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Censorship United States News

Memory Holes and the Internet (updated) 801

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the and-we-thought-it-would-never-forget dept.
blamanj writes "As reporters and researchers depend more and more heavily on the Internet as a research tool, manipulation of the net becomes a serious problem. A recent Slashdot article discussed this in regard to the White House. Now, The Memory Hole has noticed that Time magazine has pulled an article by Bush, Sr. on why it was a bad idea to try and overthrow Saddam. How can we keep corporate America honest?" Update: 11/11 22:16 GMT by T : Declan McCullagh (former Time, Inc. employee, among other things) writes in with the non-conspiracy explanation for the change, below.

Declan writes "It is silly to claim that Bush Sr. and Scowcroft would strong-arm Time Inc. into removing an article from time.com -- when that article was an excerpt from their book that you can buy today from Amazon.com for $21.

Another explanation is more likely. And, yes, a quick search turns up a May 2003 article from Slate that debunks this rumor. It turns out that Time Inc. only had permission from the publisher to post the content for a limited time."

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Memory Holes and the Internet (updated)

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  • Archive.org (Score:4, Informative)

    by eurleif (613257) on Tuesday November 11, 2003 @10:30AM (#7443560)
    Archive.org, Google Cache, etc. all help.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 11, 2003 @11:13AM (#7443986)
      Is that archive.org will remove pages from the index if you ask, and will dutifully respect robots.txt files.

      If robots.txts are carefully used, a file can be kept out of archive.org and robots.txt forever.

      And it isn't really like archive.org, if it saw these as a problem, could ignore robots.txt files, since the most common reason for robots.txt is to keep a crawler from falling into a CGI script containing something that, from a crawler standpoint, is a bottomless pit of randomly generated links to itself.
    • Re:Archive.org (Score:4, Informative)

      by SoSueMe (263478) on Tuesday November 11, 2003 @11:28AM (#7444151)
      So what? Time pulled it, thememoryhole [thememoryhole.org] posted it, PBS [pbs.org] has Brent Scowcroft, national security adviser in the George H. W. Bush administration, interviewed in October 2001, Libertarian Thought [libertarianthought.com] and many others have the text.

      Once it hits the net, it is around for a looong time.
      • Re:Archive.org (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Catbeller (118204) on Tuesday November 11, 2003 @12:14PM (#7444604) Homepage
        It's the principle of the thing, for one. It's Orwellian. Secondly, Time readers searching the archives of Time will never find the article; it is now un-printed, nonexistent. And thirdly, how many other writings are being "un-printed" that are not favorable to the King? We can't look everywhere, all the time. And lastly, it's not beyond imagining that eventually the King's men will require Google and others to un-remember things they don't want remembered. A few laws here and there, and it's done. Hell, Scientology has tried it a few times, and actually succeeded in some cases in suppressing reality. They even did it to Google for a time; they really did it to Slashdot -- a thread critical of the Hubbardians that mentioned Xenu is now un-happened.
        • by ReelOddeeo (115880) on Tuesday November 11, 2003 @01:02PM (#7445234)
          Believing that you read things that never happened and were never printed is the sign of a sick mind. You are detached from reality and are clearly in need of help.

          You are providing broken links to non-existant text that you claim are "still" provided by other subversive sources. Only a troll would provide broken links to non-existant articles claiming that they once existed. It is all a paranoid delusion.

          Nothing Orwellian is going on here. The Ministry of Truth is simply working hard to keep the Internet, Google and other sources accurate and free from your kind of misinformation.
          • by mcpkaaos (449561)
            I'm still looking for these links the grandparent supposedly provided. No such luck. Unless.. unless they were removed, too! Oh, sweet Jesus, it's all real!
        • Re:Archive.org (Score:3, Insightful)

          by oconnorcjo (242077)
          It's the principle of the thing, for one. It's Orwellian. Secondly, Time readers searching the archives of Time will never find the article; it is now un-printed, nonexistent. And thirdly, how many other writings are being "un-printed" that are not favorable to the King?

          If I own a website (and I do) I feel that I can publish/delete anything I want on my site. TIME.com is not part of the public domain; it is the sole property of TIME Magazine. If they want to pull something from thier website then that

          • Re:Archive.org (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Kludge (13653)
            The 'Time' web site table of contents for that issue says:
            Please Note: The March 02, 1998 issue of TIME Magazine is now premium paid content on TIME.com...
            Yet the story is not there. This is deceptive. It is not really the March 02, 1998 issue. It is the 2003 version of the 1998 issue.

