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Know your BFEE: WHIG (White House Iraq Group) Made Phony Case for War [View All]

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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-16-05 05:07 PM
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Know your BFEE: WHIG (White House Iraq Group) Made Phony Case for War
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Edited on Sun Oct-16-05 05:18 PM by Octafish
The White House Iraq Group was charged with making the case for war -- a PR campaign. Its members include Andy Card, Sneering Dick Cheney, Humble Karen Hughes, Scooter Libby, Mary The Brains Matalin and ...Frogmarchin' Karl Rove.

To make their case for war, as many on DU have noted, it appears the WHIG enlisted the aid of Steno Judy Miller and The New York Times.

"From a marketing point of view, you don't introduce new products in August." -- White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card

These turds LIED us into an UNNECESSARY WAR!


IRAQ'S NUCLEAR FILE : Inside the Prewar Debate

Depiction of Threat Outgrew Supporting Evidence

By Barton Gellman and Walter Pincus
Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, August 10, 2003; Page A01


Systematic coordination began in August, when Chief of Staff Andrew H. Card Jr. formed the White House Iraq Group, or WHIG, to set strategy for each stage of the confrontation with Baghdad. A senior official who participated in its work called it "an internal working group, like many formed for priority issues, to make sure each part of the White House was fulfilling its responsibilities."

In an interview with the New York Times published Sept. 6, Card did not mention the WHIG but hinted at its mission. "From a marketing point of view, you don't introduce new products in August," he said.

The group met weekly in the Situation Room. Among the regular participants were Karl Rove, the president's senior political adviser; communications strategists Karen Hughes, Mary Matalin and James R. Wilkinson; legislative liaison Nicholas E. Calio; and policy advisers led by Rice and her deputy, Stephen J. Hadley, along with I. Lewis Libby, Cheney's chief of staff.

The first days of September would bring some of the most important decisions of the prewar period: what to demand of the United Nations in the president's Sept. 12 address to the General Assembly, when to take the issue to Congress, and how to frame the conflict with Iraq in the midterm election campaign that began in earnest after Labor Day.

A "strategic communications" task force under the WHIG began to plan speeches and white papers. There were many themes in the coming weeks, but Iraq's nuclear menace was among the most prominent.


Aluminum tubes,

Good ol' Frank "Put 'im on the Media Beat" Rich explains further:

It's Bush-Cheney, Not Rove-Libby

By Frank Rich
The New York Times
Sunday 16 October 2005


Very little has been written about the White House Iraq Group, or WHIG. Its inception in August 2002, seven months before the invasion of Iraq, was never announced. Only much later would a newspaper article or two mention it in passing, reporting that it had been set up by Andrew Card, the White House chief of staff. Its eight members included Mr. Rove, Mr. Libby, Condoleezza Rice and the spinmeisters Karen Hughes and Mary Matalin. Its mission: to market a war in Iraq.

Of course, the official Bush history would have us believe that in August 2002 no decision had yet been made on that war. Dates bracketing the formation of WHIG tell us otherwise. On July 23, 2002 - a week or two before WHIG first convened in earnest - a British official told his peers, as recorded in the now famous Downing Street memo, that the Bush administration was ensuring that "the intelligence and facts" about Iraq's W.M.D.'s "were being fixed around the policy" of going to war. And on Sept. 6, 2002 - just a few weeks after WHIG first convened - Mr. Card alluded to his group's existence by telling Elisabeth Bumiller of The New York Times that there was a plan afoot to sell a war against Saddam Hussein: "From a marketing point of view, you don't introduce new products in August."

The official introduction of that product began just two days later. On the Sunday talk shows of Sept. 8, Ms. Rice warned that "we don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud," and Mr. Cheney, who had already started the nuclear doomsday drumbeat in three August speeches, described Saddam as "actively and aggressively seeking to acquire nuclear weapons." The vice president cited as evidence a front-page article, later debunked, about supposedly nefarious aluminum tubes co-written by Judy Miller in that morning's Times. The national security journalist James Bamford, in "A Pretext for War," writes that the article was all too perfectly timed to facilitate "exactly the sort of propaganda coup that the White House Iraq Group had been set up to stage-manage."

The administration's doomsday imagery was ratcheted up from that day on. As Barton Gellman and Walter Pincus of The Washington Post would determine in the first account of WHIG a full year later, the administration's "escalation of nuclear rhetoric" could be traced to the group's formation. Along with mushroom clouds, uranium was another favored image, the Post report noted, "because anyone could see its connection to an atomic bomb." It appeared in a Bush radio address the weekend after the Rice-Cheney Sunday show blitz and would reach its apotheosis with the infamously fictional 16 words about "uranium from Africa" in Mr. Bush's January 2003 State of the Union address on the eve of war.

Throughout those crucial seven months between the creation of WHIG and the start of the American invasion of Iraq, there were indications that evidence of a Saddam nuclear program was fraudulent or nonexistent. Joseph Wilson's C.I.A. mission to Niger, in which he failed to find any evidence to back up uranium claims, took place nearly a year before the president's 16 words. But the truth never mattered. The Bush-Cheney product rolled out by Card, Rove, Libby & Company had been bought by Congress, the press and the public. The intelligence and facts had been successfully fixed to sell the war, and any memory of Mr. Bush's errant 16 words melted away in Shock and Awe. When, months later, a national security official, Stephen Hadley, took "responsibility" for allowing the president to address the nation about mythical uranium, no one knew that Mr. Hadley, too, had been a member of WHIG.


