Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Robert Kagan Reports on NY Times Reporting of WMDs Prior to Bush

It is a fun liberal passtime to rely on short-term memory and say things like "Bush lied, people died." This sort of blows that away by reminding people that there was an international consensus about Iraq prior to Bush ever setting foot in the White House. But remembering anything prior to April 2003 is usually detremental to such sloganeering.
There is a big problem with this simple narrative. It is that the Times, along with The Post and other news organizations, ran many alarming stories about Iraq's weapons programs before the election of George W. Bush. A quick search through the Times archives before 2001 produces such headlines as "Iraq Has Network of Outside Help on Arms, Experts Say"(November 1998), "U.S. Says Iraq Aided Production of Chemical Weapons in Sudan"(August 1998), "Iraq Suspected of Secret Germ War Effort" (February 2000), "Signs of Iraqi Arms Buildup Bedevil U.S. Administration" (February 2000), "Flight Tests Show Iraq Has Resumed a Missile Program" (July 2000). (A somewhat shorter list can be compiled from The Post's archives, including a September 1998 headline: "Iraqi Work Toward A-Bomb Reported.") The Times stories were written by Barbara Crossette, Tim Weiner and Steven Lee Myers; Miller shared a byline on one.

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