            Time magazine and other printed news sources like it purport to be a "papers of record". This means what they write should be useful as historical records of what happened at that point in time, not some revisionist ver
  • "Keep" them honest? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by heironymouscoward (683461) <heironymouscowar ... TBSDom minus bsd> on Tuesday November 11, 2003 @10:30AM (#7443566) Journal
    The White House relies more than many previous administrations on the power of "top secret", and it should surprise no-one if they extend legislation like the Patriot Act into civil domains such as the Internet.
    • it should surprise no-one if they extend legislation like the Patriot Act into civil domains such as the Internet.

      I doubt it. The Us Gubmint was unable to prevent publication of nuclear bomb theory after WW2 - this was while we were scared of Stalin getting a nuke of his own - so I doubt they'll be able to exercise any coersion over the Inet. Of course, most of the liberal media seems to be in the whitehouse's pocket...

      • by Zocalo (252965) on Tuesday November 11, 2003 @10:49AM (#7443743) Homepage
        Interesting that you should bring up Stalin, another big fan of revising the "official" records to expunge subjects and persons out of favour from the official records. Stalin's first efforts of media control were in the printed media too, but editing of photographs and the other media followed fairly quickly.

        I don't think Stalin went so far as to edit his own family though...

        • by mdmarkus (522132)
          The photograph you mention is an interesting example of the propoganda we promulgated during the Cold War. It's presented as someone doctoring a photograph of Stalin making a speech; in the undoctored version, someone (Trotsky, i think) is standing next to Stalin, and in the doctored version, he's gone. In the examples i've seen of it (the last one i remember was in a relatively recent copy of USNews), they were actually 2 separate undoctored pictures (other people were in different positions). While it'
    • Troll? (Score:5, Informative)

      by heironymouscoward (683461) <heironymouscowar ... TBSDom minus bsd> on Tuesday November 11, 2003 @11:01AM (#7443862) Journal
      No, definitely not a troll.

      There is an excellent article in the Economist about this, unfortunately for subscribers only. Here is a pertinent quote:

      A case in point is the near-total secrecy in which the Department of Homeland Security was hatched. No cabinet secretary was consulted. Nor were most senior advisers. The largest government reorganisation in half a century, involving huge numbers of civil servants and tricky questions of government relations, was decided upon by a handful of people (originally four, with aides) and without serious consultation with Congress. Did that improve the quality of decisions?


  • selected memory loss.
  • Wishes (Score:5, Funny)

    by handy_vandal (606174) on Tuesday November 11, 2003 @10:32AM (#7443584) Homepage Journal
    How can we keep corporate America honest?

    Wish as hard as you can. Maybe click your heels three times, for luck.
  • by Pointy_Hair (133077) on Tuesday November 11, 2003 @10:34AM (#7443596)
    Isn't it the prerogative of the private sector to publish at will? This is done all the time in print and television media. Should be no surprise that certain things get "omitted" on an Internet site.
    • Revisionism (Score:5, Insightful)

      by virg_mattes (230616) on Tuesday November 11, 2003 @10:40AM (#7443649)
      > Isn't it the prerogative of the private sector to publish at will? This is done all the time in print and television media. Should be no surprise that certain things get "omitted" on an Internet site.

      It wasn't omitted. It was excised. It was there, and now it isn't, but all the rest of the contents of that issue still are.

      Virg
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Because is not a case of deleting the whole issue because we dont archive things longer than X years, or anything like that.

      As the page says:

      "But a funny thing happened. Fairly recently, Time pulled the essay off of their site. It used to be at this link, which now gives a 404 error. If you go to the table of contents for the issue in which the essay appeared (2 March 1998), "Why We Didn't Remove Saddam" is conspicuously absent."

      That means, they are efectively rewriting things as to look like they never
    • by 4of12 (97621) on Tuesday November 11, 2003 @11:37AM (#7444233) Homepage Journal

      Isn't it the prerogative of the private sector to publish at will?

      Absolutely.

      The later retraction of an earlier published work is just the tip of the iceberg. More relevant is deciding what is news, what is not news, and how news should be reported.

      Those decisions are being made by a private sector that is aligning itself closely with its business objectives (as it should) to achieve the most growth in revenue, and not necessarily some ideal of providing complete, accurate and unbiased news.

      One problem is that greater growth in revenue can be gained not only by reporting sensational but inconsequential "news" (Rosie rants in court), or by culling pieces that advertisers might find offensive,but also by claiming to be an complete accurate and unbiased source of information, even if the claim is supported only by the purveyor of news. I mean, how do we expect them to portray themselves?

      Read from multiple sources, including those you would normally not want to read, sources you think are off-base, weird and misguided and tell you things that you'd rather not hear.

      Otherwise, we're in danger of living in a fantasy world.

