Friday, September 10, 2004

CBS Explanation...Rather Lacking In Substance

So Dan Rather came out to defend CBS and the veracity of the documents. Many others have done a detailed analysis of his defense and how weak it really is. Check out Instapundit, Powerline, Hugh Hewitt to get a taste of what is wrong with the Dan Rather story and those documents.

To sum it up: The points brought up by Dan appear to have been thoroughly refuted.

The expert used by CBS is a specialist in handwriting NOT typed or computer generated documents. One of the officials at the TANG used by CBS now says that CBS told him the memos were handwritten. He feels misled and now has stated that in his opinion the memos are fraudulent. Another witness used by CBS is an anti-Bush author.

What does this all add up to? Shoddy work at the least by CBS...or an intentional smear job at the worst.

As I have stated before it is no wonder people are turning away from the mainstream media. They have a credibility problem and the fiasco at CBS just makes it worse.

Remember my post from a day or so ago about the editorialist upset about the internet and the bloggers? Well I am now even more convinced that the internet can and does provide a useful check against the mainstream media.

Think about this...without the internet and the bloggers, do you think CBS would be having the problems they currently have? Definitely not. Instead they would be beating Bush over the head with these "new documents" demanding an explanation.

The mainstream press needs to get their act together.

We are waiting...

They Are Authentic...Because We Said So!

CBS has offered an official statement regarding the documents. Look here
In a statement, CBS News said it stands by its story.

"This report was not based solely on recovered documents, but rather on a preponderance of evidence, including documents that were provided by unimpeachable sources, interviews with former Texas National Guard officials and individuals who worked closely back in the early 1970s with Colonel Jerry Killian and were well acquainted with his procedures, his character and his thinking," the statement read.

"In addition, the documents are backed up not only by independent handwriting and forensic document experts but by sources familiar with their content," the statement continued. "Contrary to some rumors, no internal investigation is underway at CBS News nor is one planned."
So we don't know who verified the document, who the sources are, who the TANG officials are, or people who worked with Lt. Col Killian are. But even though many NAMED document experts have questioned the authenticity of the documents...CBS ignores that and still says that their news division is standing behind the story.

Should we be skeptical? You bet! How would CBS react if a company or Bush, etc. said their investigations show everything to be trust us...we investigated ourselves and determined that we did a good job. CBS would be rightly skeptical and would demanding a deeper look.

Now the shoe is on the other foot and it is apparent that Dan Rather and CBS do not like being questioned...their attitude is that we should just trust them.

It was amusing watching TV earlier today when reporters where asking Dan Rather questions about his reporting. He looked very defensive and uncomfortable...after all...he prefers to be the one asking questions...not the one defending something.

We will see how this will play out. The pressure is sure to rise on CBS. How long can they go on not answering questions? Will they be smoked out and be forced to disclose where they got the documents and who authenticated them? Even if we don't find out where they come from, at the very least they should tell the public who verified the documents so the appropriate questions to these individuals can be asked.

After that the public can decide which set of experts tells a more compelling story.

We are waiting...

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Keeping The Old Media Honest

Earlier today Instapundit provided a link to this editorial.

Essentially this individual was unhappy with the way the internet, and bloggers in particular, are changing the way in which the old media funtions. He laments the fact that editors and reporters must now be careful about what they write about and how they write it. It is disconcerting to him that editors might now be more inclined to provide balancing stories or scrutinize their articles more closely for fairness and/or accuracy.

Isn't it exactly this type of mindset that has created the problem of credibility the old media faces today?

The problem with the media is/has been that in many instances they have been able to provide the public with news or stories without regard for facts and/or objectivity.

Now it is becoming apparent the internet and bloggers can and do influence the news. Today is an excellent example. CBS came out with a story about new documents relating to Bush and his service in the National Guard. Within 24 hours bloggers had reviewed the documents and called their authenticity into question. Now other news organizations are taking a critical look as well.

It is very likely that in the past questions about the authenticity of these documents would never have been seriously pursued.

The author of the above linked editor is unhappy with the internet and the bloggers. I disagree.

If the use of the internet and bloggers doing their own research helps to keep the media honest, doesn't the public at large benefit?

Isn't it better that news organizations will be more careful about what they report if they know that numerous people will be checking the accuracy of the news reports?

