Urban legand ?

  1. I was sent an e- mail by a relative who saw this DNC ad once. She said the letter below it was from the RNC attorney. She is a registered Republican and says it is all true.
    Have you seen this ad?
    "The New DNC Ad:" Read His Lips"
    In his State of the Union address, George W. Bush told us of an imminent threat.
    BUSH: Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.
    America took him at his word. But now we find out that it wasn't true.
    The CIA knew it. The State Department knew it. The White House knew it. [New York Times, 7/6/03; NBC News, 6/26/03]
    It's time to tell the truth. Hold President Bush accountable with an independent, bipartisan investigation. Go to www.democrats.org/truth to sign the petition. Because America deserves the truth."
    ---------------------
    Do you think this letter is genuine?
    The Republican National Committee is trying to intimidate TV stations into not running the ads. Here's the letter its lawyer sent to TV stations.
    Dear Station Manager:
    It has come to our attention that your station will begin airing false and misleading advertisements on July 21, 2003, paid for by the Democratic National Committee. The advertisement in question misrepresents President George W. Bush's January 28, 2003, State of the Union address. The advertisement states that President Bush said, "Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa." In fact, President Bush said, "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa." By selectively quoting President Bush, the advertisement is deliberately false and misleading. Furthermore, the British government continues to stand by its intelligence and asserts that it believes the intelligence is genuine.
    The Democratic National Committee certainly has a legitimate First Amendment right to participate in political debate, but it has no right to willfully spread false information in a deliberate attempt to mislead the American people. These advertisements will not be run by legally qualified candidates; therefore, your station is under no legal obligation to air them. On the contrary, as an FCC licensee you have the responsibility to exercise independent editorial judgment to not only oversee and protect the American marketplace of ideas, essential for the health of our democracy, but also to avoid deliberate misrepresentations of the facts. Such obligations must be taken seriously.
    This letter puts you on notice that the information contained in the above-cited advertisement is false and misleading; therefore, you are obligated to refrain from airing this advertisement.
    Respectfully,
    Caroline C. Hunter
    Counsel
    •  
  2. 15 Comments

  3. by   WashYaHands
    On July 25, the Democratic National Committee placed a full-page ad in the New York Times with this message above a photo of President Bush delivering his State of the Union Address: "America took President Bush at his word. '...Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.' But now we find out that it wasn't true. The CIA knew it. The State Department knew it. [Washington Post, 7/23/03; Time 7/21/03] But he said it anyway. It's time to tell the truth."

    Those three dots before Saddam indicate that these six words were omitted: "The British government has learned that." It was necessary to omit them in order to justify the claim that what Bush said was not true. The truth is that the British government maintained then and still maintains that it had reliable information from sources that it could not share with the CIA that Iraq had recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.The New York Times used to check ads of this type for accuracy. If they found anything that they thought was inaccurate, they insisted that it be corrected. Accuracy in Media has placed a number of ads in the Times over the years, and we have occasionally had to defend the accuracy of the copy we submitted or make a change that the Times demanded. Unless the Times has proof that the British government is lying, it should have required the Democratic National Committee to include the six omitted words and provide the evidence that proves that the British were lying and that the CIA, the State Department and the White House all knew it.

    The DNC is sending out e-mail that conveys a message similar to that in the New York Times ad, but it omits the three dots that represent the omission of the attribution to the British government. We tried to find out if those dots were inserted in the ad at the insistence of the Times, but we couldn't get an answer from the advertising department.The claim that the president's statement is known to be false is based on the fact that there is a crude forgery relating to an alleged Iraqi approach to Niger for the purchase of uranium. This, however, does not prove that there was no approach to Niger or another African country.

    Herbert Romerstein, an expert on Soviet disinformation techniques, had a column in the Washington Times on July 21 in which he says, "The crude forgeries were designed to be exposed to discredit the truth about Saddam's nuclear program." He says the Iraqi intelligence service was trained to use this trick by the Soviet KGB.He cites another example of this trick, which is known as "poisoning the well." A forgery was perpetrated to discredit the London Telegraph's discovery of documents in the Iraqi Foreign Ministry building that revealed that George Galloway, an ultra-left Labour member of Parliament, had been on Saddam's payroll big time. This was followed by a discovery by the Christian Science Monitor of documents confirming this, but they turned out to be forgeries and the Monitor had to apologize for its story about them. Romerstein says, "Mr. Galloway and his friends are now using the exposure of the Christian Science Monitor forgeries to try to discredit the authentic London Telegraph documents."

