Pre-War Intelligence: NYT's Bumiller Takes Anti-Bush Talking Points As Fact

The White House is counterattacking anti-war critics charging that "Bush lied" us into Iraq, and Elisabeth Bumiller files a short piece showing the vice president has joined in ("Cheney Says Senate War Critics Make 'Reprehensible Charges'"). Cheney was speaking to a Frontiers of Freedom gathering in Washington when he said those accusing Bush of manipulating war intelligence were making "one of the most dishonest and reprehensible charges ever aired in this city."The updated, online version of Bumiller's article claims:

"In his speech, Mr. Cheney echoed the argument of Mr. Bush and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld in the past week that Democrats had access to the same prewar intelligence that the White House did, and that they came to the same conclusion that Mr. Hussein was a threat. The administration, however, had access to far more extensive intelligence than Congress did. The administration also left unaddressed the question of how it had used that intelligence, which was full of caveats, subtleties and contradictions. Many Democrats now say they believe they had been misled by the administration in the way it presented the prewar intelligence."

The New York late edition hard copy of the paper has an even more bluntly biased take, again relaying Democratic talking points as assertions of undeniable fact:

"Mr. Cheney echoed the argument of Mr. Bush and Mr. Rumsfeld that Democrats had access to the same prewar intelligence that the White House did, and that they came to the same conclusion that Mr. Hussein was a threat. What Mr. Cheney, Mr. Bush and Mr. Rumsfeld left out was that the administration had access to far more extensive intelligence than Congress did. They also left unaddressed the question of how the administration had used that intelligence, which was full of caveats, subtleties and contradictions. Many Democrats now say that they believe they were misled by the administration in the way it presented the prewar intelligence, and that the White House distorted the conclusions."

(The White House responds to those charges on its web site (second item.)For more bias from the New York Times, visit TimesWatch.

Clay Waters
Clay Waters was director of Times Watch, a former project of the Media Research Center . Read more: http://archive.newsbusters.org/bios/clay-waters.html#ixzz3CdgxLFgQ