Thursday, June 5, 2008

The Greatest Story Never Told

When the Bush administration took a dislike to the Senate Report on Iraq in 2004, they demanded a new one. So here at last is the new Senate Report, which even more strongly accuses the Bush White House of repeatedly misrepresenting the threat posed by Iraq.

Of course, a lot of people will greet this news with a shrug and a yawn. Bush lied, right? So what else is new? That is exactly what the Bush team wanted when they shuttled the story off the front page all those years ago.

Likewise, not many people heard Malcolm Fraser's remarks to the Parliamentary Press Gallery in Canberra yesterday:
"I don't think journalism has pursued what happened there [in Iraq], how the war was begun, as vigorously, as fearlessly as it should've.

"I don't believe that the fabrication of evidence and the false intelligence that was used to justify war has been adequately exposed for what it, in fact, is.

"I don't think the leaders of Britain and the United States have really had put on their shoulders fairly and squarely the responsibility of what I believe was to be a most disastrous venture."
Fraser's remarks were briefly reported by the Sydney Morning Herald and the O.O., and a video was posted by Live News. No other Australian media organisation touched the story, including "your" ABC.
Mr Fraser said it might be that the full story would be told.

"But it won't have any impact on Britain because the prime minister is no longer prime minister," he said. "And by the time the story is told the President will not be president, either."
He did not mention that John Howard is no longer Australia's PM either, but the implication was clear. The longer it takes the media to report the truth about how we were misled into war, the less impact the story will have.

As our new Prime Minister, it is incumbent upon Kevin Rudd to pursue the War Crimes of the previous government. If he fails to do so, then he become complicit too. The media must now hold Rudd to account, as they failed to hold Howard to account.

If our governments and media corporations choose to keep the lid on these diabolical war crimes, then society will find some other way to express its anger. If public trust in the government, the law, and an unbiased media break down, that is bad for everybody.

The truth will out, one way or another. Indeed, the truth MUST come out, if Australia is to remain a healthy and vibrant democracy.

POSTSCRIPT: Alexander Downer writes an Op-Ed for Rupert, "Not A Bad War":
If the war was so illegal, immoral and generally heinous, why is the Rudd Government still contributing?

In the end, Australians should be proud that our contribution to Iraq has made that long-suffering country just a little bit better and the lives of its people just a little bit brighter.