In these pages and elsewhere, Trunk has written of the State Department’s studious efforts to ignore or explain away Yasser Arafat’s terrorism against U.S. targets. Here, Jim Hoagland, the Washington Post’s foreign policy columnist, writes about past “attempts by officials to bury or explain away menacing information about Iraq.” Hoagland, who is hardly a conservative, has been writing of Saddam’s atrocities for years. He has found the State Department and the CIA “institutionally wary and dismissive of the extensive intelligence about Saddam Hussein and his crimes.” In fact, Colin Powell last year publicly dismissed information published by Hoagland about the increasing tempo of Iraq’s efforts to shoot down American and British pilots over no-fly zones. Hoagland also describes the “exasperation” of his editor at the Post with Hoagland’s efforts to to describe Iraq’s “unique evil.” Hoagland concludes that, while there was “little new” in President Bush’s speech to the nation about Iraq, our government’s willingness to pay attention to old news about Iraq is indeed new.
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