  • The Excerpt (Score:5, Informative)

    by ndunn (171784) on Tuesday November 11, 2003 @10:37AM (#7443621)

    Excerpt from "Why We Didn't Remove Saddam" by George Bush Sr. and Brent Scowcroft, Time (2 March 1998):


    While we hoped that popular revolt or coup would topple Saddam, neither the U.S. nor the countries of the region wished to see the breakup of the Iraqi state. We were concerned about the long-term balance of power at the head of the Gulf. Trying to eliminate Saddam, extending the ground war into an occupation of Iraq, would have violated our guideline about not changing objectives in midstream, engaging in 'mission creep,' and would have incurred incalculable human and political costs. Apprehending him was probably impossible. We had been unable to find Noriega in Panama, which we knew intimately. We would have been forced to occupy Baghdad and, in effect, rule Iraq. The coalition would instantly have collapsed, the Arabs deserting it in anger and other allies pulling out as well. Under those circumstances, furthermore, we had been self-consciously trying to set a pattern for handling aggression in the post-cold war world. Going in and occupying Iraq, thus unilaterally exceeding the U.N.'s mandate, would have destroyed the precedent of international response to aggression we hoped to establish. Had we gone the invasio route, the U.S. could conceivably still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land. It would have been a dramatically different--and perhaps barren--outcome.

    • by Kinniken (624803) on Tuesday November 11, 2003 @11:34AM (#7444222) Homepage
      If, like me, you have a two-way tinfoil hat and hesitated to believe Memory Hole without proof, have a look at this PDF [time.com]. It's a "teacher-aid" document from the Times (some sort of coursework on actuality based on Times article), and it mentions the "disappearing article".
      Not only is the Times playing at Big Brother, they are not even competent when doing this... A simple Google search restricted to the times website found that in 2 sec.
      • by Threni (635302) on Tuesday November 11, 2003 @12:49PM (#7445063)
        http://www.thememoryhole.org/911/bush-911.htm

        Look at this page, and as you are looking, reflect upon it, asking yourself if any other leader of any other country at any point in history would have reacted even remotely similarly.

        If this doesn't convince you that The Idiot isn't in charge of the country - or worse, that the 9-11 attack was expected, which is the obvious conclusion from the hundreds of reports from the CIA, FBI and other intelligence reports from around the world which were wilfully ignored - then I'm not sure what will.
  • by Space cowboy (13680) on Tuesday November 11, 2003 @10:39AM (#7443637) Journal
    Once you've published something on the internet, it's very hard to remove it. There are too many 'bots beavering away in the background. If I do a search for my name on google, I get info going all the way back to my post-grad days at college some 12 years ago....

    The only real way to get rid of something is to pull it quickly.. leave it around and you've no chance......

    Simon
  • Education? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by zelurxunil (710061) <zelurxunil&gmail,com> on Tuesday November 11, 2003 @10:39AM (#7443643) Homepage Journal
    Maybe if you tought some of the millions of mindless drones clicking "I feel lucky" on google and taking everything they read as god breathed. In schools they need to be teaching kids to look at the source of their information closely, and in the workplace instead of teaching employees route memorization of "click here to check e-mail, click here to delete a message, click here to close e-mail...etc" teach them some basic computing principles, including conducting research on the internet.
    • Re:Education? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Zemran (3101) on Tuesday November 11, 2003 @11:06AM (#7443905) Homepage Journal
      Education has changed a lot of the past decade. It used to be about educating someone to think about the problem but now we teach them how to pass an exam. 10 years ago you would study a subject and after a long period of study you would get questions that required you to apply knowledge. Now all the courses are modularised. You study a module and at each stage you do a question that is practically an example of what you have been given.

      In the old system, people were taught to think and they could think for themselves. In the new system people are taught to remember what they have been told recently and to recite it.

      The new system appears to get better results and colleges and universities are measured on results. The client (student) is not interested in any more than the bit of paper that will get them a better wage. So US/UK society is dumbed down.

      Ironically Russia and China etc. still respect true education and the client in those countries (and most other Eastern block/Asian) still appreaciate deep learning.
  • by nurb432 (527695) on Tuesday November 11, 2003 @10:40AM (#7443654) Homepage Journal
    They dont 'have to keep honest'. There is no law that says they have to keep a story in place forever..

    Its their resources they use to do so... when they are finished with the story they can dump it..

    As long as what they report is the truth ( or with a disclaimer that its opinion and not fact ) then they are within their rights to do what ever they want with THEIR data...

