The NY Times: The Liberal Media At Its Worst

Scott Krummey

Who says a liberal bias doesn’t exist in the media? On Monday, a front page headline in The New York Times read that about 380 tons of weapons are missing from the al-Qaqaa weapons facility in Iraq. The report contends that the loss of these weapons is another reckless infraction by President Bush. However, reality is far from what it appears in the Times. Instead, this story reveals a coordinated attack on President Bush in the latest desperate attempt by Democrats to disregard the truth in the pursuit of power. Put simply, this whole story is grossly misrepresented. News of missing weapons at al-Qaqaa is nearly 17 months old, and it has already been reported that the weapons were missing prior to the invasion of Iraq by U.S. and coalition forces. In January 2003, U.N. weapons inspectors visited the site and inventoried the weapons, marking them with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) stickers. This was the last time the weapons were seen. On April 3, the third Infantry Division moved through and reported no marked weapons present. A week later, on April 10, CBS correspondent Dana Lewis reported – while embedded with the 101st Airborne Division – that nothing within the facility was marked with the U.N. stickers. The factual, reported evidence shows that weapons were found and marked in January, but by April, they were gone. In fact, assuming the weapons were still there in April, the very notion that 380 tons of weapons could be “looted” under anybody’s watch is ludicrous. Moving a weapons cache of this magnitude would require a massive effort, not the covert operations of insurgents – as current stories imply. According to the U.N.’s Iraqi Survey Group, there are nearly 8,700 ammunition storage sites in Iraq, and U.S. and coalition forces have secured around 600,000 tons of weapons. Try finding that on the front cover of theTimes. Although the story doesn’t offer much of an indictment of the Bush administration, it does have political implications of a different sort. First, this story has provided another opportunity for John Kerry to show his true colors. Before most Americans were even home to read the story, the Kerry campaign was calling this story a “great blunder” by President Bush. A television ad is in the works that criticizes Bush along the same lines. Good thing they cared to check the merit of a story that was contradicted less than ten hours after breaking. Integrity, integrity, integrity, right? Second, this story provides insight into the activities of one Saddam Hussein. Aside from housing thousands of tons of explosives (supplied in-part by the French), al-Qaqaa is one of the sites where Saddam pursued his nuclear projects in the 1980s and other WMDs in the 1990s. Consider what we do know – that the weapons were there in January, but not April. This is evidence that in the months preceding the invasion, Saddam was moving materials from his WMD development sites that likely contained at least parts of such a weapon. Now, most importantly, where does a story such as this come from? It turns out, straight from the usual suspects. A good place to start is with the U.N.’s IAEA, the agency that last inspected al-Qaqaa. Perhaps not by coincidence, the IAEA is a corrupt organization that has been under scrutiny from the Pentagon because, among other charges, there is evidence that Iran was receiving advice on how to circumvent weapons inspectors. On October 15, the IAEA informed the government that a story about the missing weapons was “likely to leak.” Well, leak it did, right into the waiting arms of the Times and CBS’s 60 Minutes, who planned to break the story on October 31. Does this sound familiar to anybody? At the very least, the Bush administration is not remotely responsible for the disappearance of weapons from al-Qaqaa. When viewed with the facts, the connection between the two is nonexistent. What does exist is evidence of a coordinated effort to slander President Bush in the eleventh hour of the election season – presumably before the story can be justly refuted to most Americans. Luckily, though, Americans are used to hearing convoluted attacks on the President. But it is high time that we stopped accepting it.