      Anyone who isn't outraged isn't paying attention.

      by lambertstrether on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 09:44:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think you may be on the mark with this... (none)
        I didn't mean to imply that the entire NYT organization was in on this travesty, and I agree with you, that it was/is probably centered around Pinch, Keller, and Miller, though there were several other reporters (like Nagourney) who were singing WHIG's tune too.

        "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

        by Hornito on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 08:39:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  "Operation Fortitude" (4.00)
    and other such entanglements between government and Media discussed here by a communications teacher at the university of Leeds, England.

    For an event to become news, it not only has to become known about or reported in the first instance, but it is then subjected to all sorts of editorial criteria concerning the prominence and emphasis which is to be given to it. Understanding this editorial process is vital to our understanding of the collective 'reality' perceived at any given time. Its significance in shaping our perception of that 'reality' has been brilliantly charted by Philip Schlessinger in his study of BBC News Broadcasts, Putting 'Reality' Together. Back in the 1930s, the American journalist Will Irwin did the same thing with his book Propaganda and the News: Or What Makes You Think So? The essential point made by both these works is that News is a commodity which is a major factor helping to shape a collective perception of the outside world that does in fact conform more to the requirements and values of journalists and news organisations than it does to our own individual perception of reality had we as individuals been physically present when the event was taking place.

    Anyone with access to a library, run out and get a copy of William Irwin's book and start working on it. I'm going to try to track one down.

    More on the subject

    In April 1917, shortly after declaring war on Germany, the Wilson administration established the Committee on Public Information (CPI), which at its peak employed 150,000 people. Its goal was the creation of a "war will" among an ethnically diverse American population, according to its chief George Creel. Abroad, its purpose was to convince publics that America, reliable, honest and invincible, would defeat German militarism and make the world safe for democracy.

    Wilson wanted the CPI under his close control. "I am very jealous in the matter of propaganda. I want to keep the matter of publicity in my own hands," he wrote. He appointed a trusted and admiring supporter, Creel -- a man with a "passion for adjectives," he noted -- to be in charge.

    Creel used the latest media to win the world over to America. Movies served this purpose perfectly. As far off as remote Siberia, CPI operatives used the new medium with what they claimed was success.

    Propaganda experts in the post-war period saw Wilson as a master of the trade. Harold Laswell, author of the classic Propaganda Technique in the World War, wrote that Wilson was "the great generalissimo of the propaganda front."

    Adolph Hitler said in Mein Kampf that "the war propaganda of the English and Americans was psychologically correct. After four and one-half years a revolution broke out in Germany, slogans for which came from the enemy's propaganda."

    Propaganda Lies

    But if Hitler admired Allied propaganda, the American public turned against it (and the administration that had created it) after the war. Even during the war, Congress had been critical of Creel and his methods.

    This negative attitude began among American troops in Europe, where doughboys sent abroad to make the world safe for democracy discovered that "atrocity stories had been false concoctions and that the Germans had behaved no worse than any other combatants," according to the scholar J. Michael Sproule. U.S. soldiers concluded that propaganda -- even if homemade -- had been misleading and untrue.

    "An Age of Lies," an article written in 1919 by Will Irwin, muckraker and former director of the CPI's foreign section, reflects this disillusionment. The CPI's overseas dispatches were "nearer the truth than any of the others," Irwin believed. But his journalistic conscience admitted that "we never told the whole truth -- not by any manner of means. We told that part which served our national purpose."

    This is a book written btw at the same time that Sinclair Lewis was imagining what fascism in America would look like, with the aid of a complicit media - and his wife was a journalist, remember. He knew what he was talking about.

    Your American News Media: Starting Wars For Your Good Since Before Hearst!

    "Don't be a janitor on the Death Star!" - Grey Lady Bast (change @ for AT to email)

    by bellatrys on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 05:48:21 AM PDT

  •  Re NYT Silence on WHIG (4.00)
    It turns out the "smoking gun" was the round left in the chamber.

    I used to love the NYT, growing up. Now I hope this info sinks them, for all the harm they have done through their complicity in Bush's military adventure.

    "This inertia of things is enough to drive one literally insane." -- Molloy

    by Valtin on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 06:30:21 AM PDT

  •  not to rain on the parade (none)
    but has the Times scanned all their hard copy news into the web and made it searchable?  Or are you searchign only the online version?

