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(DV) Glover: An Open Letter to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch







An Open Letter to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch 
by Jim Glover
November 15, 2005

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Dear SLPD: 

In your editorial of November 12, you continue to beat up on military whistleblower Jimmy Massey, who had the temerity to point out that our brave men and women in uniform in Iraq might not be acting as humanely as our mythology would have them do. You conclude by congratulating yourself as follows:  Absolute truth is hard to come by, but as the bloggers bloviate and the blowhards blow, good reporters and good newspapers are out there digging. 


Perhaps, then, you could answer a few questions that have been bothering me about good newspapers: 

1. Why has the Post-Dispatch done more digging into one former Marineís allegations which are actually quite consistent with many other stories reported in non-US newspapers than it did into the far more important allegations that our government was making in the build-up to the illegal Iraq invasion? 

2. Why was the Post-Dispatch, for example, not out there digging into those statements by Bush, Cheney, Rice at al. about WMDs and stockpiles of anthrax and dual purpose aluminum tubes and yellow cake from Niger? 

3. Where were your good reporters when you acted as if you were nothing more than Tony Blairís stenographer by passing along his ridiculous fairy tale of Iraq needing just 45 minutes to wreak unspeakable havoc on England? 

4. Why did you virtually ignore statements by well-informed dissenters like former weapons inspector Scott Ritter? 

5. Why did you never even mention the (well documented) story, reported by Newsweek on February 24, 2003, that Gen. Hussein Kamel, a key Iraqi dissident source used by the Bush war promoters to scare everyone, had also said that all the weapons he told our CIA about had been destroyed? [1] A web search of your archives shows that you were aware of Newsweekís existence because you passed along other Newsweek stories from that time, such as one about actor Nick Nolteís drug problem [2], which, it would seem, was more important. 

6. Why did you not dig into an explanation for why statements about Iraqís threat to the U.S. changed dramatically soon after 9/11, even before there was a chance of any real new intelligence? For example, Colin Powell told Face the Nation in February 2001 that we have been able to keep weapons from going into Iraq. It's been quite a success for ten years. [3] And Tenet, also in February 2001, told Congress that although Iraq should be always be under suspicion, we do not have any direct evidence that Iraq has used the period since Operation Desert Fox to reconstitute its WMD programs. [4]

7. Why do you find it appropriate to say in two different articles that Massey lied outright about his alleged U.S. war crimes, yet you never use the L-word in relation to the clearly much bigger and clearly more deliberate lies by our government that led to the destruction of an entire country? 

8. Why have you been so reluctant to dig into the many other war crimes we have more recently committed and continue to commit every day? Why, for example, did you find it unnecessary to even mention the recent showing on Italian television of a film called Fallujah: The Hidden Massacre, which depicts, among other crimes, the burning away of Iraqi civilians skin by internationally-banned weapons used by the U.S., and contains damning testimony from other U.S. combatants that sound a lot like what Massey said? [5]

9. Why have you not dug into the reports of our troops isolating entire Iraqi cities from the outside world cutting off their electricity, for example -- and then occupying their hospitals, killing civilians, and destroying as many as two-thirds of residents homes, making refugees of hundreds of thousands at a time? [6]

10. Have you decided that the literally thousands of reports of U.S. war crimes in reputable newspapers around the world are ALL merely bloggers bloviating and blowhards blowing. 

11. Your bashing of Massey has mainly been done by an embedded reporter named Ron Harris. [7] Do you honestly feel that government-sanctioned and censored writers constitute an honorable and trustworthy system of good reporting and good newspaper work? 

12. Your publisher, the once-widely renowned Pulitzer Inc., was gobbled up last June by Lee Enterprises, a Delaware-based corporation that now owns 58 daily papers in 23 states, and nearly 300 other shops and businesses. According to its web site, five of its six top priorities for 2006 do not include any reference to good reporting or quality journalism. The exception is the priority of strong local news. The priorities do include, however, grow[ing] revenue creatively and rapidly, and exercising careful cost controls. [8] 

May we assume, then, that the purpose of the Post-Dispatch is officially no longer actual journalism, but rather the selling of advertising in the most efficient way possible in order to best enrich the shareholders and upper-level managers of Lee Enterprises? 
13. Any thoughts on why so many American readers have indeed lost confidence in their newspapers, and turn instead to bloviating bloggers and online papers from other, less developed countries?

Jim Glover lives in Carbondale, Illinois. He can be reached at his blogsite, Plagiarize This

Other Articles by Jim Glover

* Condi Lies With the Great Ones
* Let Us Pray -- For Bush Relief
* Strangelove Revisited: Or How Iím Trying to Relax and Love the Bombs


[1] Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, "Star Witness on Iraq Said Weapons Were Destroyed," February 27, 2003.


[3] Jason Leopold, "CIA Intelligence Report: Iraq Posed No Threat To U.S., Containment Was Working," Information Clearinghouse, February 14, 2004.

[4] Ibid; "CIA Intelligence Report: Iraq Posed No Threat To U.S., Containment Was Working," Information Clearinghouse, February 14, 2004;
CIA, "Unclassified Report to Congress on the Acquisition of Technology Relating to Weapons of Mass Destruction and Advanced Conventional Munitions: 1 January Through 30 June 2000."

[5] RAI News 24 [Italy], "Fallujah: The Hidden Massacre" (video, English version), Information Clearinghouse.

[6] Dahr Jamail, "
800 Civilians Feared Dead in Fallujah," IPS, November 16, 2004; "Fallujah, Lies, and Banned Weapons," Uncommon Thought Journal, November 13, 2005.  

[7] Ron Harris, "
Is Jimmy Massey telling the truth about Iraq?," St. Louis Post-Dispatch, November 5, 2005.
Tim McLaughlin, "Post-Dispatch editor resigns," St. Louis Post-Dispatch, November 4, 2005.