also posted on dKos.

I think I’ve finally figured out the Star Tribune’s strategy regarding the Downing Street Minutes and Memos.  Readers of the newspaper might have noticed a surprising lack of A-section articles regarding the leaked documents and their contents.  However, their editorial pages have been a veritable gold mine of DSM&M goodness.

They can provide more conjecture in an Editorial than an article.  Editorials, being the opinion pieces that they are, have a little bit more play in what they can accuse people of as opposed to researched articles.

See what I mean below.
Today, the Star Tribune had a very good editorial that includes most of the liberal discussion on the DSM&M. The title itself screams volumes “Fig leaf for war/Paper indicates UN was mislead”  Some Quotage:

Let’s go back to 2002 and think about what the American people hoped for in Iraq. Such a review provides context to the latest British document leaked to the press and leads inevitably to the conclusion that both the British and American people were grossly misled.

This was the opening paragraph!  The writer later goes on to emphasise a major point that most other media sources seem to gloss-over/ignore completely.  Emphasis was original to article.

Now comes, however, a classified briefing paper prepared for a July 23, 2002, British cabinet meeting, the minutes of which have come to be known as the Downing Street memo. The briefing paper makes clear that both the British and American administrations viewed action by the Security Council not as an alternative to war, but as a means of justifying a war already decided on.

Here comes the money quote.  And the part that makes me love the Strib.  They’re basically blogging in a major newspaper!

The paper goes on to explain that “Regime change per se is not a proper basis for military action under international law.” But it would be lawful if “authorized by the U.N. Security Council.” It goes on to say that this is the preferable route, provided the Security Council does not allow the weapons-inspections process to continue indefinitely.

This is where the plot really thickens. Perhaps readers will recall that Bush’s nominee for U.N. ambassador, John Bolton, recently was accused of orchestrating the 2002 ouster of Jose Bustani, head of the Organization for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons, a U.N. agency. Why did Bolton want Bustani replaced? Because Bustani was aggressively seeking to reinsert chemical weapons inspectors into Iraq. The conclusion of many observers is that the United States did not want inspectors in Iraq because it undercut the U.S. case for an invasion.

Can anyone name a single news source that has made this accusation?  This quote is what made me realize their strategy is to keep it in the opinion pages where they have more leeway with what is allowed.  In an article, they’d presumably have to back this up with sources.

Their closing paragraph doesn’t back off any more than the rest of it.

In the end, the Security Council refused to play its role, arguing that the weapons inspectors needed more time (actually ample time) to complete their mission. Then the United States threw up its hands, branded Security Council members a bunch of hand-wringing pansies, and went to war. As the British briefing paper makes clear, that was pre-ordained.

A look back at my diaries will track the evolution of their discussion.

Sunday June 12th: Ombudsman Discusses DSM evolution in Star Tribune.

Thursday June 9th: Editorial again discussing DSM

Thursday June 2nd: Star Tribune publishes DSM in full (first newspaper in the nation to do so)

Also, there was a story that I did not diary prior to June 2nd, and am unable to find a link for.  It is slightly discussed in the June 12th Ombudsman article, however.  But this was an A-section article. The editorial pages is where the magic happens.

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