I think the reason we’ve had such a tough time getting the media to acknowledge problems with the run-up to the war is that they bought it.
Rather talking about known nuclear experiments is a prime example. There were zero nuclear program experiments after 1991, and zero of any weapons program after 1995.
If there had been one station that had remained skeptical (Bob Somerby of Daily Howler, and he remembers so much, gives top credit to Chris Matthews, of all people) it could have been crowing to the moon for the last few years.
It is simply bad for their profit margins to acknowledge their mistake, and the publicly held corporations are legally bound to pay attention to profit first (at least, that’s what I keep hearing).
I didn’t listen much to the talking heads at that time, so I missed all the propaganda that was being spewed across the airwaves. But standing back, I could not believe that people were buying into the war.
When Bush was selected in 2000 to be the next president, there were several people along with me on a BBC thread betting that we’d be at war with Iraq in two years. (I’ll emphasize that this was before 9/11 happened.)
Besides, the PNAC group had been begging Clinton to attack Iraq in the 90s.
So why on earth was it a surprise? Why did people ignore the fact Saddam was contained by the no-fly zones? Why did they ignore the fact that even Cheney agreed going into Baghdad would activate the militias when he was in the first Bush cabinet? Why could they not see that Bush had decided on war long long before he play-acted the last minute diplomacy? Why could they not hear the ever changing excuses and reasons why Saddam needed to attacked?
If I could see it, why on earth couldn’t the others?
Because they were afraid? Because they didn’t want to look? Because they were corporate owned shills who marched obediently in the direction they were told to?
We can see the ‘journalists and reporters’ NOT asking questions or pursuing facts. We can see them aggressively challenge those who spoke out and those who did not believe the Bush administration. We can see they did NOT do their job.
They drank the kool aid and wiggling and twisting this way and that will not alter the fact. The media was in collusion with the Bush administration.
After all, almost 100% of the salacious stuff about WMD and Saddam’s atrocities came from the Pentagon. There was no possibility for independent journalism. Journalists wouldn’t expect that Saddam would show them anything to confirm the WMD stories, and there weren’t any WMD, which means it was impossible that they would have found anything.
The Spanish-American War was started in a similar way. The press jumped on the Maine bandwagon. I understand Heart’s paper was basically last of all the major papers to splash the explosion across their front page. If you include the Philippine insurrection, that war lasted for more than 15 years, and there were no parades when the troops came home. In addition, it was launched by a religious and unintelligent President who was closely linked to the plutocrats (re: Hanna, his chief fund raiser).
Anyway, historical analogies are always weak, I just meant to say that the press bought and resold the war lies.
I have a lengthy post on all the different groups and why they wanted the war, and there was no central group that didn’t want it. A few pacifists, a few people talking about international law, and a few quagmire prognosticators.