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Uncurious Media

Citations describing the media as uncurious about George Bush, his administration, and the outrageous activities before, during, and after election day 2000, that created the Bush usurpistration.

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(12/31/2005) Y2005: Wayward Press Awards
Albion Monitor (Sebastopol, California)
December 31, 2005
by Jeff Elliott
Other excerpts of this appear under Dishonorable Mentions

Aside from a passing glance in a NY Times update on the British elections and a short Knight-Ridder item picked up by a handful of newspapers, the U.S. mainstream media ignored the story [of the Downing Street Memo]. . . .

To Milbank, the new discovery of the old British government memo has no relevance except as a historical footnote. Milbank also makes the mistake of linking the Downing Street Memo to the British election story; why on earth would anyone care to rehash pre-election stories now that the election's over? By defending the poor initial U.S. media coverage, Milbank and the others are, essentially, arguing against the American public's right to know whether the reasons for war were trumped up by the Bush White House. . . .


Alas, the newspapers blew it; with rare exceptions such as the end-of-year Post coverage, reporting has been spotty and focused narrowly on only the most current events. What the story cried for was daily, or at least weekly, special-section feature coverage. You know -- the same kind of hot-spotlight used a few years ago on the unfolding Monica Lewinsky affair. . . .


Nor did the issue stir much interest in the press, with short articles appearing deep inside the New York Times and LA Times when the report was released, and NEXIS showing that a handful of papers picked up the Associated Press item. A few passing mentions can be found scattered throughout the following year in op/eds and and articles about related Iraq issues. Like the presumption of reporters that everyone knew that Bush had ginned up reasons for war before disclosure of the Downing St. Report, the $8.8 billion was a detail dropped into the narrative with the expectation that the reader already knew plenty. . . .


In case you missed it (and you did, because there was absolutely no media coverage), there was an important hearing on Capitol Hill March 2nd [2005]. The topic: The secret government of George W. Bush. Never in American history has government been so eager to rubber stamp papers as "Confidential," or "Secret;" last year, 9/11 Commission Chairman Thomas Kean said that fully 75 percent of the materials reviewed shouldn't have been classified, and the secrecy hampered informaton-sharing by agencies with a need to know. . . .

But it's not as if the mainstream press is breaking a sweat trying to pry this information loose. Blogger Michael Petrelis had the inspiration to file a Freedom of Information Act request asking for a list of all FOIA requests made to the Pentagon. The list is revealing: Of the 10,000+ requests made in the last five years, only about one percent came from America's largest newspapers. The LA Times made 42 inquiries, exactly twice as many as the NY Times. The Washington Post made 34 requests for info, two more than CBS News. The Associated Press was the leader of the pack with 73. . . .

What's the 411 on 9/11?
In These Times
Views > December 21, 2005
What's the 411 on 9/11?
By Salim Muwakkil
Salim Muwakkil is a senior editor of In These Times, where he has worked since 1983, and an op-ed columnist for the Chicago Tribune. He is currently a Crime and Communities Media Fellow of the Open Society Institute, examining the impact of ex-inmates and gang leaders in leadership positions in the black community.

In early December, the 9/11 Public Discourse Project--a private group formed by 9/11 Commission members after their official term expired in 2004--chided the government for ignoring the lessons learned from the Commission's probe of the terrorist attack.

But the group's patrician members failed to answer many questions. For example, how, precisely, did the Twin Towers fall? Why did Seven World Trade Center fall despite incurring no structural damage? Why were there no jets to intercept the hijacked planes? What happened to the "National Command Authority" that supposedly protects us in emergencies?"

This official reticence, combined with a lack of curiosity from the media, has sparked a grassroots inquiry, publicly dubbed The 9/11 Truth Movement.

The Raw Story | Freedom of Information logs shed light on media's military curiosity
John Byrne
Originally published on Wednesday November 23, 2005

The Pentagon’s records reveal that the [Freedom of Information Act] law is broadly used—more than 10,000 requests have been made since 2000. But they also illuminate a seeming dearth of curiosity by news organizations about the internal files of the U.S. military establishment.

This lack of curiosity appears particularly evident among the nation’s three largest newspapers.

In total, the three papers with daily circulations greater than one million--USA Today, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times -- made just 36 [FOIA] requests of the Pentagon between 2000 and February 2005. USA Today made nine; the Journal, six; and the Times, 21.

