Judith Miller nailed

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sat Jul 26 07:11:22 MDT 2003


slate.com

The Times Scoops That Melted
Cataloging the wretched reporting of Judith Miller.
By Jack Shafer
Posted Friday, July 25, 2003, at 3:49 PM PT

If reporters who live by their sources were obliged to die by their
sources, New York Times reporter Judith Miller would be stinking up her
family tomb right now. In the 18-month run-up to the war on Iraq, Miller
grew incredibly close to numerous Iraqi sources, both named and anonymous,
who gave her detailed interviews about Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass
destruction. Yet 100 days after the fall of Baghdad, none of the
sensational allegations about chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons
given to Miller have panned out, despite the furious crisscrossing of Iraq
by U.S. weapons hunters.

In a Page One Times piece this week ("A Chronicle of Confusion in the Hunt
for Hussein's Weapons," July 20), Miller acknowledges that "whether Saddam
possessed such weapons when the war began remains unknown." But from there,
she serially blames the failure of U.S. forces to uncover weapons of mass
destruction on "chaos," "disorganization," "interagency feuds," "flawed
intelligence," "looting," and "shortages of everything from gasoline to
soap." Alternatively, she writes, maybe the wrong people were in charge of
the search; perhaps a greater emphasis should have been placed on acquiring
human sources rather than searching sites; and it could be that the
military botched the op by not investing the WMD searchers with the power
to reward cooperating Iraqi scientists financially or grant them amnesty.

Judith Miller finds everybody associated with the failed search
theoretically culpable except Judith Miller. This rings peculiar because
Miller, more than any other reporter, showcased the WMD speculations and
intelligence findings by the Bush administration and the Iraqi
defector/dissidents. Our WMD expectations, such as they were, grew largely
out of Miller's stories.

full: http://slate.msn.com/id/2086110/


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