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Name: Antony Loewenstein
Home: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
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Sunday, April 10, 2005

Where's the outrage?

The Guardian reports: "UK intelligence chiefs have admitted for the first time that claims they made about Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction were wrong and have not been substantiated. The admission is revealed in the annual report of the parliamentary intelligence and security committee which also sharply criticises the lack of communication between ministers and the Secret Intelligence Service, MI6."

This story has received no media coverage in Australia (though I'm happy to be corrected.) It's scandalous that none of the major broadsheets, from the Sydney Morning Herald to Murdoch's Australian, deem this important enough to even warrant a paragraph, let alone a front page. Before the war, journalists were constantly channelling government propaganda on WMDs. As late as February this year, Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer was still talking up Saddam's WMDs. Take this money quote:

"He's [Saddam] the only leader in history who has used chemical weapons or any other sort of weapons of mass destruction against his own people."

Clearly the use of Agent Orange by the Americans in Vietnam was, as Ronald Reagan once said, "a noble cause." Saddam's use of chemical weapons, sanctioned and supported by the West, was outrageous. But it's equally important to recognise Western responsibility for suffering in foreign lands.

7 Comments:

Blogger David Heidelberg said...

The overwhelming sentiment within the Right-Wing Blogosphere, appears to be that the ends justified the means.

There is no engagement on the subject. The minute it is pointed out that deliberate and malicious lies were used to justify the invasion, you are immediately labeled as pro-Saddam, Pro-Terrorist etc etc....May as well slam your head against a wall. So frustrating.

Sunday, April 10, 2005 8:51:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

It is frustrating, but vital to continue explaining and pushing the point, otherwise the US and its so-called allies will seriously consider invading Iran and God knows where else.
Robert Fisk told me recently in Beirut that sometimes it's important to keep on reporting the truth, and telling it over and over again, even though you may have said or written it SO many times.
Iraq is no different.

Sunday, April 10, 2005 10:09:00 pm  
Blogger Jozef Imrich, Esq. said...

Indeed, Antony ...

According to Google there is no report in Australia in relation to the earth shattering admission:

UK Spy Bosses Admit WMD Claim Wrong

Sunday, April 10, 2005 10:14:00 pm  
Blogger Jozef Imrich, Esq. said...

Not yet, but this could change by Monday morning ... and the antipodean link might appear among the aggregated cluster on Google ...

Sunday, April 10, 2005 10:16:00 pm  
Anonymous Richard said...

Tony Blair admitted about a year ago that WMD intelligence was wrong, did he not? This is redundant coming from the British government, and that's probably why it hasn't been much reported internationally.

Monday, April 11, 2005 3:15:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Being "wrong", it should be noted, is not the same thing as "lying".

Lying should induce outrage. Not making a judgement that (in hindsight) was erroneous.

Anyone who is 'outraged' by intelligence agencies getting something wrong is simply naive and ignorant of the tenuous nature of intelligence gathering.

Thursday, April 14, 2005 3:59:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

Point is, the intelligence services were passing onto govts reports with many 'maybes', 'kindas', 'not definitive' etc and the govts took this info and took out the caveats. The message was clear. We need to take action NOW! And, many intelligence agencies and their masters were manipulated and pressured.

Thursday, April 14, 2005 7:30:00 pm  

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