Friday, May 30, 2003

Pentagon Aims Guns at Lynch Reports
Los Angeles Times
Robert Scheer

May 29, 2003

It is one thing when the talk-show bullies who shamelessly smeared the last president, even as he attacked the training camps of Al Qaeda, now term it anti-American or even treasonous to dare criticize the Bush administration. When our Pentagon, however — a $400-billion- a-year juggernaut — savages individual journalists for questioning its version of events, it is worth noting.

Especially if you're that journalist.

Last week, this column reported the findings of a British Broadcasting Corp. special report that accused the U.S. military and media of inaccurately and manipulatively hyping the story of U.S. Pvt. Jessica Lynch and her rescue from an Iraq hospital. The column was also informed by similar and independently reported articles and statements in the Toronto Star, the Washington Post and other reputable publications.

Expected — and received — was a hysterical belch of outrage from the right-wing media, led by Rupert Murdoch's Fox empire, which has already committed a huge book advance to the telling of this mythic tale. A fiery and disingenuous response from the Pentagon, however, was quite a bit more sobering.

Calling the column a "tirade," Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs Victoria Clarke wrote in a letter to The Times that "Scheer's claims are outrageous, patently false and unsupported by the facts."


I had the most wonderful breakfast today!

I could not bring myself to read the article in today's LA Times while I ate my breakfast at the athletic club I am a member of here in Marina Del Rey California. Breakfast is such a simple yet wonderful and highly anticipated pleasure for me since none of the oft consuming daily stress has had time to set in.

I had already read so many other stories that chronicled the disgraceful lies and blatant media manipulations around this story so I was disinclined to even glance the article. I knew where Sheer would be on the facts.

Across from me sat a typical throng of condo dwellers. The club is part of a towering condo complex, and the café is a favorite with the residents. All of them pre-geriatric but full of life. Living well in California will do that to you.

One sat and read news tidbits to the rest while many sat in seeming rapture. Being old will do that to you I suppose.

Then the host started to read the Robert Sheer piece and the entire room became fixated. The predictable “no kidding, are you serious, is that what it says” remarks came forth. Those remarks gave way to silence, then many heads bowed while twisting side to side as if almost in torment.

They’d been had, and now they knew it.

What a wonderful breakfast indeed.



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