Wednesday, November 20, 2019
123RF
Journalism

Selective Accountability

I suppose that NBC’s “Meet The Press” isn’t part of the “liberal media.” Tim Russert, leading a discussion about the declaration of War on Iraq, aired quotes from two prominent Democrats who were in support (at the time) of war.

The first was from an October, 2002 speech by Hillary Clinton:

“It’s clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological, chemical warfare and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons. Should he succeed in that endeavor, he could alter the political and security landscape of the Middle East, which as we know all too well, affects American security. This much is undisputed.”

The second was from an October 9, 2002, speech by John Kerry:

“Mr. President, when I vote to give the president of the United States the authority to use force if necessary to disarm Saddam Hussein, because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a threat and a grave threat to our security and that of our allies in the Persian Gulf region.”

Ultra-Liberals will tell you that Clinton and Kerry were mislead by President Bush and his “flawed facts.” They might suggest that those lawmakers should have been able to depend on our intelligence information without having to question what that data really showed. They might scream that those Democratic lawmakers were simply patsies in an evil Republican plot.

At the same time, Michael Moore, in his propaganda film, Fahrenheit 9/11, slams lawmakers who he claims never bothered to check the facts about the Patriot Act before signing it into law. After having the need for tougher homeland security explained to them, they were so eager to get the Patriot Act passed, it is inferred, that they didn’t bother to read it in its entirety. One of the well-publicized clips from the film has Moore driving around in what appears to be an ice cream truck reading exerpts of the Patriot Act over loudspeakers so that the lawmakers can actually hear what they voted into law.

So which is it? Do our lawmakers have any responsibility in what goes on, or are they culpable right along with the man in the White House, who can’t do a great deal without Congressional support to begin with? Should they be expected to listen to governmental advisors for the information they need in their decision-making process, or should they each do their own research to find the truth of every matter before them? Where, exactly, does the finger-pointing begin…and where does it end?

Speaking of the man in the White House, Russert also aired a tape of Bill Clinton from 1998 in which he referred to the critical need for weapons inspections in Iraq to confirm the presence of (hold onto your seat!) “weapons of mass destruction:”

“What if [Saddam] fails to comply and we fail to act, or we take some ambiguous third route, which gives him yet more opportunities to develop this program of weapons of mass destruction? Well, he will conclude that the international community has lost his will–its will. He will then conclude that he can go right on and do more to rebuild an arsenal of devastating destruction. And someday, some way, I guarantee you, he’ll use the arsenal.”

Contrary to popular opinion, neither the belief that Saddam was building weapons of mass destruction, nor the idea of him using them against the United States, appeared out of thin air on the day of George W. Bush’s inauguration. If we were truly wrong on both counts, it would seem we’ve been wrong for more than four years.

I’d be happy to drop the bickering over which party was wrong when if we could then entertain a level-headed debate about what both parties are doing to make sure no more “mistakes” occur in the next four years!

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 28 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.