Abrave, truth-telling whistleblower has emerged to tell the White House's side of the story in the Libya War. The inside scoop appears in a Los Angeles Times article by Christi Parsons(4/2/11) headlined, "For Obama, a Carefully Calculated Delay on Justifying Libya Airstrikes." Are you confused by the White House's decision-making on Libya? Fear not–everything has gone according to plan. Like, for instance, the delay in public explaining the decision tobomb: The timing was deeply controversial, but was designed to be a major part of the message itself, unfolding as the U.S. chalked up a measure of achievement in Libya and […]
The Washington Post's Greg Jaffe (4/1/11): Some of the United States' partners have acknowledged that the initial descriptions of the intervention in Libya no longer apply. "What is happening in Libya is not a no-fly zone," a senior European diplomat told reporters, speaking on the customary condition of anonymity. "The no-fly zone was a diplomatic thing, to get the Arabs on board. What we have in Libya is more than that." Is"customary" anonymity something like,"Now I can tell you the truth?" (In case you're curious, the Washington Post's official policy on anonymous sourcing is that "granting anonymity to a source […]
FAIR's alert on the NewsHour's limited debate on Libya hasn't sparked any immediate changes at the program. From last night's broadcast: JUDY WOODRUFF: For more on Libya and the president's speech, we get the views of two senators. Rhode Island Democrat Jack Reed is on the Armed Services Committee. And Georgia Republican Johnny Isakson is on the Foreign Relations Committee. I spoke to them a short time ago. Senators, thank you very much for joining us, Sen. Reed and Sen. Isakson. Before I ask you about what President Obama said last night, Senator Isakson, just quickly, do you believe the […]
The bombing of Libya has sharply divided public opinion, but the PBS NewsHour has avoided a wide-ranging debate by overwhelmingly featuring the views of current and former government and military officials. If you'd like to see a more diverse group of voices arguing the pros and cons of intervention, see FAIR's Action Alert. Please leave copies of your messages to PBS, and comments on the alert, in the comments thread of this post.
One of the questions about U.S.-led war in Libya is the scope of the conflict. Some rebel forces seem to want more U.S. military action. The Washington Post reportstoday (3/29/11) that this is already happening. Under the headline"U.S. Deploys Low-Flying Attack Planes," Greg Jaffe explains: The U.S. military dramatically stepped up its assault on Libyan government ground forces over the weekend, launching its first missions with AC-130 flying gunships and A-10 attack aircraft designed to strike enemy ground troops and supply convoys. The use of the aircraft, during days of heavy fighting in which the momentum seemed to swing in […]
Last night (3/24/11) Jim Lehrer introduced a NewsHour discussion segment about the Libya War: Now, how it looks to two former U.S. senators, Democrat Gary Hart of Colorado and Republican Norm Coleman of Minnesota. Senator Hart is now a scholar in residence at the University of Colorado and chair of the Defense Department's Threat Reduction Advisory Council. Senator Coleman is CEO of the American Action Network, an issue advocacy organization that supports Republican candidates and policies. The same broadcastfeatured an interview with Deputy National Security Adviser Denis McDonough. Monday's broadcast featured this segment: JIM LEHRER: Now some perspective on the […]
In his New York Times column today (3/24/11)–headlined "Hugs From Libyans"–Nicholas Kristof boils down the argument in favor of the war in Libya: Then, on Wednesday in Benghazi, the major city in eastern Libya whose streets would almost certainly be running with blood now if it weren't for the American-led military intervention, residents held a "thank you rally." They wanted to express gratitude to coalition forces for helping save their lives. Kristof goes on to write that "a humanitarian catastrophe has been averted for now," and that the air strikes could not wait: "A couple of days of dutiful consultation […]
One of the peculiar things about the Fox News Channel is that they actually do invite progressive guests onto some of the shows. Last night on the O'Reilly Factor (3/22/11), we saw Code Pink's Medea Benjamin talkingabout Libya. Of course, there's a political point O'Reilly is trying to make; in this case, he was contrasting Benjamin's anti-war position to the pro-war positions expressed by some Obama-friendly MSNBC hosts. O'Reilly's got a point there. (This is not something I'm used to saying.) But never fear–he's still perfectly capable of making his own completely absurd arguments. Like this: O'REILLY: They have succeeded […]
USA Today (3/23/11): WASHINGTON–The top commander of the allied air war to protect civilians in besieged Libyan cities said the forces of Moammar Gadhafi must pull out or face attack, a task analysts say is complicated by the risk of bombing in populated areas. The "war to protect civilians" could be "complicated" by the killing of civilians.
On September 17, 2001, Fox host Bill O'Reilly gave his list of countries the United States should attack, including Libya: Target three is Libya and Qaddafi. Again, he either quits and goes into exile or we bomb his oil facilities, all of them. And we mind the harbor in Tripoli. Nothing goes in, nothing goes out. We also destroy all the airports in Libya. Let them eat sand. A decade later, O'Reilly supportsthe airstrikes onLibya because Qaddafi is attacking civilians (3/21/11): O'REILLY: But Qaddafi's carpet bombing guys who are driving around in old Chevys with pistols, he's killing them. You […]
U.S. airstrikes in Libya have brought renewed focus on the 1988 explosion of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. Some are making the argument that the U.S. could–and should–be getting revenge for this act a mere 22 years later. Last night (3/21/11), one cable news host said this: Given the fact Americans died on that 747 over Lockerbie, I'm all for this mission…. I'm an American. You're an American. We all have opinions. I have always believed thatQaddafi was a terrorist. Let's look at the tape again of flight Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. Do you need any […]
How can you tell that your country has gone to war again? Here are at least two signs. –The same military official is on every Sunday morning chat show: Yesterday Joint Chiefs chair Mike Mullen was on CBS's Face the Nation, NBC's Meet the Press, Fox News Sunday and ABC's This Week. –You can watch TV reports about the astonishing accuracy of your weapons: OnCNN last night, courtesy of Pentagon correspondent Chris Lawrence: American Tomahawk missiles can be reprogrammed in flight. If there was a risk of civilian casualties, operators could change the target after launch. But the Navy did […]
The New York Times has a piece today (3/7/11) about the debate over U.S. military intervention in Libya. The paper reports that there are persistent voices–in Congress and even inside the administration–arguing that Mr. Obama is moving too slowly. Reporters David Sanger and Thom Shanker contend that there is too much concern about perceptions, and that the White House is too squeamish because of Iraq. And who are those persistent voices? The most vocal camp, led by senators John McCain, the 2008 Republican nominee for president, and Joseph I. Lieberman, the Connecticut independent and another hawk on Libyan intervention, say […]