It was ten years ago, on Wednesday, August 11, 2004, that the Washington Post, in a long front page story written by staff writer Howard Kurtz, became the second of the nation's most prominent newspapers to admit serious flaws in their coverage of the WMD claims during the buildup to the Iraqi war. The Post admitted their culpability in a deception. Previously, in May, the New York Times made the same admission, though not nearly so prominently, and certainly not anywhere near the front page of the print edition.
The full Washington Post feature is still available:
In the ten years since, time has pretty much taken the wind out of the sails of those people who vehemently insisted that those vast "weapons of mass destruction" stockpiles ever existed and that it is only a matter of time till they are located. Almost no one is going to argue, now, for the existence of the WMD, but I still hear two arguments made frequently: 1) that "everyone believed, at the time, that those WMD existed" and 2) that all the available evidence pointed to the existence of the stockpiles claimed by the Bush Administration in its justification for this war.
Neither of those claims was true.
I'm here to tell you, absolutely, that not "everyone" believed at the time that the Administration was telling us the truth about the "imminent threat" of attack from the Hussein regime in Iraq. I know that to be far from true. The fact that people remained silent about their skepticism; that's to their shame, but anyone who was looking for the truth, and eschewing the mainstream news media to do so, knew that all of the "evidence" used to support the claims of a WMD threat had been discredited. At the time of the invasion, in March 2013; there was no credible proof of any threat.
As for the 2nd claim, that all the evidence available at the time supported the existence of those weapons, well, that's not true either. We have learned, since, that much of the evidence that would have refuted the bogus WMD claims prior to the invasion was kept out of public view by broadcast and print news media outlets that deliberately hid these stories, or didn't give them the attention they deserved. They lied by omission. By the time I made my own decision that the WMD claims were not based on any real evidence, it was already known that the yellowcake uranium that was "proof" of an nuclear weapon development program, the high-grade aluminum tubing that was to be used for rocket bodies or nuclear fuel rods or whatever, the claims that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi had contact with the Iraq government; all these claims were known to be false. There was scant evidence that the security of the United States was threatened by the tiny country of Iraq. Most of the claims were not only unfounded, they were preposterous. Indeed, if any evidence at all had existed, the Bush Administration could have silenced every single critic of the war by sending the UN inspectors to one single location where banned agents of warfare were hidden – one only – the existence of all the rest would have then been conceded by the skeptics. When asked to do that; they refused. Why? We know, now, why. They had nothing, and they knew it.
Here's my point: The Internet was practically our only conduit to the facts in early 2003, and it largely remains so now.
Turn off that TV. It's a propaganda machine.