Dan Rather's Network of Evil Weasels
Given the likelihood that CBS and Dan Rather had to make great journalistic concessions in order to secure their exclusive interview with Saddam Hussein, it’s interesting to note the following Dan Rather quote, on why he was selected for the interview (as quoted in the Washington Post):
"We made a point of saying to [Saddam] that we keep our word," Rather said. "We do what we say we will do and won't do what we say we won't do. They came out of that with the experience that we are who we say we are."
Meaning, I suppose, that Rather and CBS have proven themselves to be reliable mouthpieces for Iraqi propaganda in the past and Saddam can rely on them again.
Also, from the Post article, it turns out Dan Rather had someone working on the inside, whispering a personal recommendation into Saddam Hussein’s ear:
CBS acknowledged that former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, who is prominent in the global anti-war movement and met with Saddam on Sunday, put in a good word for Rather in helping secure the interview. Clark has known Rather for a long time, said CBS News spokeswoman Sandra Genelius.
That provides some rather unsettling insight into Dan Rather’s network of contacts. Ramsey Clark, the former Attorney General of the United States (under LBJ, so I’m not sure that counts). “Prominent in the antiwar movement” and occasional houseguest of Saddam Hussein. And, oh yes, they failed to mention he’s also currently engaged in a campaign to impeach the President.
And a man who said the following in a personal letter to the UN Security Council:
There is no rational basis to believe Iraq is a threat to the United States, or any other country. The reason to attack Iraq must be found elsewhere.
[President Bush’s] motives may include to save a failing Presidency which has converted a healthy economy and treasury surplus into multi-trillion dollar losses; to fulfill the dream, which will become a nightmare, of a new world order to serve special interests in the U.S.; to settle a family grudge against Iraq; to weaken the Arab nation, one people at a time; to strike a Muslim nation to weaken Islam; to protect Israel, or make its position more dominant in the region; to secure control of Iraq’s oil to enrich U.S. interests, further dominate oil in the region and control oil prices. Aggression against Iraq for any of these purposes is criminal and a violation of a great many international conventions and laws.
Add the sentence “Isn’t that right, your Excellency?” at the end of that rambling, dementia-fueled, left wing wet dream of a statement and I think you just might have Dan Rather’s first "question" to the Iraqi dictator. I guess we'll all find out tonight on 60 Minutes II.
Actually I won't, since I'll be watching the Gophers basketball team at Michigan St. I prefer to see contests where both sides haven't colluded to dictate an outcome in advance.