Fibbers fib, part the 3432

Whatever do you mean, the President and members of his party telling a fib? How could that be?/matronly voice

On Leaks, Relying on A Faulty Case Study The allegation that news organizations leaked information about Osama bin Laden's satellite phone, thus shutting down a valuable source of intelligence that might have prevented the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, has long been a prime case study cited by government officials seeking to impose greater restrictions on the news media.

President Bush drew attention to the case Monday when he twice cited it as a dangerous example of the news media “revealing sources, methods and what we use the information for.” Bush was basing his remarks on a conclusion by the Sept. 11 commission, which had labeled it a “leak” that prompted the al Qaeda leader to turn off his phone.

Upon closer examination, the story turned out to be wrong. Bin Laden's use of a satellite phone had already been widely reported by August 1998, and he stopped using it within days of a cruise missile attack on his training camps in Afghanistan.

Yet in recent years, advocates of new laws that would restrict the ability of the news media to report on intelligence matters have repeatedly cited the case of bin Laden's satellite phone as an especially dangerous example of media malfeasance

Just because an allegation is provably not true doesn't mean Shrub and his cronies in the media and in his party cannot repeat said fact over and over and over and over until some people begin to believe it (see remarks by Big Dick Cheney on Atta, for instance).

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This page contains a single entry by Seth A. published on December 23, 2005 10:02 AM.

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