This blog aims to accomplish two things. Given how quickly events are reported, misreported, and dropped by the MSM, we want to go back and see if we can't find some answers to questions that were and were not asked. Second, because the lazy MSM's chief tool for what passes as journalism is to quote pundits without having done any homework,the right questions don't get asked. We want to provide our readers the contact information for these pundits so we can ask them directly.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Unanswered Questions, Part II

I watched George Bush's State of the Union speech live January 2003 and remember that when he uttered the words "...purchase significant quatities of uranium from Africa", I jumped up and yelled "where in Africa?" Did anyone else share this moment with me? Apparently, no one at the New York Times. Even in their article today rehashing that event, they stumble. They change it to "in Africa."

See my letter to the Times's Public Editor below:

Johnston, Yale, Stevenson, and Kornblut have Rove's fingerprints in sight...

...but don't see them, they report in "For Two Aides in Leak Case 2nd Issue Rises" July, 21:

"In his State of the Union address in January 2003, Mr. Bush cited reports that Iraq had sought to acquire a form of uranium in Africa as evidence of Mr. Hussein's intentions to gain weapons that he might provide to terrorists, use to threaten the United States or employ against other nations in the Middle East." (emphasis added)

When the President stated on that fateful moment that he had evidence from British intelligence that Iraq had sought uranium "from Africa", I yelled at the TV, "From where in Africa?"

Which presidential speech is pored over the most, each word carefully calculated for meaning and deniability? SOTU, of course. Who are the final arbiters of this task? Karl Rove on politics and Dick Cheney on policy. Any dispute so far?

It is literally and physically impossible to obtain anything "from Africa" and Bush's speechwriters, ever the wordsmiths, would have known that. Therefore, it begs the question, who, being less eloquent yet more politically savvy, would see that naming a specific country or "in Africa" would be too restricting in that it would foment natural questioning as to where exactly Bush was referring to. The "from Africa" construction was a calculated gamble that the WH press corps wouldn't catch it. Sadly it worked and continues to work brilliantly two and a half years after the event.

I'm no great seer, but if I was able to pick up on that, as a lowly layman, in real time, what does that say about the abilities or, more ominously, the motivations of our fourth estate?

Best regards,

PS I was unable to find the e-mail addresses of any of the contributing reporter for this article in the provided NYTimes e-mail list. Is there an updated version and how can I obtain it?

Readers, you see, the White House can't simultaneously be precise enough to include the words "significant quantities" but so general as to use the ridiculous phrase "from Africa." This shows that there were many cooks in the kitchen, so to speak.


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