    Now when the government does this, thats a different issue...
  • by useosx (693652) on Tuesday November 11, 2003 @10:40AM (#7443655)
    Just go here:

    CommonDreams [commondreams.org]
    CounterPunch [counterpunch.org]
    Bad News: Noam Chomksy Archive [monkeyfist.com]
    AlterNet [alternet.org]

    Or read a book. [amazon.com]

    Any good and honest right-wing folk (if you want to set up such a arbitrary left/right binary) should reply with their favorite truth-speaking resources.
  • Hey (Score:2, Insightful)

    by TheDredd (529506)
    Looks like somebody want's to remove the evidence that will make somebody look stupid. Maybe Bush should have talked to his daddy before invading Iraq
  • by 3Suns (250606) on Tuesday November 11, 2003 @10:41AM (#7443666) Homepage
    Straight answer: You can't. If a corporation has financial reason to do something, they will, period. No "morality" or "social conscience" or "concern for human freedom" will play into it. That's the way corporations work; committees and boards of trustees don't have any kind of hive-morality, only a concern for their company's bottom line.

    If media corporations and content-providing conglomerates have a financial or political reason to alter their records, they will, and they have no legal reason to do otherwise. We can only hope that the open-standard-based free internet can survive and let us remember electronically.
  • by sirgoran (221190) on Tuesday November 11, 2003 @10:42AM (#7443670) Homepage Journal
    How can you tell when a corporate suit (or lawyer, President, elected official, etc.) is not telling the truth?

    Answer: His/Her lips move.

    Lets face it, nobody wants to "Look bad" and if they can alter the records to "help you" forget what they said/did, they will do it. It's what keeps them in power and in control.

    Or did we forget that its the winners that write the history books.

    -Goran
  • by sielwolf (246764) on Tuesday November 11, 2003 @10:44AM (#7443695) Homepage Journal
    I think it's time to remember that the Internet is not a Parent nor is it a Governing Body. It is just a collection of writing. So you shouldn't come to it expecting truth or fairness. It just isn't that way.

    You want to keep Corporate America honest? Two ways: government mandate and journalism. That's the way its always been done, always will be. By keeping the population informed (ideally) corporations and officials will have to be wellbehaved.
  • "Corporate America" is every bit as honest as the rest of America. And the rest of the world, for that matter.

    Think about it.
  • Libraries? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by twitter (104583) on Tuesday November 11, 2003 @10:45AM (#7443700) Homepage Journal
    This is one of the reasons libraries exist and it's why printed material used to cary weight. Time in pulp form, sitting on thousands of shelves around the country, was something that could be researched with confidence. Libraries MUST be given the right to store and republish electronic content if electronic content is going to have any credibility. Sharing is part of your right to read.

    Things will sort themselves out if the internet reamains a free place where anyone can get on as a peer and publish. New publications will replace the old ones that act like Time. If the internet becomes more like broadcast TV, where only $pecial people with credentials can publish, it won't be trusted and the information superhighway will be just another billboard.

  • Print publications follow the standard procedure of publishing official correction and retraction notices, but there doesn't seem to be any such standard convention in the online world. Some publications act more ethically than others. All should at least place a note at the top of an article if it has been changed, and withdrawn articles should have a withdrawal notice instead of a 404 page.
  • Silent protest (Score:5, Interesting)

    by infolib (618234) on Tuesday November 11, 2003 @10:47AM (#7443717)
    Please everyone: Follow the link [time.com] to the pulled article. When it returns the 404 page, type "George Orwell" into the search box.

    Someone at Time should take notice. (And no, we have never been at war with Oceania...)
  • by boatboy (549643)
    How can we keep corporate America honest?
    This is clearly "spin" if I ever saw it. It's not just everybody's favorite whipping-boy "corporate America", but government, small business, large business, organizations, and individuals that lie. In short, the question should be: How can we keep anybody honest? There are several answers. Sites like Memory Hole, Archive, Wayback, etc. are good. Citizen's advocacy groups, and voting are other ways. Still another way is to seek to find the honest truth yourse
  • by NZheretic (23872) on Tuesday November 11, 2003 @10:48AM (#7443730) Homepage Journal
    Because this is legitimate political comentary and to save the webarchive being slashdotted here is a copy of the article From web.archive.org/web/20000816 [archive.org]

