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Grapevine Whine - Another Iffy Source

Reported by Nancy - December 16, 2005 -

In an earlier post I discussed FNC's propensity for using biased & partisan sources, but not informing viewers of that fact. On Special Report last night (12/15), Brit Hume did it again with yet another one of his "pickings" on the Grapevine. This time, it was a source buried within a source that turned out to be not quite as Hume presented it to viewers. In the process, however, he managed to regurgitate a few talking points that the Bush administration has been pushing for the past few years & has lately dusted off & dragged out again. Yes, it's those elusive WMDs again.

Here's how Hume read "picking" #3:

Israel's top general during the US invasion of Iraq says Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, but moved them to neighboring Syria 6 weeks before the war began. Lieutenant General Moshe Yaalon tells the New York Sun, "He transferred the chemical agents from Iraq to Syria," adding that they haven't turned up because "no one went to Syria to find it."

Comments: First, here's the article in the New York Sun that Hume was citing, Saddam's WMD Moved to Syria, An Israeli Says. Here are what may be the most relevant paragraphs:

The assertion comes as President Bush said yesterday that much of the intelligence on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction was incorrect. ...
He made similar, but more speculative, remarks in April 2004 that attracted little notice in America; at that time he was quoted as saying of the Iraqi weapons, "Perhaps they transferred them to another country, such as Syria." ...
General Yaalon's comment could increase pressure on the Syrian government that is already mounting from Washington and the United Nations. Mr. Bush has been keeping the rhetorical heat on Damascus. On Monday, he said in a speech, "Iraq's neighbor to the west, Syria, is permitting terrorists to use that territory to cross into Iraq."

Isn't this convenient? Bush is still (yes, still) yammering about WMDs in Iraq & turning up the heat on Syria, when -- presto! -- an Israeli turns up & says "yep, there were WMDs & they were moved to Syria." How serendipitous.

And here's a fascinating tidbit from that same article:

An official at the Iraqi embassy in Washington, Entifadh Qanbar, said ... there is a high-rise building in Baghdad with 1,000 employees working on intelligence but that it has no budget appropriation from the Iraqi government and "doesn't report to the Iraqi government."

Now who do you suppose is funding that? Hmm...

Yaalon is now a "Distinguished Military Fellow" at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Here's their mission statement:

Founded in 1985, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy was established to advance a balanced and realistic understanding of American interests in the Middle East. Under the guidance of a distinguished and bipartisan Board of Advisors, the Institute seeks to bring scholarship to bear on the making of U.S. policy in this vital region of the world. Drawing on the research of its scholars and the experience of policy practitioners, the Institute promotes an American engagement in the Middle East committed to strengthening alliances, nurturing friendships, and promoting security, peace, prosperity, and democracy for the people of the region.

Now take a look at their Board of Directors:
Warren Christopher
Lawrence S. Eagleburger
Alexander Haig
Max M. Kampelman
Jeane Kirkpatrick
Samuel W. Lewis
Edward Luttwak
Michael Mandelbaum
Robert McFarlane
Martin Peretz
Richard Perle
James G. Roche
George P. Shultz
Paul Wolfowitz
R. James Woolsey
Mortimer Zuckerman

If you think this looks an awful lot like PNAC, you're correct. For the spider's web of interconnectedness for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, see the profile at RightWeb.

Well, gee, do ya think Yaalon might have an agenda?

If you'd like to complain to Fox about this, email: special@foxnews.com

NOTE TO READERS: Please stay on topic (FNC's tendency to present potentially biased information as objective data, or this particular "picking"). O/T comments will be deleted. Thanks.