Free-Market News Network, Corp.
Monday, November 07, 2005 - FreeMarketNews.com

In a study he [Michael Petrelis] did on Freedom of Information Act requests from American news agencies since 2000, he found a distinct lack of curiosity on the part of the news organizations in getting behind the cover stories to the actual Pentagon documents.

Are Media Using the FOIA Enough to Get Military Info?
Editor & Publisher
By E&P Staff
Published: November 24, 2005 8:30 AM ET

The results [numbers of FOIA requests of the Pentagon 2000–2005 made by various media companies], which came in response to a FOIA request by blogger Michael Petrelis, are summarized by John Byrne at the Raw Story web site. Byrne finds that this shows relatively little aggressiveness to obtain such information. He calls this a “lack of curiosity,” especially since 10,000 requests were made in all.

The Raw Story | Freedom of Information logs shed light on media's military curiosity
John Byrne
Wednesday November 23, 2005

The Pentagon’s records reveal that the [Freedom of Information Act] law is broadly used—more than 10,000 requests have been made since 2000. But they also illuminate a seeming dearth of curiosity by news organizations about the internal files of the U.S. military establishment.

This lack of curiosity appears particularly evident among the nation’s three largest newspapers.

Bob Woodward, Lost in Cronyism? | TPMCafe
By Larry Johnson
Oct 30, 2005 -- 10:00:44 PM EST

If you had a chance to watch Woodward's "dazzling" performance on Larry King Live this past Thursday, you would have been treated to the spectacle of incurious Bob dismissing the leaking of a CIA officer's identity as gossip run amuck. . . .

Let's see.  Curious Bob is no longer curious.  Nope.  Nothing to report here.  In fact, his remarks parrot Republican talking points.  Just a coincidence, I'm sure.

DALE McFEATTERS: The unmartyred Judith Miller | TheNewsTribune.com | Tacoma, WA
By DALE McFEATTERS, Scripps Howard News Service
Tuesday, October 18th, 2005 02:05 PM (PDT)

As the special prosecutor's CIA leak probe expanded, Times executives showed a stunning lack of curiosity about her [Judith Miller's] notes and sources. . . .

Chiefs of staff are notoriously busy, but in a few weeks in the summer of 2003, Miller had a sit-down with Libby at his office, talked to him at least once by phone and, two days after Plame's husband wrote an oped accusing the Bush administration of misrepresenting WMD intelligence, she had a two-hour breakfast with Libby.

This suggests that she was a willing participant in the administration's campaign, first, to dramatize the threat of Iraqi WMDs and then, when none were found, to suppress evidence that they never existed. This is advocacy, not journalism.

Schieffer's all-GOP panel attacked Earle and De ... [Media Matters]
Media Matters for America
Schieffer's all-GOP panel attacked Earle and Democrats, promoted tax cuts
by J.B. [Joseph Brown]
Posted to the web on Monday October 3, 2005 at 7:23 PM EST
here, the media "has" [sic] been incurious about Congressional Republican doings, rather than about Mr. Bush and his administration.

[CBS' Face the Nation host Bob] Schieffer or a non-Republican guest could have also asked Dreier about the rise of Rep. Roy Blunt (R-MO) to replace DeLay as majority leader over congressmen such as Dreier -- a subject about which the media has been notably incurious.

The Austin Chronicle: News: The Hightower Report
SEPTEMBER 23, 2005
by Jim Hightower

But isn't it curious that the media tagalongs are so incurious that they never ask the basic question, "Is this really a ranch?" The answer is, "No." It's more of a ranchette. Yes, he has about 1,600 acres of scrub prairie, a big rancher-looking limestone house, and, until recently, some 200 head of cattle.

But, wait – those aren't Bush's cattle! They belong to the family that sold the place to George in 1999, when he was gearing up to run for president and needed a Texas-looking image. In fact, Bush does no ranching at all and reports no agricultural activity on his tax returns.

A few months ago, the previous owners sold off their cattle, so "Cowboy George" was left with no cows on the range. . . . Worse, the guy can't even ride a horse!