    SPECIAL REPORT/CLINTON'S CRISES MARCH 2, 1998 VOL. 151 NO. 8

    Why We Didn't Remove Saddam

    By GEORGE BUSH AND BRENT SCOWCROFT

    The end of effective Iraqi resistance came with a rapidity which surprised us all, and we were perhaps psychologically unprepared for the sudden transition from fighting to peacemaking. True to the guidelines we had established, when we had achieved our strategic objectives (ejecting Iraqi forces from Kuwait and eroding Saddam's threat to the region) we stopped the fighting. But the necessary limitations placed on our objectives, the fog of war, and the lack of "battleship Missouri" surrender unfortunately left unresolved problems, and new ones arose. We were disappointed that Saddam's defeat did not break his hold on power, as many of our Arab allies had predicted and we had come to expect. President Bush repeatedly declared that the fate of Saddam Hussein was up to the Iraqi people. Occasionally, he indicated that removal of Saddam would be welcome, but for very practical reasons there was never a promise to aid an uprising. While we hoped that popular revolt or coup would topple Saddam, neither the U.S. nor the countries of the region wished to see the breakup of the Iraqi state. We were concerned about the long-term balance of power at the head of the Gulf. Trying to eliminate Saddam, extending the ground war into an occupation of Iraq, would have violated our guideline about not changing objectives in midstream, engaging in "mission creep," and would have incurred incalculable human and political costs. Apprehending him was probably impossible. We had been unable to find Noriega in Panama, which we knew intimately. We would have been forced to occupy Baghdad and, in effect, rule Iraq. The coalition would instantly have collapsed, the Arabs deserting it in anger and other allies pulling out as well. Under those circumstances, furthermore, we had been self-consciously trying to set a pattern for handling aggression in the post-cold war world. Going in and occupying Iraq, thus unilaterally exceeding the U.N.'s mandate, would have destroyed the precedent of international response to aggression we hoped to establish. Had we gone the invasion route, the U.S. could conceivably still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land. It would have been a dramatically different--and perhaps barren--outcome.

    We discussed at length forcing Saddam himself to accept the terms of Iraqi defeat at Safwan--just north of the Kuwait-Iraq border--and thus the responsibility and political consequences for the humiliation of such a devastating defeat. In the end, we asked ourselves what we would do if he refused. We concluded that we would be left with two options: continue the conflict until he backed down, or retreat from our demands. The latter would have sent a disastrous signal. The former would have split our Arab colleagues from the coalition and, de facto, forced us to change our objectives. Given those unpalatable choices, we allowed Saddam to avoid personal surrender and permitted him to send one of his generals. Perhaps we could have devised a system of selected punishment, such as air strikes on different military units, which would have proved a viable third option, but we had fulfilled our well-defined mission; Safwan was waiting.

    As the conflict wound down, we felt a sense of urgency on the part of the coalition Arabs to get it over with and return to normal. This meant quickly withdrawing U.S. forces to an absolute minimum. Earlier there had been some concern in Arab ranks that once they allowed U.S. forces into the Middle East, we would be there to stay. Saddam's propaganda machine fanned these worries. Our prompt withdrawal helped cement ou

    • by NZheretic (23872) on Tuesday November 11, 2003 @10:53AM (#7443783) Homepage Journal
      Robin Cook, the now former UK Foreign Minister, resigned his position due to his great consern over the actions of the UK and the USA.

      What follows is a copy of his resignation speech in the House of Commons, which won applause from some backbenchers in unprecedented Commons scenes.

      This is the first time for 20 years that I have addressed the House from the back benches.

      I must confess that I had forgotten how much better the view is from here.

      None of those 20 years were more enjoyable or more rewarding than the past two, in which I have had the immense privilege of serving this House as Leader of the House, which were made all the more enjoyable, Mr Speaker, by the opportunity of working closely with you.

      It was frequently the necessity for me as Leader of the House to talk my way out of accusations that a statement had been preceded by a press interview.

      On this occasion I can say with complete confidence that no press interview has been given before this statement. I have chosen to address the House first on why I cannot support a war without international agreement or domestic support.

      The present Prime Minister is the most successful leader of the Labour party in my lifetime.

      I hope that he will continue to be the leader of our party, and I hope that he will continue to be successful. I have no sympathy with, and I will give no comfort to, those who want to use this crisis to displace him.

      I applaud the heroic efforts that the prime minister has made in trying to secure a second resolution.

      I do not think that anybody could have done better than the foreign secretary in working to get support for a second resolution within the Security Council.

      But the very intensity of those attempts underlines how important it was to succeed.

      Now that those attempts have failed, we cannot pretend that getting a second resolution was of no importance.

      France has been at the receiving end of bucket loads of commentary in recent days.

      It is not France alone that wants more time for inspections. Germany wants more time for inspections; Russia wants more time for inspections; indeed, at no time have we signed up even the minimum necessary to carry a second resolution.

      We delude ourselves if we think that the degree of international hostility is all the result of President Chirac.

      The reality is that Britain is being asked to embark on a war without agreement in any of the international bodies of which we are a leading partner - not NATO, not the European Union and, now, not the Security Council.

      To end up in such diplomatic weakness is a serious reverse.

      Only a year ago, we and the United States were part of a coalition against terrorism that was wider and more diverse than I would ever have imagined possible.

