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Clift & Moyers Denounce Rice's Lies, Shredding U.S. Credibility --11/22/2004


1. Clift & Moyers Denounce Rice's Lies, Shredding U.S. Credibility
Newsweek's Eleanor Clift and PBS's Bill Moyers launched angry attacks over the weekend at President Bush's wish to elevate Condoleezza Rice to Secretary of State. Clift charged on the McLaughlin Group: "Rice didn't see terrorism coming, she went out and really lied about what at she knew." Moyers, on Friday night's Now on PBS, denounced how "we are to have a new Secretary of State who dreadfully misjudged the terrorist threat leading up to 9/11 and then misled America and the world about the case for invading Iraq." Adding Bush's National Security Adviser pick, Stephen J. Hadley, to his targets, Moyers lectured: "So instead of putting America's foreign policy in the hands of people who might have restored the country's credibility in the world, the President has turned it over to two of the people who helped shred it. Both are known first and foremost for loyalty to the official view of reality, no matter the evidence to the contrary."

2. Cronkite Repeats Allegation Karl Rove Arranged bin Laden Video
Walter Cronkite on Thursday claimed the U.S. needs a new election, doesn't have an intelligent electorate "and we're not going to have it because our education system is in a shambles right now." During a promotional visit for the Fisher Island Philanthropic Fund in Florida, a children's charity, Cronkite, the Miami Herald reported, charged that "the administration's deficit spending" means "we do not have the money to do the things that we ought to -- have to -- do here at home." In fact, domestic spending soars every year. Reporter Glenn Garvin relayed how Cronkite "accused Republican political operative Karl Rove of orchestrating the release of a new Osama bin Laden tape last month to help President Bush win re-election."

3. Rooney Admits CBS's Hostility to Bush Drove Forged Documents Hit
Speaking at Tufts University on Thursday night, CBS's Andy Rooney attributed the motivation behind CBS's hit on President Bush based on forged documents to the political agenda of CBS News staffers. "There's no question they wanted to run it because it was negative towards Bush," the Tufts Daily's Keith Barry quoted Rooney as revealing during his remarks. Rooney shares that ideological hostility to Bush, as Barry related how "Rooney also attributed voters' reliance on religion in the recent election to ignorance" and "said Christian fundamentalism is a result of 'a lack of education. They haven't been exposed to what the world has to offer.'" In addition, "Rooney said he also could not understand how 'men who work with their hands voted for George Bush,' and again attributing the phenomenon to a lack of education."

4. NPR Paints Fullujah as "Holy Resistance" Against U.S. "Genocide"
National Public Radio has a longstanding reputation for what some would describe as anti-American coverage of foreign news. That stereotype may be exaggerated, but NPR correspondent Emily Harris nonetheless lived up to it on last Wednesday's All Things Considered. Harris offered a positive profile of a man from Fallujah who called the insurgency "holy resistance" and claimed that U.S. forces were committing "genocide" in his hometown. Moreover, when the man, on a political trip to Rome, used his video camera to shoot footage of seagulls, Harris noted that it was the same camera with which he's recorded "ruined houses and dead bodies after U.S. bombings in Fallujah."

5. "Top Ten Things Overheard at the Opening of the Clinton Library"
Letterman's "Top Ten Things Overheard at the Opening of the Clinton Library."


Clift & Moyers Denounce Rice's Lies,
Shredding U.S. Credibility

Newsweek's Eleanor Clift Newsweek's Eleanor Clift and PBS's Bill Moyers launched angry attacks over the weekend at President Bush's wish to elevate Condoleezza Rice to Secretary of State. Clift charged on the McLaughlin Group: "Rice didn't see terrorism coming, she went out and really lied about what at she knew." Moyers, on Friday night's Now on PBS, denounced how "we are to have a new Secretary of State who dreadfully misjudged the terrorist threat leading up to 9/11 and then misled America and the world about the case for invading Iraq." Adding Bush's National Security Adviser pick, Stephen J. Hadley, to his targets, Moyers lectured: "So instead of putting America's foreign policy in the hands of people who might have restored the country's credibility in the world, the President has turned it over to two of the people who helped shred it. Both are known first and foremost for loyalty to the official view of reality, no matter the evidence to the contrary."