OpEdNews.Com Progressive, Tough Liberal News and Opinion
LDD: Logic Deficit Disorder Epidemic Among Regressive Right
by Allen Snyder
August 4, 2005

These attitudes are carefully cultivated not just by BushCo, who spreads the seeds wherever it can, but also by the profit-driven MSM, whose complete lack of curiosity and objectivity serve only to parrot the propaganda about America’s being a shining beacon of freedom and hope, called upon to fix the world’s problems by spreading same with tanks and bombs.

The Cornell American - Supreme Incuriosity
Published on: Tuesday, July 26 @ 08:25:36 CDT.
This item is also referenced in Dishonorable Mentions

I don’t mind that George Bush is not a particularly intellectually curious man. (I supported his candidacy because he cut my taxes, not because he understands how to estimate labor supply elasticities.) But I do expect more intellectual curiosity from conservative journalists and commentators.

Torture and Accountability
The Nation
Elizabeth Holtzman
posted June 28, 2005 (July 18, 2005 issue)

Consider the coverage of Gonzales's January 2002 memo to President Bush. The media gave substantial play to his recommendation that the United States opt out of the Geneva Conventions. Most reporters focused on his first reason for doing so--that certain provisions of the Conventions were "quaint" and inapplicable to the "new" paradigm of twenty-first-century terrorism. But the press did not pay nearly as much attention to Gonzales's second reason--that opting out would reduce the possibility of War Crimes Act prosecutions. As a result, the American people remained largely in the dark about the War Crimes Act. They generally did not know that the act made it a federal crime to engage in inhuman treatment of detainees, or that the act applied to Iraq. They did not know that by recommending that America opt out of Geneva, the White House counsel--and the President, apparently, through his approval--was trying to create a legal loophole that would permit US government personnel to engage in possible criminal behavior with impunity. It was entirely predictable, under these circumstances, that there would be no public outcry about violations of the War Crimes Act or a broad demand for accountability of higher-ups under it.

Seattle Weekly: News: Mossback: That Elusive Outrage by Knute Berger
June 15 - 21, 2005
uncuriousgeorge.org disagrees with the author's conclusion on the adequacy of mainstream media coverage of the Downing Street Memo.

The mainstream media have not ignored the Downing Street memo; in fact, the mainstream media are why we know about it. It was first published in the London Times in early May, a paper owned by corporate magnate Rupert Murdoch, who also owns the odious U.S. Fox News Channel. You can argue that the mainstream media— especially the White House press corps(e)—have been slow and incurious about the implications of the memo, as Geov Parrish did last week (see "Memo to Mainstream Media," June 8).

Steve Berg: Why are we in Iraq? It begs for an answer
Minneapolis Star Tribune
June 15, 2005

But even acknowledging that Bush probably lied about his reasons for war leaves unanswered the critical question of why we really invaded, especially the part about why the administration, just as U.S. forces in Afghanistan were in hot pursuit of the terrorists responsible for 9/11, abruptly changed its focus to Iraq.

Despite the apparent lack of curiosity from the press and public on this question, I thought it might be helpful to assemble a list of 15 possible answers.

BottleOfBlog: Liberal Media Explains Its Own Curiosity At Its Lack Of Curiosity About "Wing Nut" Issue, Which It Finds Strangely Compelling, Authentic, And Intriguing, While Completely Ignoring It
June 08, 2005
BottleOfBlog: The Great Blog Forward
Liberal Media Explains Its Own Curiosity At Its Lack Of Curiosity About "Wing Nut" Issue, Which It Finds Strangely Compelling, Authentic, And Intriguing, While Completely Ignoring It
Lack of curiosity about the Downing Street Memo.

The Carpetbagger Report » The Friday-Night Presidency
Comment by Analytical Liberal — 6/6/2005 @ 10:44 am

Of course, in their "business as usual" laziness and incuriosity — maybe they got it from Bush himself — the media STILL is as clueless regarding this successful effort to dupe the American people; in fact, the Bush administration could not operate or even exist without the media's complicity, and Bush depends on it to get away with his lies, deceptions, and "aw, shucks" buffoonery.

Home / Headlines / Newsweek -- your source for yellow-bellied journalism - Media Monitors Network (MMN)
by Greg Felton
(Thursday 26 May 2005)

The state of journalism is so debased that, in the White House press briefing room, respected veteran reporter Helen Thomas was banished to the back row for asking an intelligent question, and a phony reporter (“Jeff Gannon”) who pandered to Bush’s official mouthpiece was treated with respect, until he was exposed.

