Thursday, February 14, 2008

Kessler Charge: Media Ignore Saddam's WMD Intent

What more can be said? Did Saddam have a stockpile of weapons of mass destruction in the year/s preceding the Congressional Resolution? What did everybody at the time believe? We'll all keep revisiting the issue, but it is unlikely we will ever know the entire truth about Saddam Hussein... ever...

Media Ignore Saddam's WMD Intent
Wednesday, February 13, 2008 9:33 AM
By: Ronald Kessler Article Font Size

When FBI agent George Piro recently described debriefing Saddam Hussein for seven months after his capture, he disclosed that the Iraqi dictator admitted his intention to re-start his weapons of mass destruction program within a year.

That plan included developing nuclear weapons capability, according to Saddam.

The revelation should have hit Page One of every newspaper.

It would have further justified President Bush’s decision to invade Iraq, a key issue in the coming presidential election. But many in the mainstream media could not bear to hear that Bush may have done something right.

When Piro’s interview came out in my book, "The Terrorist Watch: Inside the Desperate Race to Stop the Next Attack," NBC Nightly News, Fox News, and Newsmax ran the news of Saddam’s admission, but few newspapers published a story.

CNN ran a story on the debriefing of Saddam but made no mention of Saddam’s plans to resume his weapons of mass destruction program, including developing nuclear capability. Instead, CNN said that what Saddam told Piro “throws more cold water on the justification for war” because Saddam admitted he was bluffing about having weapons of mass destruction.

Two and a half months later, "60 Minutes" ran the first television interview with Piro. The interview buried the reference to Saddam’s WMD and nuclear plans, as did the press release on the CBS Web site. Likewise, an AP story on the interview mentioned Saddam’s plans in the 11th paragraph. Only four U.S. newspapers ran a story referring to Saddam’s WMD and nuclear plans.

The Washington Post ran a 542-word story on the interview leaving out any mention of Saddam’s avowed intentions. The New York Times ran no story at all.

Today, we have press censorship similar to what existed in the old Soviet Union, except the censors are journalists themselves, and it’s in reverse: News favorable to the government is suppressed...

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