Friday, June 18, 2004
Good reads: Two articles in today's San Diego Union-Tribune are well worth your time.
The first is an editorial taking the media to task for yesterday's inaccurate characterizations of the 9/11 commission's report and the relationship between al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein.
"This administration never said that the 9/11 attacks were orchestrated between Saddam and al-Qaeda," Bush said yesterday. Secretary of State Colin Powell echoed Bush in making the same point. Moreover, Bush, Powell and every other senior administration official, Vice President Dick Cheney included, could note, accurately, that the Bush administration also never advanced such a premise to justify the Iraq war. Never.
Bush did state, correctly, before the Iraq war that there had been multiple contacts between Saddam's Iraq and al-Qaeda. Bush said so again yesterday. "We did say there were numerous contacts between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda, for example, Iraqi intelligence agents met with (Osama) bin Laden, the head of al-Qaeda, in the Sudan."
Nothing in the commission's staff report denies that these contacts between Iraq and al-Qaeda did occur. No less an authority than commission co-chairman Tom Kean confirms that. "What we have found is, there were contacts between al-Qaeda and Iraq, yes. Some of them were shadowy but they were there."
This editorial raises an interesting dilemma. You see, though I didn't mention it in my roundup below, the Union-Tribune is also guilty of making these false claims. We should be running a correction, but it didn't happen today and I don't know if it will happen at all.
The second read is an excellent column by Joseph Perkins on embryonic stem cell research. Perkins cuts through a lot of the bogus claims being made by scientists who are only seeking a government handout.
And what makes embryonic stem cell research all the more objectionable is that it hasn't come close to yielding the medical breakthroughs promised by Feinstein and others. And probably never will.
That's because embryonic stem cells have several major shortcomings.
Indeed, in an article published in the journal Science, researchers confirmed that embryonic stem cells are genetically unstable, strongly suggesting that they are unsuitable for developing treatments for the various human degenerative diseases.
Then there was an article in the journal Nature, which noted that embryonic stem cells sometimes grow into tumors and that they tend to be rejected by a patient's immune system.
Meanwhile, there are no such problems with use of adult stem cells, a noncontroversial alternative to embryonic stem cell research that requires no destruction of human embryos, which has yielded far more encouraging results than medical experiments using embryonic stem cells.
Check them both out.