TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 2003
LYING LIES, AND THE GOOD-GUYS WHO CAN STOP THEM: No, Wesley Clark didnt say that the White House pressured him on Iraq (text below). And when people began to think that hed said it, he explained what he actually meant. And yes, there really is a Middle East think tank with an office in Canada (Montreal). And as of last Thursday, we knew who called Clark on September 11 (or 12), 2001. The Toronto Star explained the matter. Thomas Hecht, founder of the Begin-Sadat Centre for Strategic Studies, told the Star he placed the call to Clark and drew his attention to a potential link between Saddam and the Al Qaeda suicide hijackers, the paper reported. The Begin-Sadat Centre has its headquarters in Israel and its only office elsewhere is the one Hecht established in Montreal.
All in all, a nothing-burger of a story. But lying liars are very busy trying to make Wesley Clark a liar, emulating the winning strategy they pursued in their trashing of Gore. How fake are our current conservative pundits? Here was the feckless and phony George Will, telling the world in the Washington Post that there is no Middle East think tank in Canadathat Wesley Clark, like Al Gore, is a liar:
WILL (8/31/03): As Clark crisscrosses the country listening for a clamor for him he compounds the confusion that began when he said on June 15 that on 9/11 I got a call at my home saying that when he was to appear on CNN, Youve got to say this is connected to Iraq. It came from the White House, it came from people around the White House. It came from all over. But who exactly called Clark?Clark is a liar, Will was saying. And he was saying this too: Hey, rube! But then, so was the worn-out old hack William Safire, peddling this political porn in yesterdays inept New York Times:
SAFIRE (9/22/03): As a boot-in-mouth politician, however, Clark ranks with Arnold Schwarzenegger. He began by claiming to have been pressured to stop his defeatist wartime CNN commentary by someone around the White House; challenged, he morphed that source into a Canadian Middle East think tank, equally fuzzy.But Clark did not begin by claiming to have been pressured by someone around the White House. And, four days after the Toronto Star actually named that Canadian think tank, the hapless Safire continued spreading the impression that Clark had just made that one up. (Safire was clever enough to use the weasel-word fuzzy, being craftily fuzzy himself.) Meanwhile, how hapless is this tired, worn-out old man? In this passage, Safire conflates two separate incidents involving ClarkClarks (unwise) suggestion that the White House tried to get him removed from CNN during the war, and Clarks statement about Saddam and 9/11. But at the degraded New York Times, this kind of messy, nursing-home prose is just fine to dish out to its readers.
Al Gore was a Great Big Liar! And, Wesley Clark is a Big Liar too! Surely, by now, you all understand ityour press corps is spilling with rank propagandists, and they plan to retell their favorite dim tale. The question: Will Americas cowering good guy punditsthe Peter Beinarts, the E. J. Dionnesdare to challenge their faking this time? Last time, they stepped aside as the corps lying liars made a sick joke of your White House election. Will the good guys cower and hide once again? The liars will lie until they are stopped. Will these cowering good guys dare to stop them?
WHAT CLARK SAID: For the record, we are generally skeptical about first-time candidates, and Clark has made some clear mistakes. (For example, he shouldnt have repeated the rumors that the White House tried to get him canned from CNN.) But when Clark appeared on the June 15 Meet the Press, he did not say that the White House called him about Saddam and September 11. Here is the relevant passage:
CLARK: I think there was an immediate determination right after 9/11 that Saddam Hussein was one of the keys to winning the war on terror. Whether it was the need just to strike out or whether he was a linchpin in this, there was a concerted effort during the fall of 2001 starting immediately after 9/11 to pin 9/11 and the terrorism problem on Saddam Hussein.Can you read? If so, you will note that Clark didnt say that the phone call came from the White House. And when people began to think that he had, he clarified what he had meant. Thats the way that decent people conduct a public discussion. But as we learned in the last election, your press corps is full of lying liars and fools. For example, note what Ben Fritz pointed out in Spinsanity: Note the way Will rearranged the order of Clarks Meet the Press remarks to make it seem that hed tied that call to the White House. In a real professional sector, people get fired for frauds of that type. But at the Washington Post, its OK. By the way, Fred Hiatt edits Will at the Post, Gail Collins edits the worn-out old Safire. Read much, Fred and Gail? And do you really think that American citizens are prepared to put up with this clowning again? Your papers made a joke of the last White House race. Do you really think that youll be allowed to produce this lying lying once again?
BONUS! HOWLER HISTORY! President Bush only glances at headlines, he told Brit Hume in last nights interview. But guess what? Thats how Cokie Roberts was getting her news back in late 99! At the time, Roberts was being paid millions of dollars per year. To see the way these giants work, see THE DAILY HOWLER, 12/6/99 (halfway down). Could anyone elsecould anyone elseget away with this screaming ineptitude?