Isn't it better that news organizations shows the different sides of a story or issue?

While the editorialist was unhappy about this prospect, I am not.

The media has claimed for years that they are the nations watchdog. That is great. However the problem has been that they have never really been accountable themselves. Now due to the power of the internet, the media have their own watchdog. They are just starting to realize this, and are not happy. First it was the Swift Boat Vets that they tried to ignore, and now CBS gets hit hard first by bloggers related to their Bush AWOL story.

Right now the old media has to be thinking...."He Who Controls The Internet Controls The Future"...and fortunately for is not them!

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Pre-Emptive Strikes

Now that Russia also believes it has the right to strike pre-emptively, I wonder what Kerry's response will be?

Russia has claimed this right in the past and today that was reaffirmed by Col.-Gen. Yuri Baluyevsky. Link to the full story is here
Col.-Gen. Yuri Baluyevsky, chief of the general staff of Russia's armed forces, asserted Russia's right to strike terrorists beyond its borders.

"As for carrying out preventive strikes against terrorist bases ... we will take all measures to liquidate terrorist bases in any region of the world," he told reporters.

Anyway it is surprising to me that many on the Left are so strongly against a pre-emptive strike. Essentially they are advocating that we should get hit first and THEN respond. Pardon me, but I would much prefer attacking our enemies before they attack us. Seems like common sense don't you think?

Well you know the Left here doesn't like it. What about the Europeans to whom Kerry would like to defer to. Here is the quote from the same linked story by an EU official:
Udwin said the 25-nation EU is against "extra-judicial killings" in form of pre-emptive strikes.
The world has just witnessed a brutal attack on a school where hundreds of children were massacred...and yet the EU is against a pre-emptive strike to eliminate terrorists who commit such acts?


Do we really want to defer to the French and Germans as it is so plainly obvious the Kerry does?

I do not, and I believe the come November the majority of Americans will feel the same way and will vote accordingly.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

AWOL Again?

I am reading Drudge and see that the major news outlets will be pursuing the Bush-National Guard Story again. Furthermore Kitty Kelly will be on the TV promoting her book.

I think this is a great example of how the press treats Bush vs Kerry. When the Swift Boat Vets came out with their book, the press and TV ignored them. Now Kitty Kelly comes out with a book full of accusations...she will be on TV. I am not saying she is lying, etc. We can go into that later. I simply want to point out the difference in the way the candidates are treated when allegations come up.

The press promotes allegations against Bush yet seems to attempt to discredit allegations against Kerry.

I would like to know what is the standard whereby Kitty Kelly and her book (alleging cocaine use at Camp David) gets to be on TV (NBC) and the Swift Boat Vets are dismissed as partisan?

How many times must the press bring up the National Guard angle? It is interesting that they seem to pursue the idea that maybe Bush is hiding something and that the accusations are true. Yet their attitude towards the Kerry Vietnam stories show a completely different take. They are skeptical with regards to the stories about Kerry. This is even more interesting based on the fact that as a result of the Swift Boat Vets...Kerry has had to back of some of his stories.

If the treatment of the two candidates by the press does not show a bias, I don't know what does? This is why more and more people are turning away from the mainstream media.

I for one would like the standards by which one set of accusations are pursued vigorously while another are dismissed.

We at the very least deserve consistency on the part of media.

We are waiting...

Innocent Religion Is Now A Message Of Hate

This article is taken from the Telegraph in the UK. Below is the article and here is the link. It is time for more Muslims to stand up for what is right. To often we hear little from the Muslim community when acts of terror occur.

It is a certain fact that not all Muslims are terrorists, but it is equally certain, and exceptionally painful, that almost all terrorists are Muslims.

The hostage-takers of children in Beslan, North Ossetia, were Muslims. The other hostage-takers and subsequent murderers of the Nepalese chefs and workers in Iraq were also Muslims. Those involved in rape and murder in Darfur, Sudan, are Muslims, with other Muslims chosen to be their victims.

Those responsible for the attacks on residential towers in Riyadh and Khobar were Muslims. The two women who crashed two airliners last week were also Muslims.

Bin Laden is a Muslim. The majority of those who manned the suicide bombings against buses, vehicles, schools, houses and buildings, all over the world, were Muslim.