      History will be astonished at the diplomatic miscalculations that led so quickly to the disintegration of that powerful coalition.

      The US can afford to go it alone, but Britain is not a superpower.

      Our interests are best protected not by unilateral action but by multilateral agreement and a world order governed by rules.

      Yet tonight the international partnerships most important to us are weakened: the European Union is divided; the Security Council is in stalemate.

      Those are heavy casualties of a war in which a shot has yet to be fired.

      I have heard some parallels between military action in these circumstances and the military action that we took in Kosovo. There was no doubt about the multilateral support that we had for the action that we took in Kosovo.

      It was supported by NATO; it was supported by the European Union; it was supported by every single one of the seven neighbours in the region. France and Germany were our active allies.

      It is precisely because we have none of that support in this case that it was all the more important to get agreement in the Security Council as the last hope of demonstrating i

    • by NZheretic (23872) on Tuesday November 11, 2003 @10:58AM (#7443820) Homepage Journal
      Letters of resignation, particularly those from State Department diplomats to their superiors, are not ordinarily a forum for disagreements about the course of American foreign policy. The following letter of resignation, written by career diplomat John Brady Kiesling to Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, is unusual for its content and length. Kiesling, 45, served in several U.S. embassies before his most recent post in Athens. He shared a 1994 award from the American Foreign Service Association for "constructive dissent" after he and 12 others signed a letter of protest over the lack of U.S. intervention in the conflict in Bosnia.

      February 27, 2003

      Dear Mr. Secretary:

      I am writing you to submit my resignation from the Foreign Service of the United States and from my position as Political Counselor in U.S. Embassy Athens, effective March 7. I do so with a heavy heart. The baggage of my upbringing included a felt obligation to give something back to my country. Service as a U.S. diplomat was a dream job. I was paid to understand foreign languages and cultures, to seek out diplomats, politicians, scholars and journalists, and to persuade them that U.S. interests and theirs fundamentally coincided. My faith in my country and its values was the most powerful weapon in my diplomatic arsenal.

      It is inevitable that during twenty years with the State Department I would become more sophisticated and cynical about the narrow and selfish bureaucratic motives that sometimes shaped our policies. Human nature is what it is, and I was rewarded and promoted for understanding human nature. But until this Administration it had been possible to believe that by upholding the policies of my president I was also upholding the interests of the American people and the world. I believe it no longer.

      The policies we are now asked to advance are incompatible not only with American values but also with American interests. Our fervent pursuit of war with Iraq is driving us to squander the international legitimacy that has been America's most potent weapon of both offense and defense since the days of Woodrow Wilson. We have begun to dismantle the largest and most effective web of international relationships the world has ever known. Our current course will bring instability and danger, not security.

      The sacrifice of global interests to domestic politics and to bureaucratic self-interest is nothing new, and it is certainly not a uniquely American problem. Still, we have not seen such systematic distortion of intelligence, such systematic manipulation of American opinion, since the war in Vietnam. The September 11 tragedy left us stronger than before, rallying around us a vast international coalition to cooperate for the first time in a systematic way against the threat of terrorism. But rather than take credit for those successes and build on them, this Administration has chosen to make terrorism a domestic political tool, enlisting a scattered and largely defeated Al Qaeda as its bureaucratic ally. We spread disproportionate terror and confusion in the public mind, arbitrarily linking the unrelated problems of terrorism and Iraq. The result, and perhaps the motive, is to justify a vast misallocation of shrinking public wealth to the military and to weaken the safegua! rds that protect American citizens from the heavy hand of government. September 11 did not do as much damage to the fabric of American society as we seem determined to do to ourselves. Is the Russia of the late Romanovs really our model, a selfish, superstitious empire thrashing toward self-destruction in the name of a doomed status quo?

      We should ask ourselves why we have failed to persuade more of the world that a war with Iraq is necessary. We have over the past two years done too much to assert to our world partners that narrow and mercenary U.S. interests override the cherished values of our partners. Even where our aims were not in question, our consistency is at issue. The model of Afghanistan is little

    • by NZheretic (23872) on Tuesday November 11, 2003 @11:02AM (#7443865) Homepage Journal
      Friday, 14 March 2003, 3:16 pm
      Speech: U.S. Senator
      U.S. SENATOR PATRICK LEAHY

      CONTACT: Office of Senator Leahy, 202-224-4242 VERMONT

      Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy
      On The Senate Floor
      Concerning Iraq
      The Countdown To War
      March 13, 2003

      Mr. President, last Thursday at his press conference, the President gave his reasons to justify the use of military force to remove Saddam Hussein from power.