    If Jesus Christ came back today and saw what was being done in his name, he'd never stop throwing up... - Hannah and Her Sisters

    by AlyoshaKaramazov on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 07:14:53 AM PDT

    •  Biggest stories = on line (none)
      It's probably a moot question; the Miller stories would be pushed towards the widest audience possible, and particularly towards progressives/swing audience who are more likely to be online.

      Story posted online also gets more widespread propagation through emailing and linking, would be highly desirable to propagandists, yes?  The equivalent of "free beer" to product marketing folks, getting others to spread your advertising copy.

    •  It starts digital, then goes to print (none)
      Writing, page-layout on computers. Archives go back 'way before george's regieme.

      It is better to die standing than to live on your knees. - Emiliano Zapata

      by cotterperson on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 07:37:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  We need a map of the media.. (none)
    With little gold stars for any paper publication that has even a 50% reputation for posting reliable, honest news.

    Thanks for posting this!

    •  Only need to check ownership (none)
      Believe there are only six companies that own the overwhelming majority of newspapers here in the U.S.

      They share national and state reporting within their own corporate structure, a kind of echo chamber.

  •  The beauty of it (none)
    Once upon a time there was a Whig Party.

    But no more.

    History just ...gobbled it up and pooped it out. :)

    It's only Nero-esque if the city is burning. :)

    by cskendrick on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 07:36:24 AM PDT

  •  No More Credibility (4.00)
    The NYT is fast losing its last remaining shreds of credibility.  No newspaper is every free of bias, of course, but the Times coverage of the Iraqi War and related coverage of Miller go over the line from news to propaganda.  This is particularly galling for a paper that likes to prop itself up as the pinnacle of excellent journalism.  
  •  Do you have this? (4.00)
    Info on WHIG from SourceWatch
  •  has someone run a Nexus/Lexus search? (none)
    I find the NYTimes search engine is not the most reliable.
  •  Superb reverse muckraking (4.00)
    Unfrickinbelievable. Thank god for the
    internet(s)

    I am pro-life. Bring our troops home ALIVE!

    by Doc Allen on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 08:22:53 AM PDT

  •  highly instructive it would be (4.00)
    to recall Richard Clarke and Treasury Secretary O'Neil for one more go round through their observations on just how early the White House was obsessed with toppling Saddam Hussein.  Now that sufficient distance in both space and time has the placed the schemes and motives of the principals in proper perspective, and the American public has gained, shall we say, a new perspective on the credibility of Bush, Cheney, Rice, Rove, etc., it becomes obvious: every single fucking thing they have ever told us is unmitigated chickenshit.

    Once Bushco's pathological preoccupation with Iraq is established, then all the criminal acts that follow - from Chalabi's lies, to Rumsfeld's ignoring Shinseki's admonitions, to torture, to lies about WMD, to conspiring to destroy dissenters, to outing national security assets, to lying and perjuring when asked about their actions - seem like natural consequences of the initial pathology.  These people have betrayed this country - and harmed it in ways we won't even realize for another 50 years.

    And the MSM was in on from the gitgo. I think perhaps Fitzgerald knows this in his gut.  I sure hope so.

  •  The New York Times: (none)
    A wholly owned subsidiary of White House Iraq Group, Inc.

    "Anyone could tell you were my instrument. He said, 'I understand you. You want to play me.'" --E. C. Phair

    by asskicking annie on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 08:38:32 AM PDT

  •  A terrific, eye-opening catch! (4.00)
    This is going to be one hell of a dramatic month.  This is also going to be one [insert your favorite four-syllable word meaning "incestuous son"] of a quarter for BushCo.  Is anyone else starting to feel as if he/she can breathe again?  You can almost see the corruption crumbling--and BushCo in a slouching stagger toward The End.

    The time is now. Damn it, the time is ALWAYS now!

    by PrairieCorrespondent on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 09:15:46 AM PDT

  •  most important research of the week (4.00)
    or maybe the month or whatever. A serious indictment of the Times, its owner, and editor. A profoundly disappointing statement about the realities of the last five years, the audacity of the Bush administration, the passivity of reporters and media, and, possibly, the prognosis for democracy.