What a pathetic record. What an abominable "achievement". Does all this tell us anything about ourselves, our societies and our culture?

These images, when put together, or taken separately, are shameful and degrading. But let us start with putting an end to a history of denial. Let us acknowledge their reality, instead of denying them and seeking to justify them with sound and fury signifying nothing.

For it would be easy to cure ourselves if we realise the seriousness of our sickness. Self-cure starts with self-realisation and confession. We should then run after our
terrorist sons, in the full knowledge that they are the sour grapes of a deformed culture.

Let us listen to Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the Sheikh - the Qatar-based radical Egyptian cleric - and hear him recite his "fatwa" about the religious permissibility of killing civilian Americans in Iraq. Let us contemplate the incident of this religious Sheikh allowing, nay even calling for, the murder of civilians.

This ailing Sheikh, in his last days, with two daughters studying in "infidel" Britain, soliciting children to kill innocent civilians.

How could this Sheikh face the mother of the youthful Nick Berg, who was slaughtered in Iraq because he wanted to build communication towers in that ravished country? How can we believe him when he tells us that Islam is the religion of mercy and peace while he is turning it into a religion of blood and slaughter?

In a different era, we used to consider the extremists, with nationalist or Leftist leanings, a menace and a source of corruption because of their adoption of violence as a means of discourse and their involvement in murder as an easy shortcut to their objectives.

At that time, the mosque used to be a haven, and the voice of religion used to be that of peace and reconciliation. Religious sermons were warm behests for a moral order and an ethical life.

Then came the Neo-Muslims. An innocent and benevolent religion, whose verses prohibit the felling of trees in the absence of urgent necessity, that calls murder the most heinous of crimes, that says explicitly that if you kill one person you have
killed humanity as a whole, has been turned into a global message of hate and a
universal war cry.

We can't call those who take schoolchildren as hostages our own.

We cannot tolerate in our midst those who abduct journalists, murder civilians, explode buses; we cannot accept them as related to us, whatever the sufferings they claim to justify their criminal deeds. These are the people who have smeared Islam and stained its image.

We cannot clear our names unless we own up to the shameful fact that terrorism has become an Islamic enterprise; an almost exclusive monopoly, implemented by Muslim men and women.

We cannot redeem our extremist youths, who commit all these
heinous crimes, without confronting the Sheikhs who thought it ennobling to
re-invent themselves as revolutionary ideologues, sending other people's sons
and daughters to certain death, while sending their own children to European and
American schools and colleges.

Abdel Rahman al-Rashed is general manager of Al- Arabiya news channel. Yesterday, his article appeared in the pan-Arabic newspaper Al-Sharq Al-Awsat.

Monday, September 06, 2004

9/11 Commission Revisited

It goes without saying that both parties play politics. I do however wish an honest debate on the merits of the proposals put forth by the 9/11 Commission would take place. I think our politicians owe us a duty to act with care and to put the interests of the country ahead of the interests of a particular political party.

This however does not appear to be the case:
From the IHT: Stage set for showdown as U.S. Congress returns

Democrats say they will pressure Republicans to fully embrace all 41 recommendations of the Sept. 11 commission, or face the political consequences
Isn't our national security too important to be playing this kind of politics with?

Just because the commission made some proposals does not mean that all of them should be enacted. If we had a responsible press they would make sure that a dialogue took place and that a careful examination of each proposal took place prior to it being enacted.

My feeling however is that if the Republicans balk at any proposal, the Dems will say they are irresponsible, and the press will play along without really looking to see if either sides position has merit. Dissappointing....

We need to demand accountability on the part of our parties. Theoretically the press would help in this accountability process. However if as I suspect, the press will play along with the Dems on this one, and it will be just another reason why they continue to lose credibility. Let us see how the press handles this one.

We are waiting...

Sunday, September 05, 2004

There Will Be No Bounce After The Convention

Ah the talking heads on TV. After Kerry got no bounce at all, the conventional wisdom was that the country was too evenly divided for either candidate to get a bounce.

Well that analysis was way off. Oh well, they will move on to another topic and not even admit another mistake.

Newsweek Poll: Bush 54 Kerry 43
Time: Bush 52 Kerry 41

As the others come out, it will be interesting to see the results.

