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May 07, 2007

A Media Double-Standard On Foolishness And Lunacy

The New Editor catches Bill Maher making the claim that the Democratic Party is the one with almost no "nuts" in it. (It should be noted that his definition of "nuts" is largely concerned with whether or not someone believes in a real, tangible God or not.)

TNE contrasts this with the Rasmussen poll the media has entirely embargoed, finding that 61% of self-identifying Democrats either believe George Bush knew of the 9/11 attacks in advance or are not sure if he did or not.

The media is very, very big on highlighting the misconceptions -- or alleged misconceptions -- of conservative-leaning Americans. They never tire of telling us that x percentage of conservatives (or FoxNews viewers, or whatever) mistakenly believe that Saddam Hussein had something to do with 9/11.

It should be noted that even that "misconception" is misconceivedly categorized as such. After all, the media has never adequately explained this -- indeed, they've done their level-best to not even mention it:

Of course, we may yet find that Saddam was a participant in the specific 9/11 plot. In that regard, the commission staff's report is perplexing, and, again, raises — or flat omits — many more questions than it resolves.

For one thing, the staff [of the 9/11 commission] has now addressed the crucial January 2000 Malaysia planning session in a few of its statements. As I have previously recounted, this was the three-day meeting at which Khalid al Midhar and Nawaf al Hazmi, eventual hijackers of Flight 77 (the one that hit the Pentagon), met with other key 9/11 planners. The staff's latest report, Statement Number 16 ("Outline of the 9/11 Plot"), even takes time to describe how the conspirators were hosted in Kuala Lampur by members of a Qaeda-affiliated terror group, Jemaah Islamiah. But the staff does not mention, let alone explain, let alone explain away, that al Midhar was escorted to the meeting by Ahmed Hikmat Shakir.

Shakir is the Iraqi who got his job as an airport greeter through the Iraqi embassy, which controlled his work schedule. He is the man who left that job right after the Malaysia meeting; who was found in Qatar six days after 9/11 with contact information for al Qaeda heavyweights — including bin Laden's aforementioned friend, Salim — and who was later detained in Jordan but released only after special pleading from Saddam's regime, and only after intelligence agents concluded that he seemed to have sophisticated counter-interrogation training. Shakir is also the Iraqi who now appears, based on records seized since the regime's fall, to have been all along an officer in Saddam's Fedayeen.

Does all this amount to proof of participation in the 9/11 plot? Well, in any prosecutor's office it would be a pretty good start. And if the commission staff was going to get into this area of Iraqi connections to al Qaeda at all, what conceivable good reason is there for avoiding any discussion whatsoever of Shakir? At least tell us why he is not worth mentioning.

In addition, the Prague meeting between Mohammad Atta and an Iraqi Intelligence officer has never actually been debunked -- Czech intelligence stands by the story, and previous media claims of a retraction were, in fact, erroneous (and yet still cited to this day). The "proof" that Atta could not have been in Prague at that time seems to rest entirely on the facts that his cellphone was used and various receipts were signed for by "him" in America at this time -- "proof" of his location that would never be considered a strong alibi in a run-of-the-mill criminal case, given how easy it is to use someone else's cellphone or use someone else's credit card.

Add to that the Clinton Administration's indictment of Osama bin Ladin noting his cooperation with Iraq in the Sudanese chem-weapon factor, etc. The media's putative "debunking" of such evidence has itself been throroughy debunked -- indeed, it was bunk from the start.

None of this establishes more than a friendly relationship between Al Qaeda and Saddam, and certainly it doesn't prove Saddam was the author of 9/11, or actually even knew the attack was coming. However, it certainly raises questions about what he may have considered small-bore courtesies extended to Al Qaeda which ultimately, unbeknownst to him, assisted Al Qaeda in carrying out its attacks.

But that's a bit of a side-trek from the road I wanted to be on. Compare the media's relentless "debunking" of the "myth" that Saddam had something to do with 9/11. Not only is the media constantly asserting facts not in evidence (the 0/11 Commissions carefully negotiated statement regarding "no operational ties" between Saddam and Al Qaeada is consistently mistated as "no ties whatsoever"), but the MSM also is fond of implying that conservatives are either crazy or ignornant to even have questions about such links.

On the other hand, when 61% of Democrats state they believe that George Bush knew about the 9/11 attacks in advance, or may have known of them -- thus making George Bush a co-conspirator in the attacks -- the media not only does no debunking whatseover, but fails to point out the left is engaging in some fairly serious myth-making itself.

Long story short:

The media considers it crazy to believe that Saddam Hussein, President of Iraq, had something to do with 9/11, and fights this insanity with every tool at its disposal, including outright deception.

On the other hand, the media does not apparently consider it particularly hard to believe that George Bush, President of the United States, had something to do with 9/11. If they did consider such a notion beyond the pale, one would imagine they'd publicize (and implicity mock) those crazed liberals believing that our own President aided and abetted Osama bin Ladin.

But of course they don't. Because it's simply not possible for a reasonble person to believe a sworn enemy of the US, known to have at least some ties with Al Qaeda, could have had a hand in the attacks, but a reasonable person could, according to the MSM, believe that a US President with no ties to Al Qaeda helped facillitate and perhaps even carry out the attacks.

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posted by Ace at 02:37 PM

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