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Philadelphia Inquirer writer Tom Ferrick attacks Curt Weldon on WMDs June 28, 2006

Posted by papundit in Uncategorized.
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Despite evidence to the contrary, the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Tom Ferrick continues to believe there are no WMDs in Iraq. He’s already attacked Rick Santorum– declaring that Santorum’s assertion WMDs were found in Iraq is “false.” Today he targeted Curt Weldon:

It’s a scene out of an Indiana Jones movie – or an Indiana Jones parody:

A caravan of jeeps and heavy equipment crawls across the Iraqi desert, headed for a secret location on the banks of the Euphrates River.

Their mission: to dig 25 feet down into the riverbed and unearth concrete bunkers filled with chemical weapons produced by Saddam Hussein’s regime and hidden before the outbreak of the Iraq war in 2003.

And who’s that, dressed in a safari jacket and a pith helmet, supervising the dig?

None other than our own U.S. Rep. Curt Weldon (R., Pa.), leading a secret mission to unearth the Holy Grail of the war: the weapons of mass destruction that have eluded every other U.S. search team since our troops invaded three years ago.

Weldon’s planned trip to Iraq was later canceled over security concerns after word leaked out to the media. Ferrick claims the planned trip was an “attempt at political showboating to the nth degree.”

He bases this claim on comments made by Dave Gaubatz, a former Air Force special investigator who worked in Iraq in 2003 as a contractor. Ferrick writes that Gaubatz was upset by comments made by Weldon in a meeting since WMDs “was treated as an election issue that would get votes.”

Ferrick writes that Gaubatz is totally credible:

If you find Gaubatz’s tale credible, as I do, then what we have here is an attempt at political showboating to the nth degree – and it’s not the first time Weldon has done it.

Question: Does Ferrick find all of Gaubatz’s tale credible or only the parts that are politically damaging to Weldon?

Things to Consider: Ferrick writes that he found “Gaubatz’s tale credible.” However, Gaubatz has stated repeatedly that “while in Iraq, he acqired what he considered reliable information on the existence of WMD caches in four locations” but “he never could get U.S. military officials to look into the matter.” Weldon, on the one hand, was willing to investigate Gaubatz’s claims. Ferrick, on the other hand, dismisses Gaubatz by writing  “he has persisted- even as evidence mounted that there were no WMDs to be found in Iraq.”

Answer: Ferrick uses Gaubatz to politically attack Weldon. Despite Gaubatz’s claim that WMDs are in Iraq (and declassified files that support this assertion), Ferrick continues to deny the existence of WMD in Iraq. However, he wholeheartedly accepts Gaubatz’s claim that Weldon is interested in this issue only because he wants to play Indiana Jones and engage in political showboating.

If Tom Ferrick wants to write biased editorials or political attack ads, then his column should appear in the editorial or commentary page rather than the front page of the “Local News” section.

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