A truth squad that is blind to the truth

The other day I posted this piece about the response of the Washington Post’s ombudsman to criticisms of Dana Milbank’s hit-piece on the Bush campaign. I forgot to make note of one of the ombudsman’s defenses — his claim that it is particularly appropriate these days for newspapers to act as truth squads because “almost everything we were told about the war in Iraq has turned out, thus far, not to be the case.” (In other words, the Post has declared open-season on President Bush due to the war in Iraq).
I submit that this statement by the ombudsman is itself more distorted than anything cited by Milbank as coming from the Bush campaign. Indeed, it is the same kind of partisan nonsense that we have come to expect from Milbank and others like him. Consider the main things we were told before the war. It is true that Saddam was out of compliance with U.N. resolutions; it is true that Saddam was a brutal tyrant; it is true that he had connections to terrorists; it is true that he had the capability to produce WMD; it is true that he had produced and used WMD in the past; it was true that our action in Iraq might not be easy. In short, everything important that we were told before the war that I can think of has turned out to be true except it might not be true that Saddam had WMD on hand when the war started.
HINDROCKET adds: And what about all of the things we were told by the war’s opponents before it started? Like: There will be tens of thousands of military and civilian casualties; chemical weapons will be used against our troops; there will be brutal house-to-house fighting in Baghdad; the oil fields will be set on fire; there will be hundreds of thousands of refugees; riots will ensue in other Arab countries; and the Iraqis will never be able to come together to agree on a Constitution and elect new leaders. Since none of the dire predictions by the war’s opponents came to pass, does the Post consider itself a truth squad to critique the Democrats and their allies?


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