OpEdNews On Media's Failure

OpEdNews.com continues their run of excellent stories with this wonderful piece about how the media has failed America:

John McCain stated this week that he expects us to be in Iraq for the next 10-20 years. Bush has already put in place the mechanisms necessary to re-institute the draft and without having to worry about re-election in a second term, there will be nothing to stop him from implementing it. Cheney has no designs on running in 2008 either, so you can guarantee the draft will be back to fuel the wars this administration has planned in Iran and Syria, not to mention the continuing the bloodletting in Iraq.

Within the Iraq quagmire, are other stories not making headlines. This week came the revelation that Halliburton is using our soldiers as meat-shields, accompanying their drivers around the war-torn country as bodyguards. Never mind that the Halliburton employee will be earning 3 times or more what our soldier earns, this policy is reprehensible and our soldiers are crying out for help through websites. It appears you will also not hear about this story from our media.

Another disappointing media blackout surrounds their refusal to challenge the president on the insistence of tying the Iraq war to the war on terrorism. This lie was repeated multiple times during the convention and will be a major part of the standard stump speech for Bush down the stretch. As Robert Perry pointed out last week, “Before a national television audience, Bush repeated his false account of the run-up to the Iraq War, asserting he had no choice but to invade because Saddam Hussein refused to disarm or to comply with United Nations inspection demands. The reality is that not only did Hussein say publicly – and apparently accurately – that Iraq no longer possessed stockpiles of banned weapons but also he allowed U.N. inspectors into Iraq in November 2002 and gave them free rein to examine any site of their choosing.

The McCain statement was news to me, but apparently he did say it, on CNN. Funny how the only story I could find on it was in the Toronto Sun.

OpEd also pointed me to this excellent numbers story about all the things Bush has done in his first 4 years. Some of my favorites:

-0 Number of times Bush mentioned Osama bin Laden in his three State of the Union addresses.
-83 Number of times Bush mentioned Saddam, Iraq, or regime (as in change) in his three State of the Union addresses.
-0 Number of times Bush mentioned Saudi Arabia in his three State of the Union addresses.
-140 Number of Saudis, including members of the Bin Laden family, evacuated from United States almost immediately after 11 September.
-$3m Amount the White House was willing to grant the 9/11 Commission to investigate the 11 September attacks.
-$50m Amount granted to the commission that looked into the Columbia space shuttle crash.
-0 Number of minutes that President Bush, Vice-President Dick Cheney, the Defence Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, the assistant Defence Secretary, Paul Wolfowitz, the former chairman of the Defence Policy Board, Richard Perle, and the White House Chief of Staff, Karl Rove ­ the main proponents of the war in Iraq ­served in combat (combined).
-2.5 Number of hours after Rumsfeld learnt that Osama bin Laden was a suspect in the 11 September attacks that he brought up reasons to "hit" Iraq.
-$2bn Estimated monthly cost of US military presence in Iraq projected by the White House in April 2003.
-2000 Year that Cheney said his policy as CEO of Halliburton oil services company was "we wouldn't do anything in Iraq".
-$4.7bn Total value of contracts awarded to Halliburton in Iraq and Afghanistan.
-$4bn Actual monthly cost of the US military presence in Iraq according to Secretary of Defence Rumsfeld in 2004.
-75 Percentage of Americans unaffected by Bush's sweeping 2003 cuts in capital gains and dividends taxes.
-4.7m Number of bankruptcies that were declared during Bush's first three years in office.
-2002 The worst year for major markets since the recession of the 1970s.
-$489bn The US trade deficit in 2003, the worst in history for a single year.
-200 Number of regulation rollbacks downgrading or weakening environmental laws in Bush's first three years in office.
-31 Number of Bush administration appointees who are alumni of the energy industry (includes four cabinet secretaries, the six most powerful White House officials, and more than 20 other high-level appointees).
-1 Number of paragraphs devoted to global warming in the EPA's 600-page "Draft Report on the Environment" presented in 2003.
-28 Number of vacation days Bush took in August 2003, the second-longest vacation of any president in US history. (Record holder Richard Nixon.)
-13 Number of vacation days the average American receives each Year.

I could go on forever listing the whole thing, because it's all riveting and true, but do yourself a favor and check it out.

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