And a humorous item from the Kerry Spot on NRO

DOH! [09/04 01:38 PM]

From the Washington Times:

Tad Devine, Sen. John Kerry’s senior advisor, told the Washington Times that he does not think that the Swift Boat veterans’ ads, which attacked Kerry's Vietnam War record, have hurt the campaign.

“Fundamentally, I don’t think they reshaped the race at all,” Devine said. “If they did, the president would be 10 points ahead, not in a dead-heat horse race.”

Well take a look at the polls above.

Anyway for those of you that do not read NRO and its Kerry Spot, I highly recommned that you do.

Surrender Now?

I came across this post and found it humorous...too bad some people actually spout off and believe stuff such as this.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

The 9/11 Commission

I have a few comments about the 9/11 commission and the recommendations that followed.

1) Bush has indicated that he will institute many of the recommendations.
2) Kerry has indicated that he is ready to institute all the measures and criticizes Bush for not doing the same.

While it may be that the commission did a good job in terms of recommendations....shouldn't there be a discussion about what may or may not be good recommendations?

After all these recommendations propose to fundamentally change the structure of how intelligence is processed.

Right now it looks like both parties want to "look" like they are doing something and as such it is politically difficult to question any of the recommendations.

This topic is too important. There must be a national discussion regarding the merits of the proposals. If some are good institute them, if some don't work eliminate them, if some are decent improve on them.

If we are going to make fundamental changes to our intelligence structure lets make damn sure it gets done right!

The Unkown Face Of Terrorism

In the speeches of Zell Miller and Dick Cheney last night there was an emphasis on the defense of the US and what we needed to do as a country to confront this global menace. Immediately the media pundits and Democrats denounced both speeches. Miller's as too harsh and Cheney's as out of touch with the mainstream.

This attitude I believe shows a lack of vision or just a plain desire on the part of these groups that this topic will just go away. Elect Kerry and the world will respect us and we will prosecute a more "sensitive" war on terror.


The problem will not go away if we defer or consult with France or Germany. Quite the contrary, the US and our allies need to confront terrorism head on. The cost of winning will be high, but the cost of appeasement is sure to be higher.

Why is it that the Democrats do not seem to place a high priority on terrorism? In part I believe that a focus on terrorism restricts the ability to expand their "government is a solution for everything" agenda. There is definitely a strong contingency within the Democrats that believe this.

What about the others?

Since 9/11 we have talked about terrorism and the terrible toll it takes on human lives. However in our world today everything is a sound-bite or quick image on the screen. We have seen very little of the human cost of terrorism on television. The networks and cable news shows seem very reluctant to show any of the horrifying images of terrorism at work.

Is this a concerted effort on the part of media? I don't' believe there is any conspiracy, however showing the true cost of terrorism does not seem to fit their agenda.

Why don't' we see images of the planes crashing into the WTC? Are they too shocking for the public at large? Doubtful. I am sure most of us can handle the images. Do they bring back memories? Absolutely! Do the put into perspective the reason why we fight terrorism? Absolutely!

While I do not want to be inundated with the images, it is important to remind the public at large what terrorists have done in the past and what they could do in the future.

In Iraq we hear about hostages being taken and their subsequent executions. While I am not advocating putting up the films of their executions on television, I think that the media should show selected still images.

Just a few days ago a group of Nepalese workers were brutally executed. The film is graphic beyond belief. One man has his throat slit by a man with a knife while another holds the victim. The camera focuses on the act and then lingers as you can hear the mans tortured last breaths.

Absolutely horrifying. Words cannot describe the depraved cruelty of the executioners.

Then the film goes on to show men lying on their stomachs as a man comes by with an AK-47 and shots them one by one in the head.

I have seen many of the other executions in film, and I think this one has to be the worst.

I believe many against our war on terrorism do not really see the true evil nature of who we are fighting and why we are fighting them. Our press should show these images to the public at large. It will not convince everyone that is certain.

However I feel there are many in the Democratic party that if they were aware of the brutality of the terrorists would support a more robust action against these groups.

People need to see who we are fighting, what these groups are capable of doing, to put into perspective the actions of the US and our allies over the past few years.

This perspective should then help to clarify the important issues of this election and why it is so important to tackle the threat of terrorism head on.

In my opinion only one candidate has expressed a strong willingness to continue this fight, and that man is George W Bush.