Thursday, March 31, 2005

Diuguid decries media's "slacking off"

In his March 30 column, Lewis W. Diuguid complains that the media have "slacked off" during the past few years. "During the buildup to the war in Iraq, the press mostly parroted President Bush and officials in his administration, claiming that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction," Diuguid writes.

What Diuguid will not acknowledge is that claims concerning Iraq's WMD did not begin in 2001. The U.S. has operated under the belief that Iraq had WMD since 1991, and the Clinton administration continued to believe that Iraq had WMD and posed a threat to the U.S. until its very last days.

Few journalists questioned the claims concerning Iraq's WMD between 1993 and January 2001. In fact, CNN's Judy Woodruff and Bernard Shaw in February 1998 even moderated a town hall meeting in which Secretary of State Madeline Albright, Secretary of Defense William Cohen, and National Security Advisor Sandy Berger described the dire threat that Iraq and its WMD posed to the world. Neither Woodruff nor Shaw questioned any of the many claims made by the trio of national security principals.

If Diuguid sincerely believes that Iraq had no WMD and posed no threat to the U.S. (even though it was on the State Department's short list of state sponsors of terrorism during the entire Clinton administration), why is his criticism of his fellow journalists' "slacking off" limited to their reporting during the current administration?