      The President said again that he has not made up his mind to go to war, but his own advisers are saying that even if Iraq fully complies with UN Security Council Resolution 1441, Saddam Hussein must be removed from power.

      The President said his goal is protecting the American people from terrorism, a goal we all share, but he offered no evidence that Iraq had anything to do with the September 11 attacks or any details of IraqA's links to al Queda.

      He offered no new information about the potential costs of a war, either in American and Iraqi lives, or in dollars. Both Republicans and Democrats have urged the President to be more forthcoming with the American people, yet he is apparently ready to send hundreds of thousands of the sons and daughters of American taxpayers into battle without saying anything about the costs and risks.

      The President repeatedly spoke of the danger of "doing nothing," as if doing nothing is what those who urge patience and caution A- with war only as a last resort A- are recommending. In fact, virtually no one is saying that we should do nothing about Saddam Hussein.

      Even most of the millions of people who have joined protests and demonstrations against the use of force without UN Security Council authorization, are not saying that the world should ignore the threat posed by Saddam Hussein.

      Yet that is the PresidentA's answer to those who oppose a preemptive U.S. invasion, and who, contrary to wanting to do nothing, want to give the United Nations more time to try to solve this crisis without war.

      The President also failed to address a key concern that divides Americans, that divides us from many of our closest European allies, that divides our allies from each other, and that divides the UN Security Council. That issue is not whether or not Saddam Hussein is a deceptive, despicable, dangerous despot who should be disarmed. There is little if any disagreement about that.

      Nor is it whether or not force should ever be used. Most people accept that the United States, like any country, has a right of self defense if faced with an imminent threat. And if the UN inspectors fail to disarm Iraq, force may become the only option.

      Most people also agree that a U.S.-led invasion would quickly overwhelm and defeat IraqA's ill-equipped, demoralized army.

      Rather, the President said almost nothing about the concern that by attacking Iraq to enforce Security Council Resolution 1441 without the support of key allies on the UN Security Council, we risk seriously weakening the Security CouncilA's future effectiveness and our own ability to rally international support A- not only to prevent this war and future wars, but to deal with other global threats like terrorism.

      And this concern is exacerbated by the increasing resentment of the AdministrationA's domineering and simplistic "you are either with us or against us" approach, which has already damaged long-standing relationships, both with our neighbors in this hemisphere and our friends across the Atlantic.

      The President says that if the Security Council does not support the use of force today, it risks becoming irrelevant. But the President has it backward. The Security Council will not become irrelevant because it refuses to agree with the President of the United States. Rather, the Security CouncilA's effectiveness is threatened if the United States, the worldA's only superpower, ignores the will of key allies on the Security Council regarding the enforcement of a Security Council resolution.

      The President

  • Two words: (Score:3, Informative)

    by skia (100784) <skia@BLUEskia.net minus berry> on Tuesday November 11, 2003 @10:49AM (#7443740) Homepage
    Wayback Machine [archive.org]
  • lexis nexis (Score:4, Informative)

    by jason0000042 (656126) on Tuesday November 11, 2003 @10:54AM (#7443790) Homepage

    As reporters and researchers depend more and more heavily on the Internet as a research tool, manipulation of the net becomes a serious problem

    I don't think what Time does on their site has any real bearing on what most reporters and researchers will find. This is because most of them use lexis nexis [lexisnexis.com]. It is my understanding that lexis nexis will keep a copy of the article (I'm not sure, it costs money to use). Even if it doesn't, it will keep references to it. It will be shown to exist.

    What would cause for concern is lexis nexis removing stuff.

    • What would cause for concern is lexis nexis removing stuff.

      btw. I is grammar stupid. It caused coffee not having.

    • by freeBill (3843) on Tuesday November 11, 2003 @11:05AM (#7443894) Homepage
      ...by content providers, perhaps more easily than things they published on the internet or on paper.

      I worked for a company that provided large quantities of content to Lexis-Nexis for six years. They provide a method by which content can be removed by anyone who is providing it.

      And my experience dealing with Lexis-Nexis as a company did not leave me with a good feeling about their concern for an accurate record.
  • Question! (Score:5, Funny)

    by metalhed77 (250273) <andrewvc&gmail,com> on Tuesday November 11, 2003 @10:58AM (#7443832) Homepage
    How can we keep corporate America honest?"


    Bush or Time magazine?

  • by Asprin (545477) <(gsarnold) (at) (yahoo.com)> on Tuesday November 11, 2003 @11:10AM (#7443951) Homepage Journal

    Why is it important for this to be posted on /.? Because Time is trying to censor the truth about the Iraq war? Riiiiight... Like Time Magazine is going to pull every sring they can to get W reelected, and this isn't even new information! Everything in the TM article was a restatement of the white house's public position on the Iraq war from 1991! It's public knowledge, available from other sources and probably in history books by now.

