[R-G] Judith Miller
david.mcr at earthlink.net
Thu Oct 20 22:19:32 MDT 2005
from a source . . . this needs to be shared. Calm, objective, and blistering.
I still haven't read Sunday's coverage of its coverage of Judith Miller.
But here's a comment from one of Downhold's longtime Washington reporters:
. . . there is a devastating e-mail, printed in the Times today, from one of Miller's former co-workers who demanded that his name be removed from a story that he had worked on with Miller, saying that she ignored his and other's inputs and put out a draft of a story on WMDs which was "dictated by nameless government officials" and did not reflect the more questioning reporting of other reporters on the project. So, the Times cannot really say that it had no warnings about Miller's proclivities and to its credit does not claim that.
I think, in a way, that this crisis is going to hurt the paper more than the Jayson Blair scandal because it makes the paper complicit in a much larger scandal -- allowing the selling of the Iraq war on false pretenses. The fact that it came to its senses, due to the good reporting of such people as John Burns in Baghdad and others in Washington who opposed Miller's "facts", mitigates but does not expunge the blame.
As one who earlier followed the same story while working for DPA, I tracked many of the stories back to Chalabi and his group. Miller and Laurie Milroie wrote a book about Iraq and Saddam Hussein which was, for a while sort of the basic text on the lead-up to the war. Milroie, for a while, worked for the Washington Institute on Middle East Affairs, a spin-off of AIPAC, Israel's lobby in the United States. Much of the information for the book and, presumably, Miller's reporting appeared to come from Israeli sources. This was long before the actual war drums were beating.
One day I asked the director of the Middle East Institute if Milroie was reliable. He was silent for a while and then said, "Let me put it this way. She doesn't work here anymore."
I asked, "And Miller?" He shrugged and walked away.
So, my conclusion after months of following the story?
There were so many powerful influences on the run-up to the war -- oil, neo-con doctrine about bringing democracy to the Middle East, human rights groups, religious pressures from Israel and evangelist Christians -- that Judy Miller cannot be singled out. But she was part of the choir and because she had the power of the Times, she was an important voice.
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