    The New York Times had published on its op-ed page an account by a former ambassador, Joseph C. Wilson, of a trip he had made to Niger to find out if there was any valid evidence that there was an Iraqi effort to acquire uranium. Romerstein addresses this, noting that Wilson, who had worked for two Democrats, Sen. Al Gore and Rep. Tom Foley, wrote that he spent eight days drinking sweet mint tea and meeting with dozens of people in Niger and it didn't take him long to conclude that there had been no Niger uranium sale to Iraq. Romerstein comments, "Intelligence information comes in bits and pieces. Communication intercepts, photographs and agents on the scene are the most valuable sources. The least valuable is the diplomatic cocktail party chitchat that may add a snippet of information to the story."

    The DNC apparently didn't clear its ad with Bill Clinton. He told Larry King the Democrats should quit harping on this matter. His advice evoked favorable comment from some Democrats on Capitol Hill, but he apparently didn't clear it with Hillary. She repeated her call for an independent investigation of the matter.

    Link to article

    Democrats are taking a partial quote from the President, leaving out, "the British government has learned that" and insinuating that he lied. He didn't lie. He stated what he knew according to British intelligence. Therefore, the democrats statement that the President lied is false. Using only part of the Presidents quote is misleading. I think the American public is smart enough to realize that.
    Last edit by WashYaHands on Aug 8, '03
  4. by   Brownms46
    He Lied! !
  5. by   Mkue
    He didn't lie. He stated what he knew according to British intelligence. Therefore, the democrats statement that the President lied is false. Using only part of the Presidents quote is misleading. I think the American public is smart enough to realize that.
    Thank you for clearing that up Linda.

  6. by   Mkue
    The Dems will have to come up with something else besides "he lied", it's just not working too well for them.. at least the majority of America supports President Bush.

  7. by   Spidey's mom
    Culture & Ideas 7/28/03
    By John Leo
    A case of stacking the deck


    The media's handling Of the uraniun-from-Africa story was too much for Bob Somerby, one of the better-known Internet commentators of the left. Somerby usually spends a lot of time and energy criticizing George W. Bush. But last week at his Daily Howler Web site, a headline said: "There they go again! The press corps has made up its mind on Iraq. Result? Basic facts will be mangled."




    Somerby argued that if you are going to accuse the Bushies of perpetrating a "hoax," as columnist Nicholas Kristof did in the New York Times, you can't refuse to publish the administration's explanation. And you can't bury the explanation way down in paragraph 15, as the Washington Post did in a long, front-page news article.

    The Howler also had some harsh words for Chris Matthews, who gummed up the controversy on Hardball. According to Matthews, President Bush's script for the State of the Union message said "that Iraq had attempted or had, in fact, bought nuclear materials from the governor of Niger . . . . How do we know this; why do we know this?"

    Earth to Chris: "bought," "Niger," and "governor" were never mentioned in the State of the Union speech, which simply said, "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."

    Matthews's outburst came after Condoleezza Rice and Donald Rumsfeld spent a lot of time explaining that the "16 words" of Bush's speech were not the reason the United States went to war. The administration did a bit of unimpressive verbal dancing about valid information that fails to rise to a level of certainty. But its explanation was clear: The British said--and still say--that Saddam had sought uranium in Africa. And though the British report can't be confirmed, the administration believes British intelligence is generally reliable. Last week Prime Minister Tony Blair was quoted as saying that he was aware of forged documents alleging that Saddam was seeking uranium in Africa but that his government had other good sources indicating that the charge was accurate.

    Nobody seems to know for sure whether the Brits were right in the first place, or why they are still so sure now. But the press corps basically brushed aside such concerns and framed the issue as one of manipulation and lying. "When the press corps reaches an overall judgment," Somerby wrote, "they often start looking for easy-to-tell stories to illustrate that global belief."

    Word for word. Another example of an easy-to-tell but misleading story is criticism of Vice President Dick Cheney for saying on Meet the Press back on March 16: "We believe [Saddam] has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons." Several commentators savaged Cheney. But as University of California-Los Angeles law Prof. Eugene Volokh argues persuasively, if you look at the entire transcript, it's clear that Cheney was saying that Saddam would try to reconstitute his nuclear program.

    If Saddam remained in power and the world looked the other way, Cheney said, we would have to assume he would "once again [be] reconstituting his nuclear program." Cheney made many references like this to the reasonable assumption that Saddam would again seek nuclear weapons. He misspoke once, saying "reconstituted nuclear weapons" instead of "reconstituting his nuclear program." A good number of Internet commentators noticed this issue and called attention to the misreading of what Cheney was rather obviously saying. But several columnists on the left, who apparently did not bother to check the transcript, got it wrong and denounced Cheney for spreading false information.

