Talk:Cybercast News Service

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Re Cybercast News Service (link back to article):

If, as the article states, the Iraqis were meticulous record keepers, why are there only 46 pages worth of evidence of attempted purchases and storage? Would a handful of mustard gas transactions, and some vague writings on supposed group connection, justify an invasion of a country? The basis is fairly scant, per usual, with news items on CNS.


I removed the big slab of material on the supposedly leaked documents. I'm afraid I couldn't take it seriously.

The original story, released a month before a close election, stated that the reason the anonymous government official gave them to CNS (of all places) was that the government has "thousands and thousands of documents waiting to be translated. "It is unlikely they even know this exists," the source added. ... "This is too important to let it get caught up in the political process," the source told

And in the three months since this "exclusive" was released what happened. George W make good use of them? Or Rumsfeld? Not that I can see. I'm happy for CNS to have the article on their website but not here thanks.--Bob Burton 01:19, 7 Jan 2005 (EST)

It's amusing to me that "professional" news services like CNS (professional merely because they get paid) are taken far less seriously than Indymedia and other open newswire services, which while sometimes containing dubious material, are for the most part more factual than any "conservative news source".


I've restored the deleted material for the time being. I agree with Bob that CNS's story is very dubious. What are the odds that a 1993 note from Saddam Hussein's secretary specifically giving orders to Al Qaeda would end up in the same pile as some documents from seven years later showing that Iraq had chemical and biological weapons -- and then that those documents would end up being leaked to a conservative news service a month before the election by an anonymous "senior government official" who claims that no else in the government even knows they exist (even though they were supposedly confiscated in Iraq by U.S. soldiers)? How is it even possible that documents like this could make their way from U.S. soldiers into the hands of a senior government official without anyone else in the government knowing about them, and why wouldn't the official make a point of showing them to others in the government before leaking them to CNS?
The fact that this story is dubious is precisely the reason why I think we should keep it for the time being. Someone ought to investigate further and find out who is the source for these documents and whether they are indeed a hoax, as I suspect. --Sheldon Rampton 12:37, 7 Jan 2005 (EST)

Has anyone examined the documents?

It's late August 2005 and I still have seen no reference to these documents anywhere after the initial articles in CNS News. Certainly the Bush Admin has not mentioned them; only a few bloggers and a story by Mylroie in the New York Sun. Mylroie is considered a crackpot but she claims to have seen the documents and consider them authentic. The CNS story claims the docs are available to anyone professional who wants a look but tthat they have to do it in person and that they don't want copies of the documents to circulate because someone might alter them. That is all entirely suspicious to me. Why not hand them over to the government? (Oh yeah, that's where they supposedly came from; so why doesn't the government investigate them?) It's been almost a year since they were found; surely we should have a more definitive answer about them. And why not put them on the web? They can point to the original scans and if someone really does alter them and repost, it will be obvious to anyone who looks which ones came first, so in fact making the documents public would help prevent such forgeries. Has any journalist or counterterrorism expert besides the hacks like Mylroie and Tefft actually examined the documents? I emailed the author of the original story (Scott Wheeler) and his email doesn't exist anymore. A quick google of the cnsnews site suggests that he never wrote another story for cnsnews after the October 2004 story about this. Where is he now? Why has no mainstream and only right wing "alternative" press agency addressed these alleged documents? This could be a big story; a PR stunt by a right wing news organization in Alexandria, VA? Did someone fall for another ploy by Iranian intelligence acting through Chalabi? Who is the unnamed government official who is the source of the documents and why is he described as "not a political appointee"? --Commodore Sloat 19:09, 21 Aug 2005 (EDT)

I agree. If those documents were indeed real, by now we'd have seen more discussion about them. The Bush administration would be waving them in the public's face and saying, "Told ya so." As for whether this could be a "big story," I'm not sure. CNS is a right-wing news organization, and if it can be proven that they published a false story based on fraudulent documents, it would certainly affect their credibilility. However, CNS is a relative small fry in the world of right-wing media compared to for example Fox News. Their story about these documents got very little bounce outside their own immediate circle, and I think that's the main reason why I haven't been able to encounter much interest in debunking the documents either. The reasoning seems to be: if the story never widely circulated, why bother debunk it? However, I'd certainly encourage you to investigate further if you're so inclined. I'd be interesting to see what you uncover. --Sheldon Rampton 23:04, 21 Aug 2005 (EDT)
Well, I meant it would be a big story if the documents were real. You're right - there probably isn't enough excitement to debunking a source that has little credibility to begin with, though the question of who provided forged documents could be interesting; is Karl Rove a "government official who is not a political appointee"? Anyway I emailed the CNS editors and asked if I could see the documents. I'm not a journalist so I don't know if they will even bother to respond. And I'm in no position to pay for a trip to Alexandria anytime soon so if they tell me I have to look at them in person I'm probably out of luck. But these documents are fishy beyond belief. Documents proving both WMD and al Qaeda links in one fell swoop, just weeks before the election? Probably the goal of this operation (assuming it was one) was to put this "oh yeah, the WMD and Qaeda links are real" into the background noise of voters who had Rathergate much more prominently on their minds at the time. --Commodore Sloat 23:21, 21 Aug 2005 (EDT)

Follow the links from Cybercast News Service to Scott L. Wheeler, which links to the American Investigator which links to America's Voice network which links to Paul M. Weyrich, Newt Gingrich, and the Religious Right ... Artificial Intelligence 18:52, 22 Aug 2005 (EDT)

Move Iraq documents info to own page?

I would suggest moving the informtaion on the Iraq documents to its own page -- here, it takes up so much room that it crowds out other information about CNS itself and other questions that can be raised. A short paragaph can be put here summarizing the issue and linking to the separate page. --Conwebwatch2 00:08, 5 Mar 2008 (EDT)

I agree. Feel free to go right ahead and move it to a side page.--Bob Burton 00:18, 5 March 2008 (EST)