NYT Lets Jeb Get Away With Lying About Iraq
by Deacon Blues
There's been much to write about of late, but I'm consciously trying to avoid the Trump/Fox News scam until after Labor Day to see whether or not Trump is a real problem for the GOP. In the mean time, I did want to comment on Jeb Bush's attempt to blame Hillary and Obama for the creation of ISIS when in fact his brother W and Cheney deserve all the credit for that.
For some reason, Jeb has decided to show his foreign policy bona fides by grabbing the third rail of Iraq, and blaming others for what his brother and Cheney actually did. The most recent example was yesterday, when Jeb gave a speech at the Reagan Library and blamed Hillary for ISIS. As bad as that was, the New York Times reported Jeb's misdirection attempt as if they were stenographers, without adding any factual context that would show how pathetic Jeb's smear really was.
Hillary has her share of responsibility for Obama's foreign policy missteps, but not on Iraq and Afghanistan. The NYT failed to note in their piece that multiple independent accounts and books over the last several years have clearly established that Joe Biden and the White House staff drove policy on Iraq and Afghanistan rather than Foggy Bottom. Furthermore, there is no reference in the NYT story to the fact that in order for our forces to remain in Iraq in any military capacity, the Iraqis and Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki needed to accept a new Status of Forces Agreement on immunity protections for our troops, which they refused to do. Lastly, it was W who set the withdrawal timeframe that Obama lived up to.
If Jeb wants to criticize a Secretary of State for standing by while ISIS started and grew, he really then should be criticizing Condi Rice, who did nothing herself during the 2005-2007 period when Al Qaeda in Iraq and then ISIS grew in the vacuum caused by W and Cheney's disastrous policy. The NYT could have mentioned those facts in its piece, but instead it chose to do stenography for Jeb.
For his part, Jeb is strangely choosing to wade directly into the Iraq debacle rather than steer clear of it. Democrats should punch him loudly and often for doing so. Yet I can't see why the media lets Jeb get away with it, unless we're about to see a sad replay of Bush Media Ownership 2.0.
Update: You would think that the "newspaper of record", as the NYT likes to think of itself, would run a story in the same edition or the next day pointing out the inaccuracies in Jeb's misdirection attempt. But no, the NYT is too tired from its stenography, and has moved on to breathlessly covering the latest in Hillary's email stupidity. Instead, leave it to the fine journalists at McClatchy, including the all-star Jonathan Landay to point out that Jeb was flat out wrong in his attacks. Landay and other reporters at Knight-Ridder, and then McClatchy were all over the lies that led us to war way back when it took bravery to go against the NYT and Judith Miller's knee-padding of Dick Cheney. They and the Post's Walter Pincus knew all along that the case for war was suspect at best, and that despite the white-washing from the Bush Royal Family and their accomplices inside the CIA, there was serious disagreements within foreign intelligence services about Saddam's alleged WMD capabilities. But the NYT's and the Post's editors couldn't be bothered with such due diligence, and it looks like the New York Times is leading us back to Bush Media Ownership 2.0.