Roger L. Simon

Liar, Liar, Al Qaqaa Pants on Fire

… or is it the New York Times building? It must be embarrassing to be an employee of that newspaper today, assuming their partisan zeal has not overwhelmed normal human emotion, to find themselves humiliated by the Washington Times, of all institutions, a newspaper which a few years ago (yes, I admit it) I would barely have used to line my kitty litter.

But Bill Gertz of the Wash Times has a bombshell tonight, although I can’t say it truly shocks me. Jayson Blair did me a favor. I don’t trust the NYT anymore the way I did for fifty-some years of my life. Anyway, Gertz corroborates what we all know – the Times story of missing explosives was jerry-rigged propaganda concocted to make the president look bad and get Kerry elected. How could it have been otherwise? Obviously, the Times didn’t do the slightest bit of research on the matter. They just rushed the story out. Otherwise they might have found out what Gertz did – that the explosives were “almost certainly” moved before the war (logical, isn’t it?) and that Russian intelligence helped Saddam do it. This too is no surprise because anyone following the Iraq War story reasonably closely knows that the Russians were deeply enmeshed with the Iraqi mukhabarat at that time.

What’s even more embarrassing is that Times’ story is further discredited by that other organ of the “extreme right” ABC News. Apparently there was a “discrepancy” in the amount of missing explosives reported. It wasn’t the 380 tons of the Times’ story. According to ABC:

But the confidential IAEA documents obtained by ABC News show that on Jan. 14, 2003, the agency’s inspectors recorded that just over 3 tons of RDX was stored at the facility – a considerable discrepancy from what the Iraqis reported.

Oh, well, what’s 377 tons between friends?

Now look, we all have a right to be outraged. These are the same media which have been telling the country how badly the Iraq War is going. These are the same media who are lopsidedly favoring Kerry over Bush in this election. Only this time their partisanship may have trapped the Senator. In his excitement with the New York Times explosives story, Kerry has gone around the country trumpeting Bush’s “mistake” for anyone in shouting distance. Now it’s his mistake. Let’s hope the Senator has flipped his last flop.

UPDATE: Forgot to mention that I saw Paul Bremer being interviewed by Brit Hume tonight. This was evidently Bremer’s first appearance of this nature since returning and he made it to refute the Times’ explosives story. He said it would have been impossible for the dozens of trucks necessary to remove 380 tons of explosives at that time to have done so without having been noticed by US forces (well, maybe it was only 3 tons… then, who knows?). The roads were apparently empty then. I guess the Times didn’t want to ask about that either. One final thing – I wonder what John Burns, who did do some wonderful reporting from Iraq for the NYT thinks about all this.

UPDATE: Hindrocket and the Deacon (I’m sure the Big Trunk as well) are, not surprisingly, following this story as it unfolds. We all should be.

MORE: The Venerable Bear has a wrap-up.