Today marks the fifth anniversary of “shock and awe”—the U.S. invasion of Iraq, 2003.
For veteran White House journalists, getting a straight answer on Iraq was like pulling your own teeth:
“Those were the days when I longed for ABC-TV’s great Sam Donaldson to back up my questions as he always did, and I did the same for him and other daring reporters. Then I realized that the old pros, reporters whom I had known in the past, many of them around during World War II and later the Vietnam War, reporters who had some historical perspective on government deception and folly, were not around anymore. I honestly believe that if reporters had put the spotlight on the flaws in the Bush Administration’s war policies, they could have saved the country the heartache and the losses of American and Iraqi lives.
“It is past time for reporters to forget the party line, ask the tough questions and let the chips fall where they may.”
—Helen Thomas, dean of the White House press corps, 2006