Saturday, July 08, 2006


MSM - Dreaming up a Mai Lai in Haditha

When you can't get the story you want, you make it up...

Per Powerlineblog, the Ny Times reports that: "WASHINGTON, July 7 — The second-ranking American commander in Iraq has concluded that some senior Marine officers were negligent in failing to investigate more aggressively the killings of 24 Iraqi civilians by marines in Haditha last November, two Defense Department officials said Friday."

Folks that's it on the Haditha case, there was no "coverup" as Murtha accused the Marines. However, neither the Times nor in this case NBC, can leave that finding alone. So both go looking up those anonymous "sources" who "speak on condition of anonymity", and add a little poetic editing and fantasy and get their beloved "Mai Lai" redux theory.

As John at Powerline notes correctly:

"The Times gives examples of negligence allegedly cited by Gen. Chiarelli, and rehashes the Haditha story, with the helpful observation that the exculpatory accounts from the Marines involved and their lawyers that have appeared in the press "have conflicted in important details with descriptions of what investigators have found."

What's wrong with all of this? Several things. First, the investigation is not complete. Gen. Chiarelli does not have the last word. Gen. Casey or Secretary Rumsfeld may disagree with his recommendation that some officers be found "derelict" and may exonerate those officers. If so, they would then be subject to criticism, and likely would be accused of whitewashing the incident. Indeed, it seems likely that the leakers' real motive was to put pressure on Casey and Rumsfeld to follow Chiarelli's recommendations."

John goes on to cite this contrasting story via UPI: Report: No coverup of Haditha, which leads: "A Marine Corps general has reportedly found evidence of negligence, but no coverup, in the investigation of an alleged massacre of Iraqi civilians.

It's time that the MSM be called on the facts that they portray which are nothing more than their spurious notions based on their obvious biases. The story ends at the beginning, where in effect it began on a false premise. Yet we will know more when the investigation is complete, however I do know from my experience having worked on more than a few investigations in during my stint that if something would have been there - especially on magnitude the MSM originally reported- it would have come out by now (damage control).

It hasn't, because this story had a false premise from the beginning. The MSM simply failed to check all the facts before they ran with the story. Now their attempting to cover their butts by clinging to their original assumptions and the more they cling, the more ridiculous their "dreamings" will become.

The fact is that the MSM for the most part is not in the business of reporting news than they are of creating public opinion and hysteria via "made up" news. To this point their reporting on this story has simply been irresponsible and abysmal.

They also ignore the fact that the penalties under the UCMJ are severe for any military member or official that speaks on an ongoing classified investigation, thus the reporters involved in this story are in effect aiding and abetting, but of course as Bill Keller, they hide their own sins behind the badge of "The Press".

Unrelated, but just another example of MSM delusions see Slate's Jack Shafer's dreamings here on the Ny Times banking story scandal, as Patterico comments:

"Oh, well. If you claim no inside knowledge, why not just make something up? That’s a lot more fun than, say, doing research to see what someone who does have inside knowledge says.'

Yeah...why bother...

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