    Every time a leak in the Plame case is published, it seems that no one pays attention to the source, only to 'the news'. But really the source IS the news, and the real question is not what they said, but why they said it.

    I am more convinced than ever that the jailing of Judy Miller was correct, and is one long overdue step towards correcting the incestuous relationship which has developed between the press and the executive branch.

    bravo !!

    Fitz, don't fail me now...

    by seesdifferent on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 09:16:52 AM PDT

  •  Quite a charge, now prove it (4.00)
    The Times hasn't mentioned the W.H.I.G. because The Times was part of the W.H.I.G. disinformation campaign to sell the Iraq  War by planting stories in the press.

    So was Bob in the maintenance department part of this conspiracy?  Was Jill in the pre-press department?  What about Dave in ad sales?

    My point is that there are over 10,000 employees of the NY Times media group, so when you say that the Times is part of a conspiracy, you better be more specific. Who do you claim was part of this conspiracy?

    I can buy into the idea that Judith Miller was assisting the White House -- she should join Bush at the Hague.  I can buy into the idea that Bill Keller, the executive editor, is an incompetent fool.  But he wasn't even the editor at the start of the war -- Howell Raines was.  So your "conspiracy" spans two management teams.

    Also, is a newspaper a good place to have a "conspiracy"?

    Sorry, I think there are just as damning explanations to be found: the inexperience of its editor, and the incompetence and laziness of the press, in general -- plus a desire not to cross a man who controls both houses of Congress, has a chief of staff known for dirty tricks, no opposition party, and an American public that until recently did not care one bit that their president was a war criminal.

    The real conspiracy of the press is plain to see: it involves major corporations who own a monopoly on major newspapers and the airwaves; who desire to have no interference in its plans to grow through acquisition and consolidation, and who know the Republicans will not stand in their way -- and will even grease the skids for them.  To sustain an environment friendly to this media consolidation, the owners of the media have supported this administration at the expense of the public and its own employees.  That is the real conspiracy of the American media world.

  •  lexi/nexis and whig (4.00)
    No mentions in the NYT, 2 from WaPo. First was, to their credit, a front page story by Walter Pincus & Barton Gellman-- still up at:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A39500-2003Aug9

    Other than that, 5 mentions in major US papers, 3 of them from the same day (3/5/2004) in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Seattle Times & Houston Chronicle, all by Tom Brune of Newsday.

    This is what you get when the print media cuts DC bureaus and relies on a generally lazy Beltway corps to do the "reporting".

  •  WHIG is still in business... (none)
    CNN and Fox pundits spent hours this past week discussing a fake letter that was published by our government. Is this why we pay taxes?  Scumbags...

    http://katrinamemo.blogspot.com/2005/10/intercepted-al-qaeda-letter-may-not-be.html

  •  ah yes (none)
    why attribute innocent and boring explanations to something when it's just so much more fun to ascribe sinister motives?
  •  As my idol Johnny Cash might sing, (none)
    it makes you want to "hang down your head and cry."

    How twisted is it that the newspaper that stood its ground on the Pentagon Papers is now serving as a prophylactic for an administration that took our nation to war on the basis of lies.

    On a lighter note, my Muse has a theory on this case:

    "Capitol Corruption Exclusive: Prosecutor to Charge Rove, Novak with Incest"

  •  Project Censored (none)
    I submitted this very issue (of media complicity in the Iraq War) to Project Censored Media Democracy in Action in 2003 (see letter below) - and I am just your average working mother who scans headlines, and rushes off to a day-job!! I knew from my very gut that the winds of war were orchestrated - and now I believe that Patrick Fitzgerald should dig deeper into the Judy Miller story - its not merely the outing of a CIA agent (though that is horrible enough) - but it is the hijacking of the democratic machinery of a great country that is really at the bottom of it all!

    "Date: Thu, 10 Apr 2003 07:21:35 -0700 (PDT)
    Subject: Nominating a potential story for censored
    To: censored@sonoma.edu

    Really impressed with your review of undercovered stories.

    What I have to nominate is not a single story as much as a review of the manner in which headlines prior to spring of 2002 were swept off newspaper front pages, to be replaced by an orchestrated pre-Iraq war drumbeat, the UN charade, with an immediate revving up of the war engine and war timetable.

