The Washington Post's Biolab Deception

Updated

The Washington Post has a page one article today which deceives its readers about the findings on mobile biolabs in Iraq:

On May 29, 2003, 50 days after the fall of Baghdad, President Bush proclaimed a fresh victory for his administration in Iraq: Two small trailers captured by U.S. and Kurdish troops had turned out to be long-sought mobile “biological laboratories.” He declared, “We have found the weapons of mass destruction.”

The claim, repeated by top administration officials for months afterward, was hailed at the time as a vindication of the decision to go to war. But even as Bush spoke, U.S. intelligence officials possessed powerful evidence that it was not true.

A secret fact-finding mission to Iraq — not made public until now — had already concluded that the trailers had nothing to do with biological weapons. Leaders of the Pentagon-sponsored mission transmitted their unanimous findings to Washington in a field report on May 27, 2003, two days before the president’s statement.

What’s deceptive about this? The Post reporter, Joby Warrick, failed to disclose for the reader that there were three teams that investigated those trailers. Two teams believed the trailers were biolabs. However, we don’t learn this information until the 12th paragraph:

Intelligence analysts involved in high-level discussions about the trailers noted that the technical team was among several groups that analyzed the suspected mobile labs throughout the spring and summer of 2003. Two teams of military experts who viewed the trailers soon after their discovery concluded that the facilities were weapons labs, a finding that strongly influenced views of intelligence officials in Washington, the analysts said. “It was hotly debated, and there were experts making arguments on both sides,” said one former senior official who spoke on the condition that he not be identified.

Joby Warrick knew while writing this article that there were several teams that examined those trailers, the majority of which concluded that they were used as biolabs. However, Warrick ignored the majority and instead cherry-picked the information provided by the one team that thought these trailers were not biolabs.

Placing the findings of this one team in the first few paragraphs of the article made it look as if this team’s findings were the only ones of any importance or authority. Rather than reporting the facts, that most of the teams that examined the trailers concluded that they were in fact biolabs, this reporter proves once again that the MSM don’t care about facts; they care only about the template: Bush lied.

Update: A reader points out that ABC News has an article on the same topic with the same Bush lied template.

Hat tip: Confederate Yankee

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