Thursday, July 26, 2007

CBS News to the American Public:
"Don't Believe Your Lying Eyes!"

Though the news hasn't really filtered through to the American public yet, stories elsewhere are beginning to report what should be obvious -- that our nation's new "surge" strategy in Iraq is beginning to take hold in a very important way. We are confronting and taking down al-Qaeda, with implications that reach well beyond Iraq.

For example, a few days ago, the Times of London independently reported on serious problems al-Qaeda is beginning to encounter in Iraq, this report filed from the Sunni enclave in the city of Doura, located in southern Iraq.

When Abu Shahid (nom de guerre), was nabbed in Mosul on July 4th, the immediate intelligence potential was obvious. Not only was he known to have long been the key intermediary contact to senior al-Qaeda leadership outside of Iraq, but when interrogated he also served up the fact that both the mystery leader, "Abu Omar al-Baghdadi," and the supposed organization he headed, the so-called "Islamic State of Iraq," were both fakes. "Baghdadi's" voice was that of an Iraqi actor. It was all necessary, primarily because al-Qaeda in Iraq is riddled with foreigners who are wantonly targeting Iraqi citizens.

Thus, the potential for the ongoing disruption of the al-Qaeda both in Iraq, and throughout their worldwide network, should be quite plain.

As stated in the AP story (above) regarding Abu Shahid's capture:

In an effort to give al-Qaida an Iraqi face, Bergner said al- Mashhadani and al-Masri established a front organization known as the Islamic State of Iraq, which the general described as "a virtual organization in cyberspace."

In Web postings, the Islamic State of Iraq has identified its leader as Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, a name indicating Iraqi origin, with the Egyptian al-Masri as minister of war. There are no known photos of al- Baghdadi.

Bergner said al-Mashhadani had told interrogators that al-Baghdadi is a "fictional role" created by al-Masri and that an actor with an Iraqi accent is used for audio recordings of speeches posted on the Web.

CBS, however, has decided to report that the President is lying.

Powerline's John Hinderaker has parsed the issue best, in a post with links to the full text of President's speech, a video clip of the CBS Report on the speech, which John followed with a complete, statement-by-statement take-down of the CBS report. He appropriately entitled the post, "An Intent to Misinform?"

Frankly, I think John might well have dropped the question mark at the end. There is no question what CBS News was doing.

When the President spoke about al-Qaeda in Iraq in Charleston, South Carolina on Tuesday, and CBS News Evening News was obviously unable to find any other way to turn what he said into bad news, they chose instead to report the President's emphasis on our ongoing role, and the emerging coalition success against al-Qaeda in Iraq. They pegged it as some sort of nefarious shift on the part of the President regarding what he has said about why we are pursuing the surge strategy in Iraq in the first place.

Katie Couric introduced the report, noting that the President had again defended his Iraq policy earlier in the day, "but this time with a new rationale." She then turned it over to CBS Chief Whitehouse Correspondent, Jim Axelrod, who asserted that "the rationale is clearly shifting," and, further, intoned that this supposedly new rationale is a "clear contradiction" of the President's speech back on January 10th of this year.

As John Hinderacker carefully shows in his post, in a careful line by line analysis, it is absolutely nothing of the sort.

The contradiction, it seems, is about what the Democrat leadership had tried to claim, and what they used as a basis for supporting their recently failed attempt to force a preemptory withdraw from Iraq. As noted here earlier, both the Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, and the Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, were falling all over one another in the run-up to the vote on the Levin/Reed troop withdraw resolution the other day, asserting that we need to get out of Iraq in order to fight al-Qaeda.

But as the President correctly points out, we are indeed fighting al-Qaeda in Iraq, a terror group that has long sworn complete allegiance to Osama bin Laden.

As John incredulously concluded his post:

So: President Bush said that we are fighting al Qaeda in Iraq in January; he has said it more than 40 times since, including yesterday. There was no contradiction. CBS was wrong.

CBS's report creates a conundrum. It is inconceivable that CBS's reporters would broadcast this segment without reading President Bush's speech of January 10. It is equally inconceivable that they could read that speech without realizing that there is, in fact, no contradiction between it and the President's speech in South Carolina yesterday. The obvious inference is that CBS has deliberately chosen to mislead and misinform its viewers on the most vital issue of our time. I would much rather not believe that. But what other explanation can there be?

Coming from the same news network that brought you the late-in-the-game effort to destroy the candidacy of Presidential candidate George Bush by using false documents, one can only guess that there are highly partisan elements deep within the CBS news division who are obviously still in the driver's seat, and simply have never caught on to the appropriate lesson, and likely never will.

With all their loose talk about clarity -- "the rationale clearly shifting" and the "clear contradiction" -- it looks like the only thing that is not changing, is the fundamentally dishonest reporting at CBS. That much is quite clear.

The "talking face" at CBS News may have changed, but the ratings continue to show that the public's faith in their ability to report a straight story is shaken.

This story demonstrates that CBS is still very much on their game, bogus news and all. And it also shows how that partisanship had metastasized within the division, and that the removal of Rather and Mapes was simply no cure.


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