Gee. That sounds an awful lot like a bunch of press and PR people working up a sweet ad campaign. Except, they were doing it build public support for war -- ignoring the function of a free press, which is TO TELL THE TRUTH!

Times Report on Judith Miller: Key Moments and Initial Comments

Here are my initial annotations of the big report. Key passages and brief comments. (Do add your own.) Plus my eight paragraph summary of the case and its press think.

I give credit to the Times for running the story a few days after they felt the legal clearences were had, for giving readers a look inside at decision-making normally hidden, for airing uncomfortable factsincluding internal tensionsand for explaining what happened as well as the editors felt they could. This was a very difficult piece of journalism to do. As language in conveyance of fact, it is superbly edited.

I do have a small bit of news to break if you skip down to After Matter. Heres my eight-graph view of the case and its mangled press think:

Maybe the biggest mistake the New York Times made was to turn decision-making for the newspaper over to Judith Miller and her case. This happened via the magic medium of a First Amendment struggle, the thing that makes the newspaper business more than just a business to the people prominent in it.

Millers defiance played to their images of Times greatness, and to their understanding of First Amendment virtue. She always described her case in the language of their principles. They heard their principles talking in the very facts of the case.

But her second attorney saw it more clearly. I dont want to represent a principle, Robert Bennett told her. I want to represent Judy Miller. And that it is what he did. That is what she needed. The Times was the one left holding the principles.

Mostly they didnt apply to a case that was bad on the facts, a loser on the law, quite likely to result in victory for the prosecutor, and quite possibly an ethical swamp or political sewer, since it was about using the press to discredit people without being named. All this would warn a prudent person away. Its why other news organizations settled.

It never seems to have registered with Arthur Sulzberger, Jr.Millers biggest supporter and the publisher of the newspaperthat he was fighting for the right to keep things secret, not for the right to publish what had improperly been kept from us. By taking on Millers secret-keeping (uncritically) the Times took on more and more responsibilities not to speak, not to publish, not to report. All this is deadly for a newspaper, and the staff knew it. By the end the readers knew it and they were crying out. Even the armchair critics knew a thing or two.

So did Bill Keller, so did Jill Abramson. But there was nothing they could do. By the time they realized what Millers secrets had done to their journalism, Judith Millerby staging a First Amendment showdown she escaped fromhad effectively hijacked the newspaper. Her principles were in the saddle, and rode the Times to disaster, while people of the Times watched. The newspaper never got its Robert Bennett.

And in the end her secret-keeping extended to stiffing the Times on its own story. The newspapers First Amendment hero wouldnt talk, share notes, or answer any tough questions.

The spooky thing about her first person account was the suggestion that Judy Miller may havetodaysecurity clearances that her bosses (and colleagues) do not have. This could be the reason her treatment is so singular. She said the prosecutor asked her if she still had special clearances when she met with Lewis Libby. She said she didnt know. Does that sound good?


Wow. So Steno Judy had "Secret" clearance. That explains why she was "trusted" with the aluminum tube claptrap. AND "Valerie Flame's" identity.

Here's Lambert'S blog, who does a real bang-up job of painting the exact role played by The New York Times:

The Grey Lady that Did Not Bark in the Night


But weve said what the problem is, at the Times and in the press as a whole, quite directly in plain language:

7. I suggest that Times managementKeller, Sulzbergerwas embedded in the disinformation campaign run by the White House Iraq Group, that Miller was their operative, and Libby was their handler. Of course, their White House handler wouldnt have been crass enough to offer them money; the access to power, and the promise of scoops, would have been enough. The scoops were to come from Chalabi. (It doesnt matter whether the White House still had faith in Chalabi; what matters is that the Times did).

Long story short:

The Times hasnt mentioned the W.H.I.G. because they were part of the W.H.I.G. disinformation campaign. In Traitorgate, Valerie Plame was outed to protect that operation, because the Niger uranium story was one of the stories that W.H.I.G. planted. (Remember the crude forgery of mysterious provenance that the yellowcake story was based on?)

And the reason it seems like they were all in on it, is that they were all in on it. All the Kewl Kidz, and all the media whores. The Beltway 500 crowd is dirtyNot all of them, but a percentage at the top of the dominance heirarchy (Not you, Dan Froomkin, and not you, Walter Pincus.)

So, it will be interesting to see if the Times cansniggercover itself in its still forthcoming story on Miller, or whether theyll go into modified limited hangout mode to protect Keller and Sulzbergerand, incidentally, not blow the cover of the W.H.I.G. disinformation campaign. Maybe this post can be your magic decoder ring to help you read between the lines of what they are allowed to write.


No wonder people don't trust the media. It appears many of the top players are traitors.

When it comes to the Iraq war, it boils down to an unprovoked attack by the United States upon a country that was no threat to the USA.

That's not just treason, THAT'S A WAR CRIME!
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