The Sunday Shows were loaded up with the same Republicans who lied the country into war with Iraq. The problem is that not one member of the mainstream media called these Republicans out on being wrong about Iraq.
Chris Wallace of Fox News Sunday never asked about the lies while talking to Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC):
WALLACE: Question, is that a bogus argument by people who were wrong about Iraq in the first place? I suspect he would suggest you (ph).
GRAHAM: The president — yes, and I’m telling the president, you’re rewriting history at your own convenience.
You got the answer you wanted. You promised to get us out of Iraq and you were hell-bent to get out of Iraq. When everybody told you, you need to leave a force behind, you made it impossible for the Iraqis to say yes.
Mr. President, you authored us getting out of Iraq, and during a debate with Governor Romney, Romney suggested I could support 10,000 troops like the president intends to leave behind, and the president said in the debate, I’m not leaving any troops behind. I’m not going to get entangled in Iraq yet again.
Mr. President, you’re rewriting history.
Over on CNN’s State Of The Union, Candy Crowley was acting like the lies that led to the invasion of Iraq never happened:
CROWLEY: So, what do you suggest, Senator?
MCCAIN: We have said this is a — quote — “Iraqi problem.”
CROWLEY: Well, yes, what do you suggest? What is it militarily that you would do? As I understand it, you’re not suggesting boots on the ground. What would you do?
MCCAIN: I would be rushing equipment to Irbil….
On Meet The Press, David Gregory admitted that we once occupied Iraq, but there was no mention of the lies:
DAVID GREGORY: Congressman, hear you and they say, “Wait a minute. We invaded this country. We took over the country. We occupied the country. We had massive troop levels there, armaments. Military hardware that’s being used by ISIS now. This is Iraq’s responsibility. Why can’t or why won’t Iraq deal with this threat that is a grave threat to its future?”
REP. PETER KING: First of all, let’s put this in perspective. What we’ve done in Iraq, as President Obama and Vice President Biden said, turned out to be a significant achievement, a great achievement. Iraq was stable. Iraq was a unified government. It was when President Obama withdrew all the American troops, when our troops that were imbedded with the Iraqi troops were taken away….
We’ve seen this show before. The media sold the public on WMD back in 2002, after the Bush administration finally found a way to go after Saddam. They did the Bush administration’s bidding:
1/30/01 Saddam’s removal is top item of Bush’s inaugural national security meeting. Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill later recalls, “It was all about finding a way to do it. The president saying, ‘Go find me a way to do this.'” [Date the public knew: 1/10/04]
3/22/02 Downing Street memo: “US scrambling to establish a link between Iraq and Al Qaida is so far frankly unconvincing…We are still left with a problem of bringing public opinion to accept the imminence of a threat from Iraq…Regime change does not stack up. It sounds like a grudge between Bush and Saddam.” [Date the public knew: 9/18/04]
June 2002 To a deputy raising doubts about Iraq war, Rice says: “Save your breath. The president has already made up his mind.” [Date the public knew: 1/7/04]
July 2002 Gen. Franks secretly requests $700 million for war preparations. Bush approves, unbeknownst to Congress. Money taken from appropriation for the war in Afghanistan. [Date the public knew: 4/18/04]
We have already detailed just a few of the WMD lies that led us into Iraq today. We can see from the timeline that Iraq wasn’t bad intel or a mistake. It was a deliberate choice made by the Bush administration, who knowingly bypassed getting intelligence feedback on reports that gave them an excuse to do what they had already made up their minds to do.
The same people who sold us that war are now giving a TV megaphone to a new round of players from the same, unatoned Republican party that has never apologized for their Iraq WMD lies as if they have an ounce of credibility on Iraq. They do not.
Trust and credibility are earned through actions. Mistakes can and should be forgiven, but deliberate decisions to lie a country into war and continued denials about the ramifications of those lies should not be forgotten.
The media is failing the public again. There are arguments to be made for going into Iraq again, but they need to be made by people with credible track records. They also need to be countered by people who oppose that idea.
Any discussion about war needs to include the funding of the VA. These are not liberal ideas, these are sane ideas. It is insane to give a megaphone to the unatoned party of WMD lies to discuss Iraq again, and never ask them to explain why they should be listened to now.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.