    By Spring 2002, GWB's 100-day honeymoon period was over, the 9/11 trauma and rallying round the C-in-C was winding down, and in fact many ugly facts about this administration were coming to light - the stories which tended to be dominate front pages dealt with Enron, Kenneth Lay's soft-pedaled treatment, Cheney and Oil Industry meetings followed by the GAO suit, likely manipulations in California energy crisis, Carlyle/Bush I and Saudi connections, Bush II's hijacking of the Stadium stadium contract from the Texas government...in short close-ups of the clay feet of people on their self-constructed pedestals. Every story was of Bush II officials caught in indefensibly defensive postures on a variety of issues from the Economy, Wall Street, Oil, to the mafia-tactics that got them into power from its Stadium days.

    With lightning swiftness this was replaced across all newspaper desks, even those of small county journals, with the steady drip drip drip of speculations reported as fact on how Iraq was dangerous, equipped with WMD etc.. The administration decided that this was the only issue they could act proactively on. Plus, as every petty little dictator in the 3rd world knows, there's nothing like a foreign war to boost one's popularity. In India, where I grew up, during the height of the Emergency (read, 'Code Orange'), cartoonists had a wild day drawing pictures of the "foreign hand", as Indira Gandhi, (reviled, as much as she was earlier revered, even if not quite a dictator), kept the fear of another Pak aggression fresh in the minds of the people.

    That this country's so-called free democratic press moved so easily in lock-step with the administration's design for content and editorial change, is very troubling, and is I think the crack in the foundation that needs immediate review and repair. I cannot even get my kids to decide on a movie we can all see with that much ease! Much has been said of the mass-feeds from the Pentagon, the State department, the White House to the press. I believe its even more insidious - I believe there is a stronger back-room connection between the business owners of the press corps, and the political 'owners' of this country. When NBC owners decide Donahue does not cut the mustard, but Savage does; when Pentagon feeds are patriotic and true and eyewitness accounts of a frontline story are not (http://www.fair.org/press-releases/najaf.html), when all of American reality is constructed from The World According to the Bush White House as told to Corporate Media, we are in the grip of Mass Propoganda and Mass Hypnosis that the Soviets only dreamed of.

    As I said this is not a single story - but a phenomenon, that needs study.

    Thank you.

    Sincerely,

  •  No WHIG reference at Free Republic either (none)
    also no comments about the scripted military propaganda show. Hopefully Fitzgerald mentions it in his indictments!

     

    "Politics is the entertainment branch of Industry" -Frank Zappa

    by Everbody on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 10:56:53 AM PDT

  •  Shut Down the NYT (none)
    NYT has demonstrated in numerous instances recently that it is not a viable medium for the unbiased accumulation and reporting of currrent events.  From the Jason (what's his name?) to the Judi Miller, to this scandal, the NYT has proven inept, and unworthy of its heralding as the nation's premier news source.

    The NYT must be shut down.

    •  Jason Blair.. (none)
      That story was nothing really. Just that the guy put incorrect by-lines, and saying he was in places where he basically sub-contracted out of the work. I mean..I guess it IS a very bad thing to do, but compared to Miller and company, it's nothing.

      This is our story...

      by Karmakin on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 11:25:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm no fan of The Times... (none)
    ... but the supposition presented in this diary (and recommended by many -- why?) is ridiculous and unsupported by anything resembling facts.

    This is pathetic.

  •  Recommended and YOU GO!!!!! (none)
  •  I hope there isn't a.... (none)
    White House Iran Group or a White House Syria Group.

    Will we see a day when there is a White House Burn the Constitution Group?

    "Its when murder is justice that martyrs are made..." Lamb of God

    by Darth Codis on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 12:39:58 PM PDT

  •  Agree (none)
    Yet another example of the reich wing take over of the US media. This is carefully orchestrated strategy.
  •  In the times defense.. (none)
    I never heard the term "White House Iraq Group" until about 3 days ago.  I have heard instaed this group refered to as Center for a New American Century.

    Its not easy being a Floridian.

    by lawstudent922 on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 01:09:52 PM PDT

  •  WHIG Chronology (none)
    I believe WaPo reporters Bart Gellman and the inimitable Walter Pincus were the first to report WHIG.

