The AP reports, and the New York Times expands, on a new study by a supposedly "independent" organization that claims to have assembled hundred of "false statements" by the Bush administration in the course of the Iraq war. However, the Center for Public Integrity hardly qualifies as "independent". It gets much of its funding from George Soros, who has thrown millions of dollars behind Democratic political candidates, and explicitly campaigned to defeat George Bush in 2004:
A study by two nonprofit journalism organizations found that President Bush and top administration officials issued hundreds of false statements about the national security threat from Iraq in the two years following the 2001 terrorist attacks.
The study concluded that the statements "were part of an orchestrated campaign that effectively galvanized public opinion and, in the process, led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses."
The study was posted Tuesday on the Web site of the Center for Public Integrity, which worked with the Fund for Independence in Journalism.
Nowhere in these articles do either news organization bother to inform their reader of the partisan nature of the CPI. Besides Soros, it gets financing from the Streisand Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the Los Angeles Times Foundation. The FIJ shares most of its board members with the CPI, which hardly makes it a separate entity in terms of its political direction.
Dafydd at Big Lizards does a good job of pulling apart the supposed quotes that CPI used to blow some hot air into the limp "Bush lied" meme, but even the New York Times wasn't impressed:
There is no startling new information in the archive, because all the documents have been published previously. But the new computer tool is remarkable for its scope, and its replay of the crescendo of statements that led to the war. Muckrakers may find browsing the site reminiscent of what Richard M. Nixon used to dismissively call “wallowing in Watergate.”
In fact, there is nothing new in this site that hasn't already been picked apart by the blogosphere, and some of it discredited. It includes the debunked charge that Bush lied in the "sixteen words" of the 2003 State of the Union address. Joe Wilson's own report to the CIA and to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence confirmed that, at least according to Niger's Prime Minister, Iraq had sought to trade for uranium in 1999. The CPI site has the sixteen words posted as one of their false statements.
Let's boil this down. An organization funded by known political activists puts up a website with shopworn quotes taken mostly out of context and misrepresented -- and this somehow qualifies as news?
Hey, AP. I'll be posting a couple of essays today. I'll be sure to look for your breathless report on the wires later this afternoon.