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Christiane Amanpour Speaks Up On Iraq

On Larry King Live last night, “Christiane Amanpour was on fire,” several e-mailers remarked. Drudge found a headline quickly: The veteran CNN correspondent said Iraq is a “black hole.” (One e-mailer even wondered if it was a “Cronkite moment.”)

“By any indication whether you take the number of journalists killed or wounded, whether you take the number of American soldiers killed or wounded, whether you take the number of Iraqi soldiers killed and wounded, contractors, people working there, it just gets worse and worse,” she said.

Near the end of the hour, a caller asked: “Yes, my question is, why hasn’t there been more outrage on the part of the American people and the U.S. media, government, on the recent bombing in Pakistan, killing all those women and children? Ignoring sovereignty and international law?” Amanpour answered the question and focused on Iraq:

 amanpourjan31.jpgYou know, I think — well, certainly there’s been a lot of reporting about it. Perhaps not enough for that view of it. As you know, there’s not enough international reporting on American television anyway.

But I think to the bigger point, why are we there? We’re there because if we’re not, whose word are we going to take for it? For instance, over the bombing in Pakistan, and for instance, over the constant atrocities in Iraq.

Are we going to take the Pentagon paid Lincoln Group who are paying positive stories to be written in the Iraqi press? Are we going to take what the administration tells us? Do you remember at the beginning of this war, Donald Rumsfeld, secretary of defense, told us that these insurgents were just a bunch of dead enders who amounted to absolutely nothing.

Well, that was three years ago. You remember on your own show, not so long ago, the vice president of the United States said that the insurgency was in its death throes, in its last throes. Well, we’re there to report what’s actually going on and we pay a heavy price for trying to get to the truth. And the truth is what our business is all about. And that’s why we’re out there, despite the enormous, enormous personal cost to us, to our families, and to our networks.

“She sounded so frustrated,” another e-mailer remarked. Here’s the full transcript…

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