Tina Kyprios: Media mess

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The liberal media are having great fun as of late raging on about how Bush lied about weapons of mass destruction to go to war against Saddam Hussein. And who can blame them? After having had to grit their teeth through eight years of Clinton scandals, they are frothing at the mouth to call anything that Bush (or any conservative for that matter) does wrong, a mar on his character.

As always, it is up to us as citizens to determine what is accurate, and what is bias and partisan politics. One good clue is to see whether the people making the accusations have changed their position depending upon the party in power.

Using this test, we see that the press outrage on WMD is partisanship of the worst kind. The people who accuse Bush of lying are the same ones who supported Bill Clinton in bombing the Sudanese aspirin factory because, they said, it was a joint venture of Iraqi intel and Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida that was developing and producing VX nerve agent and other WMD. They are the same ones who pronounced Saddam in violation of successive U.N. resolutions and so imposed painful sanctions on the Iraqi people (sanctions that Saddam controlled, the French tried to lift, and corrupt U.N. officials got rich from) and initiated a series of bombing campaigns against Iraq.

These are the same people who applauded making regime change in Iraq national policy in 1998 because Saddam had WMD.

Who said, "If Saddam Hussein fails to comply and we fail to act or we take some ambiguous third route, which gives him yet more opportunities to develop his program of weapons of mass destruction ... he will then conclude that he can go right on doing more to build an arsenal of devastating destruction. ... Some way, someday, I guarantee you he'll use the arsenal"?

Who ordered a strike to attack Iraq's nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs, and its military capacity to threaten their neighbors?

Who said Iraq had an offensive biological warfare capability, notably 5,000 gallons of botulinum, 2,000 gallons of anthrax, 25 biological-filled scud warheads and 157 aerial bombs?

These are all the words of Clinton in the late 1990s. Making Iraqi regime change national policy because of its WMD threat was a bipartisan act of Congress.

Who said, "This December will mark three years since United Nations inspectors last visited Iraq. There is no doubt that since that time, Saddam Hussein has reinvigorated his weapons programs. Reports indicate that biological, chemical and nuclear programs continue apace and may be back to pre-Gulf War status. In addition, Saddam continues to refine delivery systems and is doubtless using the cover of a licit missile program to develop longer-range missiles that will threaten the United States and our allies."

That was from a Dec. 6, 2001, letter signed by Bob Graham, Joe Lieberman, Harold Ford and Tom Lantos, among others.

I could list endless quotes from U.N. officials, former Clinton administration officials, democratic members of congress, former inspectors and others confirming our knowledge of the existence of WMD, and their determination to get rid of that threat. You will note how many of these people changed their opinions recently.

The missing WMD might be a major intelligence gaffe or they might be a major ongoing security concern. They might be many things. But these accusations clearly have less to do with this president's credibility than with that of his accusers.

Tina Kyprios

Steamboat Springs

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