I didn't want to blog this. But when a good friend repeats a lie as truth and gets upset over it, truth just has to get its shoes on. So here goes.
Newsweek didn't kill anyone. Anyone who claims different is selling something.
Newsweek reported old news. The reporter, Michael Isikoff, had good sources in the Administration. He did all the right things. He had what he considered to be a reliable source. It was even buried deep in the back of the magazine.
The fact that people rioted, and people died, after the story came out is not the fault of Newsweek. It's the fault of whoever stuffed a Quran down the toilet. It's the fault of those who committed torture in our name, those who turned a blind eye to it, and ultimately those at the top. In the end I'm guessing that for every potential life saved by anything given under torture, at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, wherever, we created 100 terrorists, maybe more.
So let's get the story straight.
Those people rioted because of George W. Bush, because the U.S. no longer has any credibility anywhere in the Muslim World, because people were willing to believe the worst and act on it.
There is one thing worse than the rioting and the torture, however.
That is the willingness of millions of Americans, maybe even including you, to be conned by what is by now an old game of press control that could have come out of the early days of the Soviet Union.
It's the same game played in Rathergate. Dan Rather had his facts right. George W. Bush disappeared in 1972 and never explained himself, either to his superiors or the American people. He was AWOL. But, by focusing on some papers used in that report's evidence, most Americans came to believe the opposite, that CBS was lying and therefore Bush was an honorable veteran.
Both stories had the same result. People believed what they wanted to believe. People made a choice to believe Rathergate cleared Bush. People chose to believe Newsweek caused those riots.
This is precisely what happens when an American ideology cracks up, when it can no longer explain the facts. It's what happened over a century ago, when the Civil War ideology could not explain the Panic of 1893. It was the case in the early 1930s when the certitides of Progressivism could not explain the Great Depression. It is happening now to the Nixon ideology that emerged in the late 1960s, just as it did to the Lyndon Johnson Administration 40 years ago, as Robert McNamara struggled to explain and justify Vietnam.
This is also, coincidentally, what happens whenever tyranny raises its head over a land and a people. Lies become truth, 2+2=5.
Well here's some news for you.
2+2=4. Four. F-o-u-r. Those riots were anti-American riots, not anti-Newsweek riots. And the cause they were rioting about has still not properly been explained, by anyone, only covered up.
That's the story. That's the truth. And it doesn't matter whether you believe it. Because 2+2 always equals 4.