For a while now I have been saying that the Washington Post is getting better, but today’s front page is close to an all-time low. Every headline seems written to attack Bush: “Ashcroft’s Efforts on Terrorism Criticized,” “Panel Says Bush Saw Repeated Warnings,” “Bush Acknowledges ‘Tough’ Weeks…”
The first, an article by Dana Priest, is a puff piece on the (failed and, one would hope, discredited) “intelligence community.” It contains references to “headlines” on “intelligence reports” such as “Bin Laden threats are real,” which would be laughable except that, as we know, the intelligence community had no clue about OBL’s actual plans.
The second, by Dan Eggen and Walter Pincus, quotes the testimony by (the failed) Thomas Pickard saying that Ashcroft didn’t want to hear about terrorism. And then the usual language: “Ashcroft, who denied barring Pickard from offering him threat reports…” You have to go to the jump to find anything about Ashcroft’s presentation of the Gorelick memo creating a “wall” between criminal and intelligence investigations.
The third, by Dana Milbank and Mike Allen, is pretty straight, except for a bit of overwriting: “Bush mixed an expression of concern about the killings with an absolute certainty that his course of action is the correct one.” Absolute? Should have been edited out.
And then the front-page article labelled “Analysis” by Dan Balz, “President is Long on Resolve but Short on Details,” as if Bush were supposed to present our tactics in a press conference.
Finally, there’s Thomas Ricks, “Insurgents Display New Sophistication,” which is fine so far as it goes, but I am still waiting for the Post to discuss the terrorists’ use of women and children during the fighting. An Italian general, interviewed in the Corriere della Sera, gave details. He said that when the Italian forces started to get the upper hand in a firefight, first children then women in black came forward, causing the Italians to stop shooting. when the terrorists had reorganized, the women and children went away…
Quite a performance by the Post.