Thursday, August 24, 2006

Here We Go Again!

CJR Daily: Psst! Iran Helped Plan September 11 ...

As today's page-one stories in both the New York Times and the Washington Post make clear, the Bush administration has begun to apply pressure on the U.S. intelligence agencies to pump up the threat that Iran poses.

Matthew Yglesias, guest-blogging on TPM, warns that "Democrats had better be prepared to confront this business aggressively."

So should the press. Because while both the Times story and the Post story make ample, if measured, reference to what happened the last time Cheney and Co. insisted on getting the "right" answers to their intelligence questions, neither reminded readers of how little skepticism we in the press brought to claims that Iraq had WMD, that Saddam's henchmen had gone to Niger and secured "yellowcake," that those aluminum tubes really were trouble, and that there was a 9/11 connection.

Nor did those stories go far enough in putting this latest bit of White House maneuvering into its proper context. The country is less than three months away from a crucial mid-term election, and with the GOP facing the distinct possibility of losing its majority in Congress, the administration is desperately trying to play the only card that has worked repeatedly with the voters -- fear of terrorism. It needs a new villain, and Iran's persistent thumbing of its nose at the West over its nuclear program provides the perfect opening to elevate one.

Finally, there was scant outrage expressed anywhere in the press today (perhaps tomorrow?) over the fact that, despite all we've learned about this administration's willingness to say whatever is necessary to get what it wants, here, it seems, we go again. [emphasis mine]

This is very serious and as Big Media Matt says, the Dems had better be prepared to hit this, and hit this hard.

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