Thursday, April 19, 2007

Assuming Too Much

Maybe I'm assuming too much, but if I were going to interview someone with a documented history of being a liar, I'd do my homework and come prepared. Not Steve Inskeep; he approaches his interview with Douglas Feith with the savvy of a drunken frat boy. Consider this sad exchange:
Feith: "He [Hussein] had demonstrated that he was interested in WMD and the danger was that he could take action in the future that would get him in a major fight with us at which point he might use the combination of WMD capabilities and connections to terrorists to hurt us."
Inskeep: "Is there any point in that, that you ended up assuming too much?"
Feith: "I think that was a reasonable assumption under the circumstances."
Inskeep: "Still? You do, ok (mumbling)."
Feith: "Do you not?!"
Inskeep: "It sounds reasonable the way that you put it."
Reasonable to a dolt perhaps. Notice how Inskeep hands over the store to Feith on this bit of chicanery. What kind of "major fight" and what "connections to terrorists"? Not a peep from Inskeep. Amazingly it continues and gets worse.
Feith: "That’s what we were worried about (chuckling) I don’t think there were reasonable--"
Inskeep (cutting in): "But of course there were analysts making an entirely different, uh—(mumbling)--"
Feith (cutting him off): "No there weren’t. (Pause and then louder) No there weren’t. I mean that’s just false – I, I, hope you can do something to clarify this point. This notion that there were analysts who were saying that Saddam Hussein was not a threat – there was nobody saying that!"
At this point Inskeep just concedes. Unbelievable! In fact there were many who dissented about the "threat" posed by Hussein - Inskeep is just too lazy or sympathetic to Feith to do any research. A little digging around would have found veteran intelligence professionals, a former UN inspector, a scholar, and other intelligence experts challenging the Hussein "threat." Furthermore many experts denounced the illegality of and security dangers posed by the coming invasion of Iraq.

In addition to helping Feith cover up his war-criminal behavior, Inskeep provides the usual fawning, personal touch. We learn that "Professor Feith has graying hair and rounded glasses. He looks comfortable on campus..." and that students who take his class at Georgetown have "come to respect their professor." Finally Inskeep gives a little free advertising to Feith for the book he is writing which will "grapple" with his role in the Iraq War. Inskeep notes that it's "a memoir that’s about 400 pages long" and that "as Professor Douglas Feith writes his book on the war, he concedes his version of events is very different from the popular view." Maybe he can call it My Struggle.


Willie said...

Ha! Yes, "My Struggle" indeed, DF being one of many little Hitlers weighing us down these days. Nice to see two others, Gonzo and the Wolf, sinking these days beneath so many waves of condemnation.

I too groaned through that sycophantic, boot-licking interview this, and I appreciate your scalding analysis.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, Steve Inskeep is right up there with Juan Williams in my list of waste of fundraising dollars -- he's managed to turn a fairly informative news broadcast into background noise. (Well, Renee Montagne has certainly contributed no small amount to Morning Edition's demise to be sure.) Frankly, my canary is far nicer to listen to -- more informative as well.

Anonymous said...

Oh god yes...Juan Williams should just hand a recorder over to his interview subjects, go out to coffee and pick up the tape a few hours later.

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