Reporters, with a few notable exceptions, have degenerated into palace press stenographers—too craven or incurious to challenge threadbare propaganda.

The Influence of Fools
Published on Tuesday, May 10, 2005 by CommonDreams.org
The Influence of Fools:
Why Liberals are mad at the MSM
by John Atcheson
A worthwhile critique of media "coverage" of the Bush maladministration.

Look at the elements. Budget periods cut from ten years to five to hide exploding deficits. Elaborate Mission Accomplished-style propaganda backdrops at every public event. Orwellian names like "Clear Skies," and "Healthy Forests" designed to hide real intentions. Fake news stories filmed at government expense and released to an all too incurious media. Paid journalists and columnists writing fawning stories for profit. Bogus White House correspondents throwing soft ball questions under assumed names. Staged "town-hall meetings" with pre-screened crowds and pre-screened questions — questions like, "Mr. President, did you know my wife and I pray for you every night?" Whew. That’s a toughie. And even with the hand-selected audiences, strong-armed stooges roam the crowd and silence, roust, and arrest any stray dissenters who somehow make it past the crumbled remains of the First Amendment that block the entrances to these tax-supported events.

By: Justin Raimondo
Justin Raimondo is Editorial Director of AntiWar.Com. He is a regular columnist for Ether Zone.
Published in the February 11, 2005 issue of  Ether Zone

Remember that Iraq election everyone was hailing last week as a triumph of democracy and a model for the region? . . . Over ten days after the election was declared an unmitigated success — and some wimped-out liberals immediately began changing their wooly little minds about the war — we still haven't had any official results announced. And all sorts of shenanigans seem to be going on . . . .

The last partial returns announced were leaked last Monday. Since then, we've heard nothing. It's all very murky, but, heck, we paid for that election – how come we don't get to know the results? And why oh why is the mainstream media, which is supposed to be so "liberal" and "biased" against the war, and against Bush, so incurious about all this monkey business?

Jeff Gannon: Hiding in Plain Sight | This Is Rumor Control
Posted by newt on February 10, 2005 - 5:57pm

Gannon, with no journalistic background, infiltrates the White House briefing room where he “works” alongside dozens of reporters, considered by their news organizations to be the best in the business and yet he isn’t exposed as a news-fraud until some amateurs (I use the word lightly today) at Daily Kos, Eschaton and Americablog get on his case?

Weren’t the real White House reporters even curious about whom this softball-lobbing, administration suck-up really was? Did they ever click on the website of his employer, Talon “News” where they would have discovered its connections to GOPUSA? This isn’t just a case of a phony crashing the White House; it is the post 9/11, war-time White House that was crashed, a White house dealing with solemn matters involving life, death and national security.

AlterNet: MediaCulture: Too Much Stenography, Not Enough Curiosity
February 3, 2005
by Norman Solomon
Also appears on the same date at Dissident Voice, Common Dreams, and elsewhere.

Curiosity may occasionally kill a cat. But lack of curiosity is apt to terminate journalism with extreme prejudice. . . .

Public opinion polls in Iraq are consistently showing that most Iraqis want U.S. troops to quickly withdraw from their country. Yet Bush asserted that the Iraqi election would be democratic -- even while he expressed confidence that the resulting government would defy the desires of most Iraqi people on the matter of whether American military forces should remain.

The easy way for journalists to reconcile this contradiction is to ignore it -- a routine approach in news reporting.


News Hounds: FOX News Helps Spin Bush's Social Security "Reform"
Reported by ellen at December 17, 2004 01:05 AM

The ever-incurious-when-it-comes-to-Bush FOX reports that "for an undefined group of seniors, 'nothing will change' in their benefit structure."

American Prospect Onlline - ViewPrint
All the President's Handouts
Review of Plan of Attack
By Robert Kuttner
Issue Date: 06.07.04
Plan of Attack By Bob Woodward, Simon & Schuster, 480 pages, $28.00
On-line publication date not listed, but on or before May 14, 2004. Another excerpt appears in Citations Explained.

