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Doctor recommended for optimal cerebral hygiene 

the game is afoot…in somebody’s mouth.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

let’s play a game.

it’s called, “who do you believe?”

the board and pieces for this game are provided by our country’s current adventure in iraq. the players include the cia, the bush administration, the media, and you.

here’s how to play:

something happens in iraq. it doesn’t matter what. something momentous, something small. an individual something (we’ll call it an “event”), or a whole series of somethings (we’ll call those a “trend”).

for the purpose of our game, we’ll pick an “event” summarizing a “trend.” (ooh, isn’t this great?!?)

the “event” is a recent report from the cia’s station chief in baghdad. according to the new york times (yes! a member of the media! you’re very good at this game...), the chief characterized the situation there as “bad and getting worse.”

read it for yourself. go ahead, i’ll wait… (log-in required)

ready to go on? excellent.

okay, now since the new york times is often disparaged as having a “liberal bias,” we also consulted fox news online. the people at fox, some say, are right wing toadies, so they should have a totally different view of the chief’s report, don’t you think? let’s find out...

well, the main page didn’t say anything about the cia station chief in baghdad, so i did a search of the site. as you can see, it turned up nothing. so apparently, according to fox news, this story is not news.

moving right along…

what does the bush administration say? well, npr and the times reported that scott mclellan, a white house spokesman, said he could not discuss intelligence matters. me, i see that as a punch line, but you can make of it what you will.

let’s summarize.

according to the new york times, the cia chief in baghdad says the situation there is not so great. fox news doesn’t say anything about the chief’s report. the white house source has no comment, leaving one to discern the facts for oneself.

who hasn’t had a turn yet? oh…you!

knowing how smart you are, i figured you’d want more information. so i googled this story for you. cia station chief baghdad, i typed.

here are the results.

as you can see, the first page consists of reports of the station chief being removed from his post…in december of 2003. nothing on the current chief, except a pick-up of the times’ story in the minneapolis star tribune.

then, on google, i clicked “i’m feeling lucky.” because i figured you were feeling pretty lucky right about now.

here’s the result.

okay, you’ve read what was available. based on your reading: who do you believe?

do you believe the cia chief, as reported in the new york times? do you believe fox news and the white house, which is to say, go about your business, there’s nothing to see here? do you believe the people at the minneapolis star tribune, who apparently believe the story in the times?

the clock is ticking. the pressure is on. based on all the information you’ve gathered, what do you conclude, and why? think about your answer for a moment, it says a lot about who you are.

aaaaaaaannnnnnhhh! time’s up!

who do you believe?