Monday, 04 April 2011

MSNBC Untruthful About Sen. Pauls Views on Libya

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Leftist television channel MSNBC made a mockery of journalism and itself after one of its journalists was exposed blatantly disregarding the truth by distorting the meaning of a non-binding Senate Resolution and the views of Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on the Obama administration's United Nations-backed war in Libya. Now, critics of the network and supporters of the Senator are demanding an apology.

After poking fun at Sarah Palin for her criticism of the regimes war, MSNBC personality Lawrence ODonnell awarded Sen. Rand Paul a prize for being the most confused Tea Partier regarding U.S. military intervention in Libya. But the only person exposed as possibly confused was actually ODonnell, who reported several glaring factual errors, at least or worse, told his viewers a series of deliberate lies.

The segment opened with the MSNBC host playing a YouTube clip of Sen. Paul, in which Paul condemned Obama, rightly claiming that U.S. Presidents cannot unilaterally engage U.S. troops in a war. Then O'Donnell, as Paul himself noted in his video, claimed that Obama was in complete agreement with Paul on this point: Obama, as The New American reported, acknowledged as a candidate for President in 2007 that (in Obama's words): "The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation."

After playing the Rand Paul clip, ODonnell went on to claim that, even though Paul has been critical of Obama's actions regarding intervening in Libya, Paul has in the past supported everything Obama has done in that country. It turns out Sen. Paul agrees with candidate Obama and President Obama, he declared on his show.

O'Donnell went on to claim that Paul had actually voted in favor of a non-binding resolution condemning Libyan dictator Moammar Ghaddafi and urging the United Nations to consider doing something. What [Rand Paul] left out of his YouTube commentary is that 28 days ago, Senator Paul voted for Senate Resolution 85, the TV personality claimed falsely. The resolution O'Donnell referred to was actually approved by so-called unanimous consent when Sen. Paul was not even on the floor of the Senate, a fact exposed by a liberty-minded blog in Kentucky after speaking to Pauls office.

"There wasn't a vote, a member of Sen. Pauls staff told the Free Man in Kentucky blog. It was rushed through by Unanimous Consent, with no debate or discussion about what was in it. We didn't even get to see what it was, and Senator Paul never voted on it. Also, Senator Paul didn't even have a chance to object to it because the resolution which is non-binding was in and out before he made it back to the floor."

After the false claim that Sen. Paul had voted for the resolution, ODonnell continued with his tirade, making error after error. Rand Paul voted in the Senate for regime change, he voted in the Senate for the imposition of a no-fly zone. He voted for everything everything President Obama has said he is in favor of doing and everything President Obama decided to do. And he voted for it weeks before President Obama decided to do it, ODonnell falsely alleged.  

O'Donnell was wrong again, on just about every point. Setting aside the fact that Paul did not really vote for any of those things, Senate Resolution 85, in addition to being non-binding, did not call for U.S. military action or even a no-fly zone. In reality, it simply urged the UN to consider the possible imposition of a no-fly zone over Libyan territory it did not, as O'Donnell falsely led his viewers to believe, authorize or even promote the actual imposition of a no-fly zone.  

Some Senators have even blasted the misuse of the non-binding resolution by the regime for propaganda purposes. This Senate Resolution had the same amount of consideration that a bill to name a post office has, Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) said after drawing attention to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's false statement claiming the resolution had called for and authorized a no-fly zone.

This bill was hot-lined there was no debate allowed on the issue, no legislative language provided to consider and there was no vote. Senate Res. 85 described a no-fly zone as a possible course of action for the UN Security Councils consideration it did not instruct the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations to take action, let alone authorize a military operation, said Sen. Ensign. The Senate Resolution simply does not authorize or endorse the use of force.

You can watch a video of the resolution passing in the Senate here. It took less than one minute. And according to National Review, not only were there not many Senators in the chamber, the resolution was changed at the last moment unbeknownst to most Senators to include the language asking the UN to consider the possible imposition of a no-fly zone.

Following all of those falsehoods, O'Donnell continued to make a mockery of journalism by acting as if he had exposed some grand plot by mentioning the resolution on his show. Because the news media virtually ignored the March 1st Senate Resolution until I happened to mention it on this network yesterday afternoon, Rand Paul and his staff managed to forget, along with the news media, that Senator Paul, like every other United States Senator, had voted their support for everything President Obama has done weeks before the President took action, he told his viewers, misleading them once again.

Finally, he proceeded to issue a vicious and false personal attack against Sen. Paul: Senate flip-flops rarely get clearer, or stupider, than that. He added, Rand Pauls foreign policy: humanitarian interventionist one day, isolationist the next on exactly the same issue. In reality, Sen. Pauls views on foreign policy would not fall under either category more distortions of reality.

On top of the networks falsehoods aired on TV, the company also published an article by Nick Ramsey on MSNBCs The Last Word blog that made the same erroneous claims about Sen. Paul and the non-binding resolution. And at least according to the blog that first exposed the blatant lies, there's a reason for the falsehoods.  

What Fox did for Bush in the Iraq war, MSNBC is now doing for Obama's drone attacks in Pakistan, Mexico and this WAR or humanitarian effort with bombs in Libya, the Free Man in Kentucky blog wrote. Mr. O'Donnell, it's time to be honest and admit you made a false statement and took part in lies.

So far, ODonnell has refused to publicly retract the lies or apologize. He took up the issue again on April 2 and essentially accused Sen. Pauls staff of lying. Yet remarkably, ODonnell continued lying by pretending that the resolution called for a no-fly zone and giving the impression that it authorized U.S. military intervention by Obama.

Of course, this wouldnt be the first time MSNBC a company that is largely owned by the bailed-out war contractor General Electric has been caught distorting the truth. And it also wouldnt be the first time the network refused to retract its lies after they were exposed. Leftist MSNBC personality Rachel Maddow, for example, attempted to smear The John Birch Society using similar tactics. She never apologized either.

To hear what Sen. Paul really thinks about the war in Libya, Obamas refusal to seek congressional approval as required under the Constitution, and more, watch his YouTube statement below:

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Thumbnail photo of Lawrence ODonnell: AP Images

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