CNN's Hatchet Job on Scott Ritter

  • From: "Muslim News" <editor_@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <submit@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 14 Sep 2002 19:11:11 +0100

Media smear ex-Marine for seeking answers on Iraq 

To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we
are to stand by the president right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic
and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. --
Theodore Roosevelt 

OF COURSE it was just coincidental that, on Sunday, as CNN was
discrediting former United Nations weapons' inspector Scott Ritter, it
was running promos for the remake of Four Feathers, A.E.W. Mason's tale
of the coward who would not go to war. 

By Monday, professional hairdo Paula Zahn told viewers Ritter had "drunk
Saddam Hussein's Kool-Aid." 

Ritter, who had that day urged Iraq's National Assembly to let in
weapons inspectors or face annihilation, is no chicken hawk. After his
12-year turn as a U.S. Marine intelligence officer, he faced down Saddam
Hussein's goons as chief inspector of the United Nations Special
Commission to disarm Iraq (UNSCOM). In 1998, he quit in protest over
differences between what Washington wanted and what Iraq allowed. 

Ever since, he has been very vocal about what really led to UNSCOM's
failure to complete its mission — a failure Ritter largely blames on
Washington — and how weapons' inspectors must be allowed back in to
avert what will certainly be a brutal, bloody war. He insists that, if
the Bush administration has evidence showing that Saddam is building
nukes, then the American people have a right to see it before they
sacrifice their lives. 

So, naturally, CNN talking head Miles O'Brien on Sunday questioned
Ritter on his loyalty. 

"As an American citizen, I have an obligation to speak out when I feel
my government is acting in a manner, which is inconsistent with the —
with the principles of our founding fathers," said Ritter. "It's the
most patriotic thing I can do." 

Not in this climate. Not when there's the ironically named U.S.A.
Patriot Act which abrogates civil rights. Not when those who criticize
the administration are considered to be "with the terrorists." Not when
the U.S. media let President George Bush's advisers — who, with the
exception of Secretary of State Colin Powell, have never served their
country as Ritter has — gallop all over the airwaves. 

You couldn't flip a channel on Sunday without catching one of the Bush
bunch, including wife Laura, Powell, vice-president Dick Cheney, Defence
Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and National Security adviser Condoleeza Rice,
promoting an attack on Iraq as if they were actors flogging their latest
project on Leno and Letterman. 

Certainly, the line of questioning was no more tough. Nowhere was any of
them asked seriously, if at all, about such trivia as the costs of a
war, or what, if anything, is known about connections between Al Qaeda
and Saddam, or what proof there is that Iraq has the ability to make and
deliver nuclear weapons, or why that country as opposed to others, or
what oil has to do with it, or how Cheney justifies his former business
dealings with the regime he now so desperately wants to change ... 

Still the demonization of Ritter continued. 

First CNN had on its own news chief, Eason Jordan, who had just returned
from Baghdad where he was bagging the rights to cover the war. (Imagine
the ratings!) He dismissed Ritter with a "Well, Scott Ritter's
chameleon-like behaviour has really bewildered a lot of people..." and a
"Well, U.S. officials no longer give Scott Ritter much credibility..." 

The network followed up with more interviews vilifying Ritter, neither
of which cut to the heart of the matter: Why declare war? On what
grounds? At what cost? Ritter was characterized as "misguided,"
"disloyal" and "an apologist for and a defender of Saddam Hussein." 

By Monday, professional hairdo Paula Zahn told viewers Ritter had "drunk
Saddam Hussein's Kool-Aid." 

Over on MSNBC, Curtis & Kuby co-host Curtis Sliwa compared him to "a
sock puppet" who "oughta turn in his passport for an Iraqi one." But the
nadir came later on CNN when makeup job Kyra Phillips interrogated him,
implying that he was being paid by Iraq —and all but calling him a

"Ha! Excuse me; I went to war against Saddam Hussein in 1991. I spent
seven years of my life in this country hunting down weapons of mass
destruction. I believe I've done a0 lot about Saddam Hussein," he
replied. "You show me where Saddam Hussein can be substantiated as a
threat against the United States and I'll go to war again. I'm not going
to sit back idly and let anybody threaten the United States. But at this
point in time, no one has made a case based upon facts that Saddam
Hussein or his government is a threat to the United States worthy of

Maybe today, in his speech to the United Nations, Bush will make that

Maybe not. 

Whatever happens, the list of cowards and traitors here won't include
Scott Ritter. 

Source:  Toronto Star


You can choose whether you prefer to receive regular emails or a weekly digest 
by visiting


You can subscribe by sending an email to request@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx with the word 
"subscribe" (without quotes) in the subject line, or by visiting

You can unsubscribe by sending an email to request@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx with the 
word "unsubscribe" (without quotes) in the subject line, or by visiting

You are welcome to submit any relevant news story to submit@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

For regular Islamic cultural articles by email, send email to 

Other related posts:

  • » CNN's Hatchet Job on Scott Ritter