Woodward transcribes a virtual data dump of highly classified war plans. What was utterly missing from these (and unremarked by Woodward), however, was the challenge of maintaining civil order once Saddam Hussein fell. It was here, and not at the operational level of attack plans, that Bush's Iraq policy was such a calamity. But Woodward is startlingly incurious about these failures. "The ingenious list (of projected war details)," he writes admiringly, "put the president and the others on notice of exactly what would be required or expected from the region, the State Department, the CIA, Europe and the president himself." Except the plans did not achieve that, because they disastrously neglected what would be required in the war's aftermath. . . .

In the two Bush books, however, Woodward has gone beyond rewarding cooperation to outright collusion. The greatest investigative reporter of his generation is now the most notable court apologist.

It is scandalous that the rest of the press corps has sat still for a blatant and selective declassification that would have been subject to criminal prosecution had it not come from the very top. This huge trove of raw material handed to the faithful Woodward should now be in the public domain. In conjunction with this review, I am filing a Freedom of Information request asking that the entire package of official notes of conversations, CIA operations, NSA intercepts, detailed battle plans, etc. that the White House leaked to Woodward be considered generally declassified and available. I hope other journalists and historians will join me.

We now know from the work of the 9-11 commission and the revelations of Richard Clarke, Daniel Benjamin, Steven Simon, and countless others that the Bush administration disastrously botched the most fundamental challenge of keeping America and its allies secure from al-Qaeda. The Iraq policy was a leading distraction, as well as the source of new dangers. An investigative reporter of Woodward's caliber could have been all over that story. Indeed, the administration's calamitous policies cried out for his skeptical eye. Instead, Woodward chose to be the official stenographer. For that, he is the toast of the town. What a fraud, what a disgrace.

Dave Lindorff: An Appointment of Shock and Awe
April 27, 2004
Chalabi as Prosecutor
An Appointment of Shock and Awe

You have to wonder what they're smoking over on Pennsylvania Avenue and in the Green Zone in Baghdad. If they wanted to rehabilitate Saddam Hussein on the Arab Street, they couldn't have picked a better way to do it than to have a Chalabi run his trial.

Less shocking, but still stunning in its shabbiness, has been the American media’s complete lack of awareness of, or interest in this disastrous appointment. President Bush has been accused of being incurious, but the American media, whose job it is to ask questions, is in cases like this even worse. It's willfully ignorant.

CNN, in an interview with Salem Chalabi back in December, when he was already being described as an "architect" of the coming tribunal, didn't once ask him about the propriety or wisdom of his playing a key role in that tribunal. Neither did the Washington Post, which also interviewed him for a story at that time. A Google search of the mainstream media turns up no questioning of Salem Chalabi's role as director general. Even National Public Radio, which one might expect to show some scintilla of intellectual awareness, ran a piece this week interviewing Salem Chalabi about the tribunal without once asking him the Journalism 101 question about his conflict of interest in the case or the propriety of his serving as director general of the tribunal.

In the Shadow of Wolves: Shame on you, Corporate Media
Media Critiques
By Manuel Valenzuela, Contributing Editor
Apr 14, 2004, 16:07

In the year since the invasion and subsequent occupation, the corporate media has ensnarled itself with the Bush administration, following the president like a lost little puppy. The crumbs thrown at the pack of wolves is quickly gobbled up and regurgitated back to us. The most incurious, deceptive and acquiescent media the US has ever known has helped transform democracy into plutocracy, a once questioning populace into an accepting one and the global corporate empire into a most malicious evil empire.

A new volume from Bush's fairy-tale administration
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Tuesday, March 23, 2004
By Tony Norman

Isn't it ironic that legendary investigative reporter Bob Woodward's exploration of these events in "Bush at War" failed to pick up on the tunnel vision Clarke, O'Neill and Suskind describe in such depressing detail?

Perhaps that's the difference between the "unlimited access" of an embedded reporter who is fed a diet of sanitized reality and the perspectives of those who witnessed the administration's myopia behind closed doors. Maybe Woodward was a little too embedded.

Jim Neilson: "Fertilizing Bush"
Fertilizing Bush: Growing a Great Leader for Difficult Times
Jim Neilson
Jim Neilson, teacher, librarian, and Cultural Logic editor, is working on a book about the heroic reconstruction of George W. Bush and the propaganda function of mass media.
March 9, 2004
Though the word "uncurious" is applied to Bush, author Jim Neilson details in this 6000-word article how media have shaped public opinion by creating an illusion of a better Bush. Also, the Bush adminstration stages the news and the media cooperate unquestioningly. This article is thoroughly documented with over 75 unique references.