On the McLaughlin Group, Clift asserted: "This is foreign policy by fiat. And what he's doing is shutting down any kind of dissent, any kind of opposing views. I mean, Condi Rice will go and do what she does best which is to parrot the administration line. Nobody's quite sure what her views are, but she lined up with Dick Cheney and Rumsfeld, either because she agreed with hem or she got rolled, but whichever way, this solidifies Dick Cheney's hold on the government. He is the master of the universe here when it come to foreign policy. Incompetence is so rewarded. I mean, Condi Rice didn't see terrorism coming, she went out and really lied about what at she knew, what she didn't knew [said knew], what the President knew, what she didn't knew [said it again]. She gets promoted. Colin Powell is out and Donald Rumsfeld, who to me is the biggest incompetent in this administration the way he's handled this war, gets to keep his job. This administration doesn't admit mistakes and rewards incompetence."

Moyers launched a lecture at the top of the November 19 Now with Bill Moyers, as checked against the closed-captioning by the MRC's Brad Wilmouth:
PBS's Bill Moyers "It's called credibility: The quality of being believed and trusted. Once you cry wolf and it turns out you were only pretending, will anyone take you seriously next time if you say there is a wolf in the woods? That's why surveys and polls show America's credibility in the world has plummeted, including in those Muslim nations whose support is critical to the fight against terrorism. And it's why the President's nomination this week of Condoleezza Rice as Colin Powell's successor has some experts in Washington and foreign capitals shaking their heads in disbelief. Producer Peter Meryash and I took a look at Dr. Rice's record on two very critical points of credibility. Recall that in the days and weeks after 9/11, a shocked and grieving people began to ask what government officials had known and when they had known it. In May 2002, at a White House press conference, the President's National Security Adviser tried to quiet the criticism."
Condoleezza Rice: "I don't think anybody could have predicted that these people would take an airplane and slam it into the World Trade Center, take another one and slam it into the Pentagon, that they would try to use an airplane as a missile, a hijacked airplane as a missile."
Moyers: "But Condoleezza Rice was wrong. Had she looked, she could have found in the files of the intelligence community that the attack she deemed unimaginable had, in fact, been imagined repeatedly."
...
Moyers: "Two days after Rice's testimony and after the commission's most heated showdown with the Bush administration over access to classified information, the PDB that had been delivered to the President in Texas was released. It had indeed informed the President that, quote, 'Bin Laden told followers he wanted to retaliate in Washington.' It had told the President that FBI information, quote, 'indicates patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York.' And it had informed the President of reports that, quote, 'a group of bin Laden supporters are in the U.S. planning attacks.' But the President stayed at his Texas ranch for 23 more days. His National Security Adviser did not convene a Cabinet-level meeting to discuss the urgent warnings."
Tim Roemer, 9/11 Commission: "Not once do the principals ever sit down, you, in your job description as the National Security Adviser, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, the President of the United States, and meet solely on terrorism to discuss, in the spring and the summer, when these threats are coming in, when you've known since the transition that al-Qaeda cells are in the United States, when, as the PDB said on August 6, 'Bin Laden determined to attack the United States.'"
Rice: "The PDB does not say the United States is going to be attacked. It says bin Laden would like to attack the United States. I don't think you, frankly, had to have that report to know that bin Laden would like to attack the United States."
Roemer: "So why aren't you doing something about that earlier than August 6 then?"
Moyers: "It all added up to a pattern of ineptness. But despite her missteps leading up to 9/11, Rice was kept in charge of the national security team, and would play a key role as the administration prepared its case for war against Iraq. Time and again, top officials told the American public that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction."
Dick Cheney: "Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. There is no doubt that he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies, and against us."
Moyers: "Rice had a particularly dire warning."
Rice: "The problem here is that there will always be some uncertainty about how quickly he can acquire nuclear weapons, but we don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud."
...
Moyers: "And just last month, it was revealed that long before the war started, Condoleezza Rice had known about the dispute. The New York Times broke the story, and Rice was asked about it on ABC News."
Rice: "At the time, I knew that there was a dispute. I actually didn't really know the nature of the dispute. We learned that, I learned that later."
Greg Thielmann, former State Department intelligence analyst: "It is incredible to me that the President's National Security Advisor would not at least satisfy herself in understanding the broad dimensions of a very vigorous dispute inside the U.S. government on the evidence behind, the most important evidence behind an allegation about the most important category of weapons of mass destruction."
Moyers: "Greg Thielmann spent 25 years in the Foreign Service before retiring in mid-2002. As a member of the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research, he led a team of analysts examining the secret intelligence on Iraq leading up to the war. I asked him about Rice's assertion that she didn't know the nature of the internal intelligence debate over the aluminum tubes."
Thielmann: "If you don't understand the details of this and, at least in broad outline, what issues do you understand with regard to justifying a war against Iraq? This was the mother of all intelligence disagreements for this subject. And so she was either irresponsible in not acquainting herself with those broad outlines of the dispute, or else she's not telling the truth."
Moyers: "After her nomination this week, the Washington Post cited experts who believe Rice is 'one of the weakest national security advisers in recent history' in doing what she was supposed to do -- 'managing interagency conflicts.' She is also one of the most partisan. In the recent campaign, in a rare use of a national security adviser for partisan purposes, President Bush sent Rice to critical battleground states from Michigan and Washington to Ohio and Florida."
Rice: "When people ask whether Iraq is a part of the war on terror, well, of course. Not only did Saddam support terrorists, not only was he a weapons of mass destruction threat and all of those things, but he was a tremendous barrier to change in the Middle East."
Moyers: "And, after one of Rice's campaign-style appearances just before the election, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported she 'did not deviate from the misleading contentions' put forth by the Bush-Cheney ticket, and that she sought, once again, 'to make the non-existent link between 9/11 and the Iraq war.' Her credibility and competence aside, Condeeleeza Rice has never wavered in her loyalty to George W. Bush, and this week he rewarded that loyalty by naming her Secretary of State, the highest post in his Cabinet. So we are to have a new Secretary of State who dreadfully misjudged the terrorist threat leading up to 9/11 and then misled America and the world about the case for invading Iraq.
"As if that's not disturbing enough, look who is succeeding her as the President's National Security Adviser. His name is Stephen J. Hadley, Rice's Alter ego and deputy at the White House. The very same Stephen Hadley who failed to remove from the President's State of the Union message that phony statement about Iraq's search for uranium in Africa, despite having been warned by the CIA that it wouldn't hold up. The very same Stephen Hadley who in June of this year wrote this article in USA Today insisting that Saddam Hussein had links to al-Qaeda, despite the finding by the official 9/11 Commission that there was no operational relationship. And the very same Stephen Hadley who led the White House planning for the post-war period in Iraq, an occupation that can only be described as a debacle. I'm not making this up. It's all on the record. So instead of putting America's foreign policy in the hands of people who might have restored the country's credibility in the world, the President has turned it over to two of the people who helped shred it. Both are known first and foremost for loyalty to the official view of reality, no matter the evidence to the contrary."

