Congress Gives Green Light for War with Iraq as Media Narrows National Debate
Interview with Norman Solomon,author and syndicated columnist by Scott Harris
After several days of debate which included impassioned pleas by Sen. Robert Byrd to resist the march to war, Congress voted by a sizeable majority to give President Bush unrestricted authority to launch an attack against Iraq and overthrow the government of Saddam Hussein. Just before the House and Senate debate got underway, CIA Director George Tenet issued a letter which undermined many of the White House claims that Saddam Hussein posed an imminent threat to the U.S. The letter addressed to Congress stated that Iraq was not likely to mount terrorist attacks with weapons of mass destruction, unless faced with a U.S-led attack.
While the Bush administration focused its attention on gaining support for a war against Baghdad, terrorist attacks attributed to the al Qaeda network were reported across the globe. The killing of a U.S. marine in Kuwait, an attack on a French tanker off the coast of Yemen and the deadly bombing of a night club in Bali, Indonesia resulting in more than 180 fatalities, all seemed to point to a pattern of renewed activity by the group dispersed from its sanctuary in Afghanistan one year ago.
Before the Congressional vote, the Institute for Public Accuracy, a group which works to gain access for dissenting points of view in corporate media, organized a fact-finding delegation to Iraq in mid-September. The delegation included U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall, Democrat of West Virginia, former South Dakota Sen. James Abourezk, Dr. James Jennings of Conscience International and syndicated columnist Norman Solomon who serves as the executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Norman Solomon, who assesses the congressional green light for war with Iraq and describes what he saw and heard during his recent trip to Baghdad.
Read Norman Solomon's column, Media Beat at www.fair.org/media-beat.
Institute for Public Accuracy www.accuracy.org
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