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to/from the Windsor Star re. Saddam and 9/11

 
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Post Post subject: to/from the Windsor Star re. Saddam and 9/11 Reply with quote

Now that we are in the internet age, and can access papers from other countries more easily than ever, I hope you Brits can help Canadians like me media pressure our media as well. Please check out http://www.en-camino.org/. It was put together by a group of Canadians inspired by Media Lens.

Below is an exchange with my home town to show you what we are up against.
_____________________________________________________________

To John Coleman, letters page editor at Windsor Star: Dec 23, 2003

David Warren's op-ed of December 16 made a great fuss about a "clinching document" that proved a link between Saddam Hunssein and 9/11. The UK's Sunday Telegraph was provided the document by a US appointed member of Iraq's Governing Council. Newsweek reported on December 19 that according to US officials the document is most likely a forgery and "part of a thriving new trade in dubious Iraqi documents that has cropped up in the wake of the collapse of Saddam's regime." Newsweek also reported that Con Coughlin, who wrote the article that Warren referenced, told them "...he and his newspaper had 'no way of verifying it. It's our job as journalists to air these things and see what happens,'..."

Newspapers should not prominently feature articles that make dubious claims and then bury information that debunks them in the back pages, if they appear at all. I trust you will run this letter to show you do not engage in that type of journalism.

Joe Emersberger

SOURCES

Newsweek: "Dubious Link Between Atta and Saddam: A document tying the Iraqi leader with the 9/11 terrorist is probably fake": December 19, http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3741646/

Editor & Publisher: "When Will Press Stop Circulating Dubious Iraq Claims? :Atta-Hussein Document Probably Bogus ",By Greg Mitchell

John Coleman responded that he would have to contact David Warren before he could publish my letter:

"When someone questions a writer's work i always pass it along to
them first for comment. There may be more to the story. Let's see what he
has to say.
happy holidays jc. "

Mr. Coleman,
>
> Thanks for replying. I appreciate that you will pass my note on to Warren.
> However, given how prominently you featured his piece shouldn't you at
> least run a brief note, if not my letter, indicating that those claims
> have been discredited? You can easily check my sources. Surely you do not
> want your readers to be misinformed.
>
> Please feel free to pass my e-mail address along to Warren.
>
> Regards,
>
> Joe Emersberger


I followed up on January 10, 2004:

Did David Warren ever get back to you about the matter I wrote to you
> about? I wrote to him directly and he has not responded.
>
> Joe Emersberger

Colman responds:

"i will resend your email to him jc."


I then received a reply from David Warren himself. I had also wrote to him about his piece on the Saddam/Al Qaeda connection. Warren wrote:

"Still following this story. The denials are from the same sources & use the
same sort of reasoning as against the Atta trip to Prague -- which turned
out to be true. The sources for the Atta-Abu Nidal connexion are good, &
make sense; & I'm not going to discard them on the grounds that people who
think all such connexions are improbable think this connexion is improbable."

I immediately forwarded this along to Coleman with the following comments:

Mr. Coleman:

I finally received a reply from David Warren (see below). For reasons which he doesn't explain, he believes that the CIA and FBI are in denial about the Saddam-Al Qaeda alliance. In fact, in the article I responded to Warren wrote that "Western intelligence is now working on this direct link between Saddam Hussein and the attacks Atta led on 9/11/01 -- after years of trying to ignore it."

Perhaps he believes the CIA has been taken over by anti-war radicals. I don't know. But your readers should be aware that "Western Intelligence" has dismissed the "cliching evidence" Warren cited.

The failure to find WMD in Iraq should make it obvious that intelligence agencies are not above sacrificing the quality of their work to please their
bosses. It speaks volumes about how little evidence there is of an Al-Qaeda-Saddam alliance that the intelligence agencies have denied it.

I request that you run the letter below in full. Basically, it is the one I sent you originally with a few extra points made.

Regards,

Joe Emersberger

Here is the letter I then asked Coleman to run:

David Warren's op-ed of December 16 made a great fuss about a "clinching document" that proved a link between Saddam Hunssein and 9/11. The UK's Sunday Telegraph was provided the document by a US appointed member of Iraq's Governing Council. Newsweek reported on December 19 that according to US officials the document is most likely a forgery and "part of a thriving new trade in dubious Iraqi documents that has cropped up in the wake of the collapse of Saddam's regime." Newsweek also reported that Con Coughlin, who wrote the article that Warren referenced, told them "...he and his newspaper had 'no way of verifying it. It's our job as journalists to air these things and see what happens,'..."

Newspapers should not prominently feature articles that make dubious claims and then bury information that debunks them in the back pages, if they appear at all. In the US this type of journalism has led people to believe many things that are false.

After the war a third of the US public believed that WMD had been found and 20% actually believed they had been used! (poll results published June 4, 2003 by the Program on International Policy Attitudes). Polls have also revealed that half the US public believes Saddam was personally involved in the 9-11 bombings and that Iraqis were among the hijackers.(NYT, March 22, 2003).

I trust the Star will publish this letter to show that it does not simply act as a conduit for misinformation.

COLEMAN'S REPLY TO ME JAN 16,2004

"I'm glad he responded to you.
i'm ok with your letter but not the second paragraph. we have one
paper saying one thing. another magazine saying another. the second agrees
with you're thinking so the first is wrong. i don't think that lead to
charges of burying information. If you want to argue with warren fine.

sincerely john coleman"

Mr Coleman:

I do not assume that Newsweek agrees with me.
I assume that Newsweek is not lying when they report that US intelligence officials have dismissed the theory of an Iraq-Al Qaeda alliance or of any involvement by Iraqis in the 9/11 bombings. I also assume that US intelligence officials would have every incentive to prove such theories, contrary to what Warren asserts. After all, US intelligence answers to the Bush administration, not anti-war protesters.

My contention that the US media has buried information is born out by the polls that I cited. They show that the US public has been made appallingly ignorant of the most basic facts about the war. The ignorance is such that it helps Bush administration maintain support for the war. That is compelling evidence that the US media has not allowed false claims to be challenged nearly as often as they are made.

The pro-war bias of the US media has also been revealed by detailed analysis of its coverage

The media watchdog group FAIR took a close look at US network news coverage in the months before the war:

"Of the U.S. guests, a striking 75 percent (199) were
either current or former government or military officials. Only one of
the official U.S. sources-- Sen. Edward Kennedy (D.-Mass.)-- expressed
skepticism or opposition to the war.....

Of all 393 sources, only three (less than 1 percent) were
identified with organized protests or anti-war groups"

I could add to my letter to better back up may views on the media. I'd be glad to do it if you will publish it.

Regards,

Joe Emersberger

see FAIR media alert March 18, 2003

I recieved nothing more from Mr. Coleman.
Wed Jan 28, 2004 2:53 am
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