    There's absolutely no geek factor here anywhere!

    ...maybe if G.B. Sr. had built a scale model of the gulf war out of Legos, but otherwise it must be a slow news day.
  • by jayhawk88 (160512) <jayhawk88@gmail.com> on Tuesday November 11, 2003 @11:43AM (#7444294)
    Clearly this article was ++ungood, and needed to be edited by one of the historians at the Ministry of Truth...err, Department of Homeland Security. I'm sure that this article will re-appear shortly in it's correct form, proving George Bush Sr. desperately wanted to invade Iraq and capture Sadaam during the first Gulf War, but was thwarted by the evil schemings of Eastasia...err, the Liberals.
  • by cluge (114877) on Tuesday November 11, 2003 @11:49AM (#7444349) Homepage
    Considering the original was written pre 9/11, my guess would be that the author no longer feels that way. This has nothing to do with keeping corporate America honest. This has to do with keeping a web site relavent and up to date. No one is trying to HIDE what he said, and it is print and freely available all over the place (google is your friend)

    The world changes, no one expects us to follow the policies as laid out in the cold war toward the Soviet Union. With that in mind, I believe it is only the painfully naive that would suggest that we treat the world the same way we did pre 9/11.

    I think the 300,000+ bodies in mass graves, and the payments to suicide bombers post Gulf War I show us that Bush Sr. was mistaken.
  • by Rikardon (116190) on Tuesday November 11, 2003 @12:36PM (#7444883)
    "The messages [Winston] had received referred to articles or news items which for one reason or another it was thought necessary to alter, or, as the official phrase had it, to rectify.... As soon as all the corrections which happened to be necessary in any particular number of The Times had been assembled and collated, that number would be reprinted, the original copy destroyed, and the corrected copy placed on the files in its stead. This process of continuous alteration was applied not only to newspapers, but to books, periodicals, pamphlets, posters, leaflets, films, sound-tracks, cartoons, photographs -- to every kind of literature or documentation which might conceivably hold any political or ideological significance. Day by day and almost minute by minute the past was brought up to date. In this way every prediction made by the Party could be shown by documentary evidence to have been correct, nor was any item of news, or any expression of opinion, which conflicted with the needs of the moment, ever allowed to remain on record."
  • by saforrest (184929) on Tuesday November 11, 2003 @01:51PM (#7445819) Homepage Journal
    Ad a bit of food for thought, here is a relevant selection from George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four [orwell.ru], which coined the term 'memory hole':

    But where did that knowledge exist? Only in his own consciousness, which in any case must soon be annihilated. And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed -- if all records told the same tale -- then the lie passed into history and became truth. 'Who controls the past,' ran the Party slogan, 'controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.' And yet the past, though of its nature alterable, never had been altered. Whatever was true now was true from everlasting to everlasting. It was quite simple. All that was needed was an unending series of victories over your own memory. 'Reality control', they called it: in Newspeak, `doublethink'.
  • by cananian (73735) on Tuesday November 11, 2003 @02:08PM (#7446022) Homepage
    I wrote about this back in September [livejournal.com]:
    Time seems to have scrubbed this article from their
    on-line archives [time.com]. Lexis-Nexis also doesn't list it, although they list the Newsweek version of the article, which wasn't co-authored with Bush Sr. This may have to do with the fact that the Time article is a straight excerpt from Bush and Scowcroft's book A World Transformed [amazon.com] (1998) and Time didn't secure electronic rights to the excerpt --- or it could be more sinister. You decide.
    I think the "electronic rights" explanation is more likely, and should certainly be fully exhausted before we start hatching conspiracy theories.
  • Feel a Draft ? (Score:5, Informative)

    by dackroyd (468778) on Tuesday November 11, 2003 @02:11PM (#7446062) Homepage
    The US government is at it as wel....

    http://www.thememoryhole.org/mil/draft-boards.ht m

    --------

    On 23 Sept 2003, the Defense Department Website called "Defend America" posted a notice for people to join local draft boards. "If a military draft becomes necessary," the notice explained, "approximately 2,000 Local and Appeal Boards throughout America would decide which young men, who submit a claim, receive deferments, postponements or exemptions from military service, based on Federal guidelines."

    In early November, that notice started to receive media attention, with articles from the Associated Press, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer , the Oregonian, the Toronto Star, the BBC, and London Guardian (unsurprisingly, none of the major papers or networks in the US covered it).

    In a familiar turn of events, the notice suddenly disappeared from the Website. (Thanks to LG for pointing this out.) We've mirrored the page and posted the text below.

Never say you know a man until you have divided an inheritance with him.

Working...