    Somerby's charge that reporters, after they make overall judgments, look for stories that illustrate their "global belief" is exactly what many Americans worry about. It is on our minds now as we receive a steady flow of unsettling news reports about things deteriorating in Iraq. The daily casualty reports provided by the Pentagon are real. But readers and viewers wonder whether the overall situation is as bad as some reporters are portraying it. Many Vietnam-era reporters think the United States shouldn't be in Iraq and are drawn to stories that illustrate their feelings. To wit: A few Iraqi citizens angrily spurn the frozen chickens distributed by U.S. officials, while a U.S. soldier is interviewed saying he has lost faith in his military leaders and thinks Rumsfeld should resign. True stories. But is this news, or is it opinion conveyed by selective anecdote?
  8. by   Spidey's mom
    Brownie and I agreed in another post that you have to be careful with the media. I mentioned this column and thought it fit in well in this discussion.



    JOHN LEO

    MANGLED QUOTES TAKE ON A LIFE OF THEIR OWN

    Maybe we should give an award for mangled quotation of the year. Misquotations are becoming a regular feature of journalism and politics, partly out of carelessness but mostly because anything-goes partisanship so deeply afflicts our discourse.
    So here are the nominees for the first award:

    (1) The Associated Press for butchering a line from Justice Antonin Scalia's dissent in the Texas sodomy decision. The AP quoted Scalia as saying he has "nothing against homosexuals." This misquote was endlessly recycled in news stories and commentaries, usually to mock Scalia for a gay version of "some of my best friends are Jews."

    What Scalia actually wrote was this: "I have nothing against homosexuals, or any other group, promoting their agenda through normal democratic means." He wasn't offering his feelings about gays (he is on the non-touchy-feely wing of the court). He was talking about the rights of all groups to organize and lobby.

    (2) Maureen Dowd, for her quote from President Bush saying that al-Qaida and the terrorist groups of 9/11 are not a problem any more. ("That group of terrorists who attacked our country is slowly but surely being decimated. ... They're not a problem any more." -- Dowd's version of Bush in her New York Times column of May 14).

    Here is the full Bush quote, without the three misleading dots: "Al-Qaida is on the run. That group of terrorists who attacked our country is slowly, but surely, being decimated. Right now, about half of all the top al-Qaida operatives are either jailed or dead. In either case, they're not a problem any more."

    (3) The BBC, probably the most relentlessly anti-American organization in Britain, recently altered a transcript of one of its own stories, thus misquoting itself. The story dealt with Park Jong-lin, a 70-year-old veteran of the Korean War who "served in the North Korean army fighting against the imperialist American aggressors and their South Korean accomplices." In the altered version quote marks now surround "imperialist American aggressors" and the BBC's reference to "accomplices" was changed to "allies."

    Prediction: Because Internet bloggers now watch the wayward BBC carefully, more touched-up transcripts will come to light. The BBC, by the way, falsely reported the Jessica Lynch rescue as a made-for-TV special faked with U.S. soldiers firing blanks for the cameras. (Change that transcript!)

    (4) The Democrats, for a TV ad in Madison, Wis., misquoting President Bush's uranium reference in his State of the Union message. The Republicans have offered so many conflicting versions of Bush's now-famous 16 words that you would think that the Democrats wouldn't have bothered to remove the first six words crediting (or blaming) British intelligence for the uranium-from-Africa report. But they did. The ad has Bush saying flatly, "Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."

    (5) The French, for changing an apparently anti-American remark made on July 21 by President Jacques Chirac. In Malaysia to meet with Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamed, Chirac called for multilateralism in world affairs, then added: "We can no longer accept the law of the strongest, the law of the jungle." When a reporter called the Elysee Palace to ask about the reference, he found that the quote showed up on their transcript as, "We can no longer accept the evolution of men, the world, we can no longer accept the simple law of the strongest."

    Oh, I get it. Chirac wasn't attacking America or the war in Iraq. He was just sharing his abstract opinion on faulty evolutionary theories and social Darwinism.

    So who deserves the award? One vote here for the AP. It can't be that the reporter somehow failed to notice the second half of Scalia's sentence. At Slate, Dahlia Lithwick wrote that this was "a case of the media getting a quote completely wrong and disseminating it so that it becomes universally believed." Give the award to the AP. It's a statuette of Nathan Hale, with his famous quote, "I regret that I have but one life."

    COPYRIGHT 2003 JOHN LEO
  9. by   SmilingBluEyes
    enough to send ANY head SPINNING....

    oops that was the intent...right?
  10. by   Spidey's mom
    Yep Deb . . . . don't always believe what you read in the newspaper.

