Friday, March 24, 2006

MSM Downplays the Iraq Documents

These “Editor’s Notes/Comments” Below are excerpts I’ve taken from Charles Adler’s postings today.

The topics are the contents of the Iraqi Documents that clearly record interaction between the Bathist Government of Saddam Hussein and the Agents of al Qaeda.

Is it just me or is there a sense of an “Apologist and Denial” sentiment from this editor??

(Editor's Note: This document is handwritten and has no official seal. Although contacts between bin Laden and the Iraqis have been reported in the 9/11 Commission report and elsewhere (e.g., the 9/11 report states "Bin Ladn himself met with a senior Iraqi intelligence officer in Khartoum in late 1994 or early 1995) this document indicates the contacts were approved personally by Saddam Hussein.
It also indicates the discussions were substantive, in particular that bin Laden was proposing an operational relationship, and that the Iraqis were, at a minimum, interested in exploring a potential relationship and prepared to show good faith by broadcasting the speeches of al Ouda, the radical cleric who was also a bin Laden mentor.
The document does not establish that the two parties did in fact enter into an operational relationship. Given that the document claims bin Laden was proposing to the Iraqis that they conduct "joint operations against foreign forces" in Saudi Arabia, it is worth noting that eight months after the meeting -- on November 13, 1995 -- terrorists attacked Saudi National Guard Headquarters in Riyadh, killing 5 U.S. military advisers. The militants later confessed on Saudi TV to having been trained by Osama bin Laden.)
(Editor's Note: The controversial claim that Osama bin Laden was cooperating with Saddam Hussein is an ongoing matter of intense debate. While the assertions contained in this document clearly support the claim, the sourcing is questionable -- i.e., an unnamed Afghan "informant" reporting on a conversation with another Afghan "consul." The date of the document -- four days after 9/11 -- is worth noting but without further corroboration, this document is of limited evidentiary value.)

(Editor's Note: This document indicates that the Iraqis were aware of and interested in reports that members of al Qaeda were present in Iraq in 2002. The document does not support allegations that Iraq was colluding with al Qaeda.)

What I see here are criticisms of records based on what should be the rigors of journalistic professionalism as it applies to note taking and documentation!

My Problem?

FIRST – These records are the product of mostly lowly educated bureaucrats from internal Iraqi organizations.

SECOND – I wonder how many lapses of diligence I could find if started fact checking any of the stories and records this editor approves or produces?



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