    Commentary (written by someone else, not sure who):  
    Tenet continuously LIED About Iraqi Nukes
    The NEWS editors at the Pentagon Post - but not the EDITORIAL PAGE editors (see below) believe Bush LIED to America about Iraqi nukes. A MAJOR 5355-word investigative report reveals that ALL of the evidence of an Iraqi nuclear program was bushit - and the Busheviks knew it. The lies were manufactured by the "White House Iraq Group," created by Chief of Staff Andy Card. Its members were: Karl Rove, Karen Hughes, Mary Matalin, James R. Wilkinson, Nicholas E. Calio, Condi Rice, Stephen J. Hadley, and I. Lewis Libby. But even though the White House manufactured the lies, CIA's George Tenet continues to "take responsibility" - which really means diverting all investigations AWAY from those who are TRULY responsible - George Bush, Dick Cheney, and Donald Rumsfeld.

    Depiction of Threat Outgrew Supporting Evidence
    By Barton Gellman and Walter Pincus
    Washington Post Staff Writers
    Sunday, August 10, 2003; Page A01
    www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A39500-2003Aug9?language=printer

    ...
    * The escalation of nuclear rhetoric a year ago, including the introduction of the term "mushroom cloud" into the debate, coincided with the formation of a White House Iraq Group, or WHIG, a task force assigned to "educate the public" about the threat from Hussein, as a participant put it.

    'Educating the Public'

    Systematic coordination began in August, when Chief of Staff Andrew H. Card Jr. formed the White House Iraq Group, or WHIG, to set strategy for each stage of the confrontation with Baghdad. A senior official who participated in its work called it "an internal working group, like many formed for priority issues, to make sure each part of the White House was fulfilling its responsibilities."

    In an interview with the New York Times published Sept. 6, Card did not mention the WHIG but hinted at its mission. "From a marketing point of view, you don't introduce new products in August," he said.

    The group met weekly in the Situation Room. Among the regular participants were Karl Rove, the president's senior political adviser; communications strategists Karen Hughes, Mary Matalin and James R. Wilkinson; legislative liaison Nicholas E. Calio; and policy advisers led by Rice and her deputy, Stephen J. Hadley, along with I. Lewis Libby, Cheney's chief of staff.

    The first days of September would bring some of the most important decisions of the prewar period: what to demand of the United Nations in the president's Sept. 12 address to the General Assembly, when to take the issue to Congress, and how to frame the conflict with Iraq in the midterm election campaign that began in earnest after Labor Day.

    A "strategic communications" task force under the WHIG began to plan speeches and white papers. There were many themes in the coming weeks, but Iraq's nuclear menace was among the most prominent.

    'A Mushroom Cloud'

    The day after publication of Card's marketing remark, Bush and nearly all his top advisers began to talk about the dangers of an Iraqi nuclear bomb.

    Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair conferred at Camp David that Saturday, Sept. 7, and they each described alarming new evidence. Blair said proof that the threat is real came in "the report from the International Atomic Energy Agency this morning, showing what has been going on at the former nuclear weapon sites." Bush said "a report came out of the . . . IAEA, that they [Iraqis] were six months away from developing a weapon. I don't know what more evidence we need."

    There was no new IAEA report. Blair appeared to be referring to news reports describing curiosity at the nuclear agency about repairs at sites of Iraq's former nuclear program. Bush cast as present evidence the contents of a report from 1996, updated in 1998 and 1999. In those accounts, the IAEA described the history of an Iraqi nuclear weapons program that arms inspectors had systematically destroyed.

    A White House spokesman later acknowledged that Bush "was imprecise" on his source but stood by the crux of his charge. The spokesman said U.S. intelligence, not the IAEA, had given Bush his information.

    That, too, was garbled at best. U.S. intelligence reports had only one scenario for an Iraqi bomb in six months to a year, premised on Iraq's immediate acquisition of enough plutonium or enriched uranium from a foreign source.

    "That is just about the same thing as saying that if Iraq gets a bomb, it will have a bomb," said a U.S. intelligence analyst who covers the subject. "We had no evidence for it."

    Two debuts took place on Sept. 8: the aluminum tubes and the image of "a mushroom cloud." A Sunday New York Times story quoted anonymous officials as saying the "diameter, thickness and other technical specifications" of the tubes -- precisely the grounds for skepticism among nuclear enrichment experts -- showed that they were "intended as components of centrifuges."