The strategy here was to juxtapose Lincoln and Bush and let the press do the rest. Rather than dismissing this intellectual product placement (as every teacher knows, carrying a book is not the same as reading it—especially for an uncurious “C” student like Bush), NBC gleefully followed the administration’s lead: April 1865’s author, Jay Winik, appeared on the Sunday Today Show, where he declared, “I really think there are certain echoes of Lincoln in [Bush].” . . .

To support the Iraq War, the administration skillfully shaped public perceptions: more than half the country thought the 9-11 hijackers were Iraqis and Saddam Hussein was personally involved in the 9-11 attacks. (Another twenty percent believed chemical and biological weapons were used against U.S. troops.) [Footnoted references supplied]

There's much more. Read the entire article.

slacktivist: Breitweiser for V.P.
Posted by Fred Clark on Mar 04, 2004 at 06:36 AM

The good news, Philip Shenon reports in The New York Times, is that the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States is not meekly accepting the president's attempted brush-off:

The independent commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks is refusing to accept strict conditions from the White House for interviews with President Bush. . . .

Shenon also reports, however, that:

Commission officials said that if the White House continued to insist on limitations on the interviews with Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney, there might be little that the panel could do to force the issue and that the commission might have to accept the White House's terms.

Little they can do? The panel needs to realize that it has at its disposal enormous moral clout. Media in this country may be corporatized, incurious and lazy, but we still have a free press and if this panel wanted to make some noise, by God, it could really make some noise.

If the panel wants to force the issue, all it needs is a telephone, a microphone or a megaphone and the judicious use of a few of the following key phrases: "shirking"; "stonewalling"; "uncooperative"; "refusal to answer"; "acts like he has something to hide"; "has us wondering what it is he's afraid to talk about."

Bush Colonizes Haiti
by Ted Rall 3/2/2004

BOSTON--The Bush White House is once again up to its hips in regime change, this time as the architect of the 33rd coup d'état in Haiti's tortured history. Backgrounds of the perpetrators and their relationship with the United States and the regime of ousted dictator Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier have been hard to come by in the increasingly incurious U.S. media, yet historical parallels abound when comparing tactics used against Haiti and those applied to Afghanistan, Venezuela, even Florida.

John Moltz: Hisssssssss...
February 11, 2004

If you can't bear to wade through the morass of material on Bush's time in the National Guard, this clip from Reuters nicely sums up where we are.
The White House had hoped its release of pay and service records would show that Bush had met his duties.

But those records also showed long absences during his final two years of service -- a period in which Bush worked for some time on a political campaign in Alabama. Democrats and other critics said the records were inadequate.
In other words, the White House was hoping the press would prove as incurious as they did in 2000 and the matter would magically vanish. That has not occured. The problem with Scotty McClellan's assertion is that the press has realized no one has seen proof Bush completed his service adequately.

America's Debate -> George Bush on "Meet The Press"
George Bush on "Meet The Press", Is he on the defensive?
Posted: Feb 9 2004, 03:56 PM

As someone mentioned above, there are many questions that could have been asked that might have shed some light on Bush's veracity in this matter [of his denial of AWOL and his discharge from the Texas Air National Guard]. They simply weren't asked and [Meet the Press Host Tim] Russert appeared "uncurious" in pursuing them. It was almost as if Bush was being asked to give his position on a variety of subjects without serious scrutiny.

Liar, Incompetent or Space Cadet?
The Nation
editor's cut by Katrina vanden Heuvel
Blog | posted 02/04/2004 @ 8:29 pm

As the esteemed former Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee once explained, "Even the very best newspapers have never learned how to handle public figures who lie with a straight face."

9/11 and the Bush Administration: Is Ignorance Bliss? - - Center for American Progress
by Eric Alterman
January 28, 2004
Eric Alterman is a senior fellow of the Center for American Progress and the co-author of The Book on Bush: How George W (Mis)Leads America.

And because of the success of the administration’s efforts to keep the [9/11 investigatory] commission from getting at truth—as well as a decided incuriosity on the part of the mass media, it’s likely we will never know. Apparently, that would suit the Bush administration just fine.

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