Friday, September 09, 2005

ABC bias watch

Colin Powell was interviewed by ABC News recently. I just took a look at an article about the interview and saw the following subtitle for one of the sections:

Making False Case for War Still 'Painful'

There are two ways to read the above.

The obvious way is to see Powell as regretting having lied. In fact, the article doesn't say that. It says:

When Powell left the Bush administration in January 2005, he was widely seen as having been at odds with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Vice President Dick Cheney over foreign policy choices.

It was Powell who told the United Nations and the world that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and posed an imminent threat. He told Walters that he feels "terrible" about the claims he made in that now-infamous address — assertions that later proved to be false.

When asked if he feels it has tarnished his reputation, he said, "Of course it will. It's a blot. I'm the one who presented it on behalf of the United States to the world, and [it] will always be a part of my record. It was painful. It's painful now."

He doesn't blame former CIA Director George Tenet for the misleading information he says he pored over for days before delivering his speech; he faults the intelligence system.

"George Tenet did not sit there for five days with me misleading me. He believed what he was giving to me was accurate. ...The intelligence system did not work well," he said.

Nonetheless, Powell said, some lower-level personnel in the intelligence community failed him and the country. "There were some people in the intelligence community who knew at that time that some of these sources were not good, and shouldn't be relied upon, and they didn't speak up. That devastated me," he said.

...which leads us to the second way to read the subtitle: Powell regrets having made a case for war using information that proved to be false.

It's a crucial difference, wouldn't you agree? I smell bias. A writer can feign wide-eyed innocence and contend that the second interpretation is what he had in mind. But that would be a weaselly reaction, ja? Yeah, I think so, too.


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