Becky Howard, a colleague of mine, was asking the other day about how she might publish something she's been working on, and publish it quickly, since it's relevant to the Presidential race. After talking about it a while, and coming up with nothing, she's decided to self-publish it on her website. Problem was that my first response was: well, of course, you blog it. Which would be the perfect solution but for the fact that Becky has no blog. Oops.
So my second-best alternative? I blog it. Becky, as some of you probably already know, is one of the country's foremost experts on plagiarism, and the essay in question is a close look at the process by which the Brits and the Bush Administration set about justifying our actions in Iraq. It also makes no secrets whatsoever about its own position: Plagiarism and Fraud in George W. Bush's Foreign Policy. Check the URL if you think I'm joking about this.
A taste, you ask? Well, all right:
It may not be easy to answer falsehoods with facts, but it is worth the effort. That effort will have to be made by each individual citizen, through multiple means. We cannot depend on a single medium—whether television, radio, film, print, or Internet—for our information. Nor can we find a single reliable source. The (inter)national emergency in which we find ourselves, an emergency rife with falsification and withholding of essential data, requires that each of us work energetically to gather, evaluate, interpret, and share information. It requires, too, that we speak up, in whatever media are available to us—in our blogs, in the beauty salon and bowling alley, in public demonstrations—and encourage others to do the same.
The thoroughness of the evidence she marshals in the article is worth the read, as Becky really works to pin down the timing of both governmental action, news coverage, and particularly the lack of coverage once the dossier was declared dodgy. There's no one passage that quite captures that thoroughness, and I thought the conclusion above offers a nice tie-in with Dan Gillmor's We the Media. I've been hearing about this piece on and off for a while now, and it's nice to see it finally available. Pass it along...