    No one knows when Iraq will have its weapon, the story said, but "the first sign of a 'smoking gun,' they argue, may be a mushroom cloud."

    Top officials made the rounds of Sunday talk shows that morning. Rice's remarks echoed the newspaper story. She said on CNN's "Late Edition" that Hussein was "actively pursuing a nuclear weapon" and that the tubes -- described repeatedly in U.S. intelligence reports as "dual-use" items -- were "only really suited for nuclear weapons programs, centrifuge programs."

    "There will always be some uncertainty about how quickly he can acquire nuclear weapons," Rice added, "but we don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud."

    Anna Perez, a communications adviser to Rice, said Rice did not come looking for an opportunity to say that. "There was nothing in her mind that said, 'I have to push the nuclear issue,' " Perez said, "but Wolf [Blitzer] asked the question."

    Powell, a confidant said, found it "disquieting when people say things like mushroom clouds." But he contributed in other ways to the message. When asked about biological and chemical arms on Fox News, he brought up nuclear weapons and cited the "specialized aluminum tubing" that "we saw in reporting just this morning."

    Cheney, on NBC's "Meet the Press," also mentioned the tubes and said "increasingly, we believe the United States will become the target" of an Iraqi nuclear weapon. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, on CBS's "Face the Nation," asked listeners to "imagine a September 11th with weapons of mass destruction," which would kill "tens of thousands of innocent men, women and children."

    Bush evoked the mushroom cloud on Oct. 7, and on Nov. 12 Gen. Tommy R. Franks, chief of U.S. Central Command, said inaction might bring "the sight of the first mushroom cloud on one of the major population centers on this planet."

    'Literary License'

    In its initial meetings, Card's Iraq task force ordered a series of white papers. After a general survey of Iraqi arms violations, the first of the single-subject papers -- never published -- was "A Grave and Gathering Danger: Saddam Hussein's Quest for Nuclear Weapons."

    Wilkinson, at the time White House deputy director of communications for planning, gathered a yard-high stack of intelligence reports and press clippings.

    Wilkinson said he conferred with experts from the National Security Council and Cheney's office. Other officials said Will Tobey and Susan Cook, working under senior director for counterproliferation Robert Joseph, made revisions and circulated some of the drafts. Under the standard NSC review process, they checked the facts.

    In its later stages, the draft white paper coincided with production of a National Intelligence Estimate and its unclassified summary. But the WHIG, according to three officials who followed the white paper's progress, wanted gripping images and stories not available in the hedged and austere language of intelligence.
    ...
    and then Amy Goodman on Democracy Now picked up the story and linked to this important study of the media role in the lead-up to the war
    www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=03/10/17/1526207
    Democracy Now! Exclusive: Retired Air Force Col. On How Bush Admin. Used Psy-Ops, Propaganda and Information Warfare In Build-Up to Iraq Invasion
    Friday, October 17th, 2003

    A new report by retired Air Force Colonel Sam Gardiner charges the U.S. and Britain relied on information warfare and psychological operations to inform the public in the lead-up and during the invasion of Iraq. He outlines over 50 stories that appeared in the U.S. media that were either purposely false or misleading.
    ...
    Read Gardiner's report "Truth From These Podia" (PDF)
    which brings us to this U.S. News link. (Not clear if US News bothered to write a story, beyond link and mention in its Whispers column)
    www.usnews.com/usnews/politics/whispers/documents/truth.pdf

    which identifies the members of WHIG (White House Iraq Group) as
    Karl Rove
    Karen Hughes
    Mary Matalin
    Jim Wilkinson
    Nicholas Calio (Leg. Liaison)
    Condi Rice
    Stephen Hadley
    Scooter Libby

    ~~~~~~~

    WHIG again comes to light in Newsday
    http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/0305-02.htm.

    Air Force One phone records subpoenaed
    Grand jury to review call logs from Bush's jet in probe of how a CIA agent's cover was blown
    BY TOM BRUNE
    Newsday STAFF WRITER
    March 5, 2004

    ...Also sought in the wide-ranging document requests contained in three grand jury subpoenas to the Executive Office of President George W. Bush are records created in July by the White House Iraq Group, a little-known internal task force established in August 2002 to create a strategy to publicize the threat posed by Saddam Hussein....

