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Washington Post: We Buried Anti-War Voices

[ This follows-up the May story about the New York Times’ admission of failure. –BL ]

12 August 2004 | DemocracyNow!

The Washington Post published today a major 3,000 word front-page story examining how the paper downplayed critics of the Iraq war before the U.S. attacked lat year. Pentagon correspondent Thomas Ricks revealed how in October 2002 editors killed a piece of his titled “Doubts” that outlined how many senior Pentagon officials were reluctant about plans to attack Iraq. Ricks also added “The paper was not front-paging stuff. Administration assertions were on the front page. Things that challenged the administration were on A18 on Sunday or A24 on Monday. There was an attitude among editors: Look, we’re going to war, why do we even worry about all this contrary stuff?

Executive Editor Leonard Downie Jr. admitted mistakes were made. He said “we were so focused on trying to figure out what the administration was doing that we were not giving the same play to people who said it wouldn’t be a good idea to go to war and were questioning the administration’s rationale.”

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