News Release

Interviews Available on Iraq: Truth and Consequences

JOHN C. BERG
Professor and director of graduate studies of the government department at Suffolk University, Berg said today: “The current plans by Congressional leaders to give the president a blank check in advance would be an abdication of their constitutional responsibility. The whole history of Congressional attempts to authorize military action with conditions is that the conditions are meaningless — this was true of the Tonkin Gulf Resolution in 1965; with the intervention in Lebanon in the 1980s; and with the many attempts to limit military aid to repressive governments in Central America. It is not enough to say that it’s up to the president to decide when the conditions are met.”
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JIM NAURECKAS
Naureckas is editor of Extra!, the magazine of FAIR (Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting). After protesters chanted “inspections not war” at a hearing yesterday, Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said: “Mr. Chairman, as I listened to those comments, it struck me what a wonderful thing free speech is. And of course, the country that threw the inspectors out was not the United States. It was not the United Nations. It was Iraq that threw the inspectors out.” Naureckas said today: “Yes, free speech is a wonderful thing. It’s even better when it’s true. As media outlets correctly reported at the time, it was the U.N.’s Richard Butler who pulled his inspection team out of Iraq in December 1998 to clear the way for a U.S. bombing attack. Unfortunately, many media have adopted as fact the official myth that Secretary Rumsfeld repeated.”
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BRIAN WHITAKER
Today, Richard Perle, Chairman of the Defense Policy Review Board, testifies before the House Foreign Relations Committee. Middle East Editor for the British Guardian, Whitaker is author of the recent articles “U.S. Think Tanks Give Lessons in Foreign Policy” and “Playing Skittles with Saddam.” Whitaker said: “President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt recently predicted devastating consequences for the Middle East if Iraq is attacked, saying that ‘We fear a state of disorder and chaos may prevail in the region.’ Mubarak and the hawks agree on one thing: war with Iraq could spell disaster for several regimes in the Middle East. Mubarak believes that would be bad. The hawks, though, believe it would be good. For the hawks … Iraq is just the starting point — or, as a recent presentation at the Pentagon put it, ‘the tactical pivot’ — for re-moulding the Middle East on Israeli-American lines…. [These hawks have plans] by which Israel would ‘shape its strategic environment,’ beginning with the removal of Saddam Hussein and the installation of a Hashemite monarchy in Baghdad. The leader [of this group of hawks is] Richard Perle — now chairman of the Defense Policy Board at the Pentagon. He is not fighting his battle single-handed. Around him there is a cosy and cleverly-constructed network of Middle East ‘experts’ who share his neo-conservative outlook and who pop up as talking heads on U.S. television, in newspapers, books, testimonies to congressional committees, and at lunchtime gatherings in Washington. The network centres on research institutes — think tanks that attempt to influence government policy and are funded by tax-deductible gifts from unidentified donors.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020 or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167