October 11, 2000
Rev. Moon, North Korea & the Bushes
Going After Gore
During the 2000 election cycle, Moon’s newspaper has taken up the cause of Bush’s son and mounted harsh attacks against his rival, Vice President Al Gore.
Last year, the Times played a prominent role in promoting a bogus quote attributed to Gore about his work on the toxic waste issue. In a speech in Concord, N.H., Gore had referred to a toxic waste case in Toone, Tennessee, and said, “that was the one that started it all.”
The New York Times and The Washington Post garbled the quote, claiming that Gore had said, “I was the one that started it all.”
The Washington Times took over from there, accusing Gore of being clinically “delusional.” The Times called the vice president “a politician who not only manufactures gross, obvious lies about himself and his achievements but appears to actually believe these confabulations.” [WT, Dec. 7, 1999]
Even after other papers corrected the false quote, The Washington Times continued to use it. The notion of Gore as an exaggerator, often based on this and other mis-reported incidents, became a powerful Republican “theme” as Gov. Bush surged ahead of Gore in the presidential preference polls. [For details on other case, see The DailyHowler.]
Republicans also have made the North Korean threat an issue against the Clinton-Gore administration. Last year, a report by a House Republican task force warned that during the 1990s, North Korea and its missile program emerged as a nuclear threat to Japan and possibly the Pacific Northwest of the United States.
“This threat has advanced considerably over the past five years, particularly with the enhancement of North Korea's missile capabilities,” the Republican task force said. “Unlike five years ago, North Korea can now strike the United States with a missile that could deliver high explosive, chemical, biological, or possibly nuclear weapons.”
Moon’s newspaper has joined in excoriating the administration for postponing a U.S. missile defense system to counter missiles from North Korea and other “rogue states.” Gov. Bush favors such a system.
“To its list of missed opportunities, the Clinton-Gore administration can now add the abdication of responsibility for national security,” a Times editorial said.
“By deciding not to begin construction of the Alaskan radar, Mr. Clinton has indisputably delayed eventual deployment beyond 2005, when North Korea is estimated to be capable of launching an intercontinental missile against the United States.” [WT, Sept. 5, 2000]
The Washington Times did not note that its founder – who continues to subsidize the newspaper with tens of millions of dollars a year – had defied a U.S. trade embargo aimed at containing the military ambitions of North Korea.
By supplying money at a time when North Korea was desperate for hard currency, Moon helped deliver the means for the communist state to advance exactly the strategic threat that Moon’s newspaper now says will require billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars to thwart.
That money bought Moon influence inside North Korea. It is less clear how much influence Moon and his associates will have inside a George W. Bush White House, given Moon’s longstanding -- though little known -- support for the Bush family.
Robert Parry is a veteran investigative reporter, who broke many of the Iran-contra stories in the 1980s for The Associated Press and Newsweek.
To see two of the DIA documents, click here.
For more background on the Moon Organization, see Steve Hassan's Web site.