As for the "phoney statement" about Iraq seeking uranium from Africa, Britain's Butler report backed the British claims about that. As noted in a July 15 Wall Street Journal editorial:
"Like the Senate Intelligence findings, the Butler report vindicates President Bush on the allegedly misleading '16 words' regarding uranium from Africa: 'We conclude also that the statement in President Bush's State of the Union Address of 28 January 2003 that 'The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa' was well-founded.'" See: www.opinionjournal.com

Cronkite Repeats Allegation Karl Rove
Arranged bin Laden Video

Walter Cronkite on Thursday claimed the U.S. needs a new election, doesn't have an intelligent electorate "and we're not going to have it because our education system is in a shambles right now." During a promotional visit for the Fisher Island Philanthropic Fund in Florida, a children's charity, Cronkite, the Miami Herald reported, charged that "the administration's deficit spending" means "we do not have the money to do the things that we ought to -- have to -- do here at home." In fact, domestic spending soars every year. Reporter Glenn Garvin relayed how Cronkite "accused Republican political operative Karl Rove of orchestrating the release of a new Osama bin Laden tape last month to help President Bush win re-election."

That would seem to answer any doubts about Cronkite's seriousness in making that allegation on the October 29 Larry King Live, the Friday before the election, as recounted in the October 31 CyberAlert which held open the possibility Cronkite was making a bad joke:
Walter Cronkite charged that Karl Rove "probably" arranged for a videotaped message from Osama bin Laden to show up just before the election. Friday night, during a live 9pm EDT appearance on CNN's Larry King Live barely five hours after the networks aired an excerpt from the bin Laden tape, Cronkite asserted: "I'm a little inclined to think that Karl Rove, the political manager at the White House, who is a very clever man, that he probably set up bin Laden to this thing." Cronkite's demeanor was quite serious, though there was a very, very slight hint of what may have been a chuckle as he said "set up bin Laden." Cronkite continued his remarks, in a serious manner, for another sentence as he supported his Rove conspiracy theory by arguing that the bin Laden tape gives an "advantage to the Republican side" since it gets "rid of, as a principal subject of the campaigns right now...the whole problem of the al Qaqaa dump, explosive dump." King did not follow up, and so it's not absolutely clear that Cronkite was serious, but it certainly appeared so from my viewing of it. See: www.mediaresearch.org ####