    ~~~

    The Associated Press picked up the Newsday story:
    White House Records Sought in Novak Leak
    Published: March 05, 2004
    ...The three subpoenas to President Bush's Executive Office also seek the July records created by an internal task force called the White House Iraq Group, which was created to publicize the threat of Saddam Hussein, Newsday said. The newspaper cited documents that it obtained....

    ~~~
    And then WaPo picked it up again the following day:
    Leak Investigators to Get Phone Log
    By Mike Allen
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Saturday, March 6, 2004; Page A02

    ...The subpoenas also seek documents from July 6 to July 30 relating to the White House Iraq Group, a group of communications, political, national security and legislative aides who met weekly in the Situation Room....

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&node=&contentId=A34911-2004Mar5&am p;notFound=true

    ~~~

    In this important review of an important book by the respected James Bamford, called A Pretext For War : 9/11, Iraq, And The Abuse Of America's Intelligence Agencies
    UPI ran this column:
    Outside View: Feith's warped world
    By Greg Guma
    A UPI Outside View commentary
    July 19, 2004
    http://www.upi.com/inc/view.php?StoryID=20040716-104354-4970r
    ...

     if you really want to understand Feith's role, the basics are provided in "A Pretext for War," James Bamford's look at the abuse of U.S. intelligence agencies both before and after 9/11. Bamford argues that Feith and Perle developed their blueprint for the Iraq operation while working for pro-Israeli think tanks.

    Their plan, called "A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm," centered on Israel taking out Saddam and replacing him with a friendly leader. "Whoever inherits Iraq," they wrote, "dominates the entire Levant strategically." The subsequent steps they recommended included invading Syria and Lebanon.

    In the 1990s, Feith churned out anti-Arab diatribes in Israeli newspapers, Bamford reveals. In those articles, he urged Israel to establish more settlements and end the Oslo peace process. When George H.W. Bush was president, he organized a group to denounce the elder Bush for his "mistreatment of Israel." What Feith wanted was a full-scale war against the Palestinians in the occupied territories.

    Once back in government, Feith created an Office of Strategic Influence after 9/11. Senior officials have called it a disinformation factory. Torie Clarke, the Pentagon's chief spokeswoman, warned about "blowback" and said that OSI would undermine "the trust, credibility, and transparency of our access to the media."

    But the worst was still to come: Feith's Office of Special Plans ( OSP ). Officially, its job was to conduct pre-war planning. But its actual target was the media, policy-makers, and public opinion. Feith's partner, Abram Shulsky, liked to call their operation "the cabal."

    According to London's Guardian newspaper, the OSP's job was to provide key people in the administration with "alarmist reports on Saddam's Iraq." In particular, holdouts like Powell needed to be persuaded. To do that, the OSP obtained cooked intelligence from its own unit and a similar Israeli cell. There was also a close relationship with Vice President Dick Cheney's office. In the end, the public heard what Feith's unit wanted them to hear.

    How did it work? According to Bamford, OSP's intelligence unit cherry-picked the most damning items from the streams of U.S. and Israeli reports. "Then the OSP would brief senior administration officials," he writes. "These officials would then use the OSP's false and exaggerated intelligence as ammunition when attempting to hard-sell the need for war to their reluctant colleagues, such as Colin Powell, and even to allies like British Prime Minister Tony Blair." Senior White House officials received the same briefings. It was clearly music to their ears.

    The final step was to get Powell to make the case to the United Nations. This was handled by the White House Iraq Group, which, Bamford says, provided Powell with a script for his speech, using information developed by Feith's group. Much of it was unsourced material fed to newspapers by the OSP. Realizing this, Powell's team turned to the now-discredited National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq. But some of Feith's handiwork ended up in Powell's mouth anyway.

    The mischief continued after the invasion. As former FBI agent William Turner notes in his book, "Mission Not Accomplished," Feith was assigned by Paul Wolfowitz to organize post-war planning. According to Turner, Thomas E. White, who was secretary of the Army at the time, said that Feith's team "had the mind-set that this would be a relatively straightforward, manageable task, because this would be a war of liberation, and therefore the reconstruction would be short-lived." How wrong could one man be.
    ...

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