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Richard Perle Re-Writes Recent History

Reported by Nancy - October 6, 2005 -

Today (10/6) on FNL, Bill Hemmer devoted most of the noon hour to repeating, re-emphasizing & reinforcing Bush's speech earlier this morning. The hour opened with a clip of that speech, & continued on the same theme for the next 30 minutes. There were multiple interviews -- Fox even dragged out one of the big guns, RIchard Perle, who rarely appears on the daytime programs & who took this opportunity to offer an alternate version of reality, skewed to the neo-con agenda. There were separate interviews with Sen John McCain (R-AZ), who essentially carried water for the Administration, & with Jay Carney (TIME magazine), who was significantly less rah-rah than either Perle or McCain. While the talking heads were bloviating, FNL replayed video of Bush's speech on the larger (2/3) right-hand part of the screen.

Here's how Perle tried to rewrite history:

12:02pm (EDT) - Hemmer said that Bush was "defining the War On Terror" again, then interviewed Richard Perle (neo-con extraordinaire) for reaction to Bush's speech. Perle said the WOT is "ongoing" & it's "going to last a few years" so it's "necesary to remind people what we're fighting for." Hemmer asked what was new in the speech, & Perle meandered while video of Bush played on the larger (2/3) right-hand side of the screen. Hemmer repeated a Bush line ("Iraq is the central front in the War On Terror") & asked how Perle would gauge our progress. Perle blathered about the "readiness of the Iraqis to assume responsibility for their own future" & said it had been a "serious mitake" not to trust the Iraqis but "that's behind us now" & repeated that we should be "listening to the Iraqis." He said the new Iraq Constitution "is an important step forward." Hemmer followed up by asking what Iraqis are telling "the coalition" they need done, & Perle said "training programs [are] underway" & are "going ... reasonably well" but there are "too many mediocrities in key positions" & the Iraqis will "make better choices" than the US did. Hemmer noted that this has taken a long time to happen, & Perle said we "should have trained Iraqis before the war," claiming that DOD "wished to do that but was unable to persuade the rest of the govt" but "catching up now." Hemmer asked [comment: rather hesitantly, I thought] "was the planning all wrong?" Perle didn't answer directly, insteads saying that "bad decisions" were made. Hemmer asked "why weren't more US forces" deployed, & Perle said there was no "deficiency" in US forces but the mistake was not working with Iraqis who were trying to remove SHussein & blamed that State Dept & CIA.

Hemmer noted that Dems "charge" that Bush is again trying to tie Iraq to 9/11 & Perle saod "no" adding "but on 9/11 Bush understood it is possible to wait to long to respond to a potential threat" & that "on 9/11 Bush looked around & said who has the capacity to do great damage to us" & identified Iraq, so launched a "preemptive" war. Perle also said it's "impossible to separate dictators who hate the US" & those who sponsor terrorists. Hemmer asked if Perle is "concerned" that there is "less support from the American people" for the war, & Perle said that's why it's important for Bush to address the issue, because "democracy [is] notoriously inclined to walk away from conflict."

The interview lasted approx 7 minutes, or more than twice as long as the typical FNL interview.

Comments: Readers, have at it. Go ahead & dissect Perle. Pay special attention to 1) how he's STILL trying to imply that Iraq was connected to 9/11 & 2) how he, one of the prime architects of the current mess in Iraq, STILL refuses to take responsibility, trying to blame the CIA, the State Dept, "bad decisions" made by unidentified others, & the institution of democracy for not being as war-hungry as he is. I need to do a little research & will update this later.

NOTE TO READERS: Please stay on topic (FNL's coverage of Bush's speech, Perle's version of reality). O/T comments will be deleted. Thanks.