An excerpt from the November 19 Miami Herald story, "Now outspoken, Cronkite rips Bush's record," by Glenn Garvin:

What America needs right now, legendary TV anchor Walter Cronkite said Thursday, is a new election -- and, he warned a laughing press conference full of reporters, he wasn't kidding.

"That's not entirely a joke," Cronkite said solemnly, arguing that the Bush administration has spent itself into ruin while embroiling the country in a war that will eventually make public revulsion to the war in Vietnam look "like peanuts."...

His retirement has mostly been a quiet one. But during the past year, Cronkite -- who turned 88 earlier this month -- has made some startling departures from his old just-the-facts anchorman's demeanor. He proclaimed that most journalists are liberals and praised them for it, and accused Republican political operative Karl Rove of orchestrating the release of a new Osama bin Laden tape last month to help President Bush win reelection.

On Thursday, he whacked away at the Bush administration even harder, accusing it of destroying the nation's infrastructure and wrecking its education system to the point that American democracy itself is in danger.

"You want to get down to the nub of how this democracy is going to defend itself," Cronkite said. "We've got to have an intelligent electorate and we're not going to have it because our education system is in a shambles right now."

The most immediate problem, Cronkite warned, is Iraq.

"We have a war that is tearing us apart," he said. But, he added, the administration's deficit spending is a close second, creating "a debt that will have to be paid by our great-grandchildren, and maybe beyond that.

"In the meantime, we do not have the money to do the things that we ought to -- have to -- do here at home," Cronkite said....

END of Excerpt

For the article in full: www.miami.com

Rooney Admits CBS's Hostility to Bush
Drove Forged Documents Hit

Speaking at Tufts University on Thursday night, CBS's Andy Rooney attributed the motivation behind CBS's hit on President Bush based on forged documents to the political agenda of CBS News staffers. "There's no question they wanted to run it because it was negative towards Bush," the Tufts Daily's Keith Barry quoted Rooney as revealing during his remarks. Rooney shares that ideological hostility to Bush, as Barry related how "Rooney also attributed voters' reliance on religion in the recent election to ignorance" and "said Christian fundamentalism is a result of 'a lack of education. They haven't been exposed to what the world has to offer.'" In addition, "Rooney said he also could not understand how 'men who work with their hands voted for George Bush,' and again attributing the phenomenon to a lack of education."

An excerpt from the November 19 Tufts Daily article by Keith Barry which was highlighted by Romenesko ( www.poynter.org ):

Andy Rooney, the "60 Minutes" correspondent who turned "curmudgeon" into a job title, spoke at the Fletcher School of International Law and Diplomacy last night....

Second year Fletcher student Jeremy Harrington asked Rooney to "skewer people outside our borders," to which Rooney deadpanned, "There's bound to be a conservative in every crowd."

Rooney responded by referring to the American failure to win the support of Iraqis and the world community in the Iraq war. He said the United States started the war "for good reasons," but he did not think the rest of the world agreed....

Rooney also attributed voters' reliance on religion in the recent election to ignorance. "I am an atheist," Rooney said. "I don't understand religion at all. I'm sure I'll offend a lot of people by saying this, but I think it's all nonsense."

He said Christian fundamentalism is a result of "a lack of education. They haven't been exposed to what the world has to offer."

Rooney said he also could not understand how "men who work with their hands voted for George Bush," and again attributing the phenomenon to a lack of education. "The labor force is conservative," he said. "How in the world did that happen?"

Rooney said that he hoped Bush's re-election would give him the "confidence" to end the war in Iraq. "I think if George Bush said tomorrow, 'I was wrong, I ask for an apology,' I bet the American people would thank him, and they would like him," he said....

Rooney's own show, "60 Minutes," was involved in a public and politically charged flap when it unwittingly used false documents in a Dan Rather piece on Bush's National Guard service.

"I am very critical of some of the people at CBS who make it apparent what their political leanings are," Rooney said. "That's what happened to this thing of Dan Rather's that got out. There's no question they wanted to run it because it was negative towards Bush."

