Thanks to Internet, Lies of Powerful are Quickly Exposed
Submitted by davidswanson on Sat, 2006-08-05 08:48. Activism
By Randy Shaw‚ http://www.beyondchron.org
The first week of August 2006 provided a case study in the indispensability of the Internet. I specifically refer to two issues: statements by embattled Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman that he had challenged the Bush Administration on the conduct of the Iraq war, and testimony by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld that he has “never painted a rosy picture" about Iraq. Rumsfeld insisted that he has been "very measured" and that "you would have a dickens of a time trying to find instances where I have been overly optimistic."
Prior to the Internet, a powerful official could issue a bald-faced lie and have it echo throughout the media all day before the record was set straight in the following day’s newspaper. But the Internet has changed this. Within hours of Joe Lieberman’s statement that he had challenged Bush on the Iraq war, bloggers at dailykos.com and elsewhere had come up with quote after quote of Lieberman’s praising Bush’s conduct of the war.
Even faster was the response to Rumsfeld’s astonishing claim that he has never been overly optimistic about Iraq. The folks at Think Progress.org comes up with a few such instances.
Dec. 18, 2002: KING: What's the current situation in Afghanistan? RUMSFELD: It is encouraging. They have elected a government through the Loya Jirga process. The Taliban are gone. The al Qaeda are gone.
Feb. 7, 2003: “It is unknowable how long that conflict will last. It could last six days, six weeks. I doubt six months.”
Feb. 20 2003: “‘Do you expect the invasion, if it comes, to be welcomed by the majority of the civilian population of Iraq?’ Jim Lehrer asked the defense secretary on PBS’ The News Hour. ‘There is no question but that they would be welcomed,’ Rumsfeld replied, referring to American forces.”
Exposing these lies won’t halt the death and devastation caused by America’s occupation of Iraq, but it helps set the record straight. The Internet’s ability to rapidly respond to lies has hurt Lieberman in his race against Ned Lamont, and it certainly has contributed to the Bush Administration’s sagging credibility regarding Iraq.
Those are two things two cheer about in these difficult times.
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