Accuracy in Media

On June 15th, former NATO Supreme Commander General Wesley Clark appeared on Meet the Press with Tim Russert. He claimed pre-Iraq war intelligence was hyped. Russert asked, “Hyped by whom??The CIA, or the president or vice president? Secretary of Defense, who?” Clark didn’t answer specifically, and so Russert came back at him: “By who? Who did that?”

That’s when Clark said, “?it came from the White House, it came from people around the White House. It came from all over. I got a call on 9/11. I was on CNN, and I got a call at my home saying, ‘You got to say this is connected. This is state-sponsored terrorism. This has to be connected to Saddam Hussein.'” But Clark said he never got any evidence.

The left-wing group, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, faulted the rest of the media for not seizing upon Clark’s serious charge. But Clark never cited any specific individuals or names, and refused to do so when asked by Sean Hannity on the Hannity and Colmes program. Rather than hold Clark responsible for this charge, which he refuses to back up with evidence, the media encourage his possible run for president. He was recently on This Week with George Stephanopoulus, who failed to ask Clark for the names of these mysterious White House officials. On Hannity and Colmes, Clark refused to identify himself as a Democrat or Republican, even though he was considered Bill Clinton’s general when Clinton picked him to run NATO and wage war on Yugoslavia. On CNN, John Hlinko of DraftWesleyClark.com, was pressed to identify Clark’s party affiliation.

Clinton confidante James Carville said to him, “The question all America is asking, is Wesley Clark a Democrat or a Republican? “When Hlinko said it was a great question but didn’t respond directly, Carville shot back, “What’s the answer? I know what the question is. Just tell me the answer.” Hlinko had no answer, leading conservative co-host Tucker Carlson to say, “if he cannot be straightforward enough to tell us what his party registration is, why would you vote for a guy like that?” Another website, draftclark.com, is more forthcoming, declaring that they want to draft him as the Democratic Party candidate for president.

There are other questions that should be raised with Clark. When Clark, as Commander of Operation Allied Force in Kosovo, learned that Russian peacekeepers had entered the airport at Pristina before British or American forces, he reportedly ordered British General Sir Michael Jackson to send assault troops to prevent the Russians from taking over the airfield. Jackson replied, “I’m not going to start the third world war for you.”

NATO conducted this war in Kosovo under Clinton, and the U.S. Senate was never given the opportunity to vote on a new NATO document transforming the alliance from a defensive to offensive military force. The House voted not to authorize the Kosovo bombing campaign, making it illegal under the War Powers Act. Nevertheless, Clark received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Clinton for his efforts. Clearly, he is affiliated with Clinton’s party but doesn’t want to talk about it.




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