The veteran reporter said the news business "has been taken over" by 'the moneychangers.'"

"I feel bad about the news business," Rooney said. "It has the prospects of being stronger than ever. There are good young people in the news business," he said, praising his fellow commentators Jon Stewart and Al Franken

Rooney said he enjoys watching television news, "partially because I have a drink of bourbon with it."...

Sophomore Spencer Hickok questioned Rooney's inclusion of Columbus' discovery of America in his list of the greatest moments in American history when, in Hickok's words, it resulted in the "genocide of Native Americans."

"I'm not hearing you," Rooney began. He appeared caught off guard, and then conceded, "I can't answer your question."...

END of Excerpt

For the story in full: www.tuftsdaily.com

NPR Paints Fullujah as "Holy Resistance"
Against U.S. "Genocide"

National Public Radio has a longstanding reputation for what some would describe as anti-American coverage of foreign news. That stereotype may be exaggerated, but NPR correspondent Emily Harris nonetheless lived up to it on last Wednesday's All Things Considered. Harris offered a positive profile of a man from Fallujah who called the insurgency "holy resistance" and claimed that U.S. forces were committing "genocide" in his hometown. Moreover, when the man, on a political trip to Rome, used his video camera to shoot footage of seagulls, Harris noted that it was the same camera with which he's recorded "ruined houses and dead bodies after U.S. bombings in Fallujah."

[Tom Johnson, who monitors NPR for the MRC, filed this item for CyberAlert.]

Harris began her November 17 contribution: "A buffet lunch is served during a break at a conference on Iraq in a theater in downtown Rome. But 32-year-old Mohammed Abdullah doesn't touch the pasta or grilled vegetables. He's here to get a message to the world about Fallujah, so he'd much rather talk than eat." She paraphrased his assertion that "civilians in Fallujah were slaughtered at the hands of U.S. troops"; in the ensuing soundbite, Abdullah told an interviewer that a "new genocide is taking place" in the city.

Abdullah isn't merely opposed to the joint U.S./Iraqi anti-insurgency campaign; he's pro-insurgency. When a reporter asked him if he was "a member of the resistance movement, but a peaceful member," he answered: "Maybe. Maybe." At one meeting in Rome, Abdullah remarked, through an interpreter: "Think about being in our place. If your country were occupied, and your children killed, and your houses destroyed, what would you do?...You have to make a distinction between terrorism and holy resistance."

Harris, leading into a soundbite from Fabio Alberti, the President of Un Ponte per... (A Bridge to...), the Italian organization that brought Abdullah to Italy, reported that Alberti "says he doesn't know how close Abdullah is to actual [resistance] fighters, but that doesn't matter to him." Perhaps it should matter to him, and to Harris, given that in the soundbite itself, Alberti asserted that "you need to find a way to get out of violence," which apparently isn't a high priority for Abdullah.

Listeners might not have expected a glimpse of Abdullah's softer side, but Harris provided one. Regarding Abdullah's phone call to his family in Iraq, Harris related, "It tickles him to say, 'Hi, Mom, I'm in Rome.'" Then she took the scenic route back to America-bashing: "As he says goodbye, a flock of seagulls takes off, cawing over one of Rome's piazzas. Abdullah pulls out his video camera, the same one he's used to record ruined houses and dead bodies after U.S. bombings in Fallujah."

Harris closed with this ominous statement from Abdullah, again through an interpreter: "We have to go on in a political way and a peaceful way, but of course now after what happened in Fallujah, it's not easy to go tell people to give up their weapons and not to fight again in the military way. That will not be easy to explain to people."

"Top Ten Things Overheard at the Opening
of the Clinton Library"

From the November 19 Late Show with David Letterman, the "Top Ten Things Overheard at the Opening of the Clinton Library." Late Show home page: www.cbs.com

10. "I'm sorry, this part of the library is strictly for 21-and-over."

9. "A library in Arkansas -- well, now I've seen everything."

8. "The hours are 9 to ???"

7. "This is the first presidential library I've seen with hourly rates."

6. "He has the largest collection of adult magazines since Herbert Hoover."

5. "Don't forget to try the snack bar's impeachment cobbler."

4. "That concludes our ceremony -- you're all invited to stay for ham hocks and moonshine."

3. "Damn, Bubba has a huge desk."

2. "It's the only presidential library with a ladies' night."

1. "Security to the front -- Kerry is here sobbing again."

-- Brent Baker