    Beware the misleading dots . . . . . .

    I'll always wonder what is missing when I read a quote with dots.



    steph
    Last edit by Spidey's mom on Aug 9, '03
  11. by   SharonH, RN
    Three dots or not, the Bush administration knew that the information had not been verified because it was based on documents that had been proven to be forged, and that it did not rise "to the level of certainty which should be required for presidential speeches".


    So technically, the Republicans can say all that they want that he didn't "lie" but he most definitely deliberately mislead [a willing] American public.
  12. by   Spidey's mom
    Hi Sharon . . . (I'm more conscious of dots now - oops.)

    You still feel the same way even though one of the "left" thinks the media is being biased here (from the article above)?

    "The media's handling Of the uraniun-from-Africa story was too much for Bob Somerby, one of the better-known Internet commentators of the left. Somerby usually spends a lot of time and energy criticizing George W. Bush. But last week at his Daily Howler Web site, a headline said: "There they go again! The press corps has made up its mind on Iraq. Result? Basic facts will be mangled."

    steph
  13. by   SharonH, RN
    Originally posted by stevielynn
    Hi Sharon . . . (I'm more conscious of dots now - oops.)

    You still feel the same way even though one of the "left" thinks the media is being biased here (from the article above)?

    "The media's handling Of the uraniun-from-Africa story was too much for Bob Somerby, one of the better-known Internet commentators of the left. Somerby usually spends a lot of time and energy criticizing George W. Bush. But last week at his Daily Howler Web site, a headline said: "There they go again! The press corps has made up its mind on Iraq. Result? Basic facts will be mangled."

    steph

    What do I care about what one of the "left" thinks? I form my opinions based on the facts as I see them. Mr. Somerby is entitled to his opinion. Of course I still feel the same way.
  14. by   maureeno
    the Republicans did threaten to sue




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    07-22-2003 08:03 AM
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    maureeno
    don't say nothing bad about Bush! 07-22-2003 08:06 AM
    maureeno
    Senior Member

    Registered: Oct 2002
    Location:
    Posts: 665
    don't say nothing bad about Bush!
    Post #269

    here is an ad the Republicans are trying to suppress:

    Read His Lips
    In his State of the Union address, George W. Bush told us of an imminent threat.
    PRESIDENT BUSH: "Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa." [2003 State of the Union]
    America took him at his word.
    But now we find out that it wasn't true.
    Far worse, the Administration knew it wasn't true.
    HEADLINE: White House Says Iraq Claim was Flawed [New York Times, 7/8/03]
    A year earlier, that claim was already proven to be false.
    The CIA knew it. [New York Times, 7/6/03]
    The State Department knew it. [New York Times, 7/6/03]
    The White House knew it. [NBC News, 6/26/03]
    But he told us anyway.
    PRESIDENT BUSH: "Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa." [2003 State of the Union]
    It's time to tell the truth.
    Help hold George W. Bush accountable by calling for an independent, bipartisan investigation.
    Go to www.democrats.org/truth to sign the petition and make your voice heard.
    Because America deserves the truth.




    Here is how the Republicans repsonded:
    they wrote this letter trying to intimidate TV stations into not running the ads. Here's the letter its lawyer sent to TV stations.


    Dear Station Manager:
    It has come to our attention that your station will begin airing false and misleading advertisements on July 21, 2003, paid for by the Democratic National Committee. The advertisement in question misrepresents President George W. Bush's January 28, 2003, State of the Union address. The advertisement states that President Bush said, "Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa." In fact, President Bush said, "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa." By selectively quoting President Bush, the advertisement is deliberately false and misleading. Furthermore, the British government continues to stand by its intelligence and asserts that it believes the intelligence is genuine.
    The Democratic National Committee certainly has a legitimate First Amendment right to participate in political debate, but it has no right to willfully spread false information in a deliberate attempt to mislead the American people. These advertisements will not be run by legally qualified candidates; therefore, your station is under no legal obligation to air them. On the contrary, as an FCC licensee you have the responsibility to exercise independent editorial judgment to not only oversee and protect the American marketplace of ideas, essential for the health of our democracy, but also to avoid deliberate misrepresentations of the facts. Such obligations must be taken seriously.
    This letter puts you on notice that the information contained in the above-cited advertisement is false and misleading; therefore, you are obligated to refrain from airing this advertisement.
    Respectfully,
    Caroline C. Hunter
    Counsel




    this administration tried to portray anti-war protestors as unpatriotic
    they will try to do the same with election opponents
    note please the substance of their letter is wrong
    the ad says 'sought' not 'bought'
    .................
    and as for false impressions
    the 16 State of the Union words
    are just the start

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