WMD Found--MSM Yawns
Yesterday, Republican Senators Rick Santorum (photo at left) and Peter Hoekstra reported, based on a recently declassified intelligence report, that U.S. armed forces have discovered over 500 shells with remnants of mustard gas or sarin nerve agents. Senator Santorum stated, "This is an incredibly -- in my mind -- significant finding. The idea that, as my colleagues have repeatedly said in this debate on the other side of the aisle, that there are no weapons of mass destruction, is in fact false." Read the full story here. Kudos to AFP (Agence France-Presse) for covering it. Sometimes the French pleasantly surprise me.
Given how much of the rhetoric on the left, critical of President Bush and the Iraq War, has insisted that "there were no WMDs" and "Bush lied," one might naively think that this story would have received considerable press attention. However, the reaction of MSM has been largely to ignore the story, or to minimize its significance. As far as I have been able to discover, the Los Angeles Times did not report the story at all. NPR reports it under the headline, "Expert: Iraq WMD Find Did Not Point to Ongoing Program," thereby debunking the story even as it reported it. Other MSM dismissed the story by stating that the weapons dated to before the 1991 Gulf War, that there was no evidence of "stockpiling" (500 shells apparently being an insignificant collection) or that there is no evidence that Saddam Hussein was conducting an ongoing weapons program.
In contrast, Christopher Hitchens, in an interview on the Hugh Hewitt show today, reported that he had first hand information that Hussein was negotiating in March 2003 to purchase missiles from North Korea. I am sure that NPR would respond that Hussein may have wanted the missiles for peaceful space exploration.