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Thursday, May 20, 2004
 
It's Miller['s] Time ... to go!
As a reluctant and now repentful supporter of the invasion of Iraq, I have spent much time in the past year wondering how so many people could have been bamboozled into believing that Saddam was reconstituting his nuclear, chemical and biological warfare programs. Unlike those with access to actual intelligence, I relied mainly on the media to lay forth the evidence. BIG mistake!

The prime offender in the peddling of the WMD lies was the NYT's Judith Miller. She had developed a reputation as an expert on WMDs and had written books on the subject. I remember her appearance on PBS' Frontline interviewing out-of-work ex-Soviet scientists about the proliferation of unaccounted Soviet weapons in addition to her much touted Iraq work.

She seemed very credible to me. She wasn't.

Shortly after the war began, it became apparent that the source for ALMOST ALL her Iraqi info was none other than the con-artist Ahmed Chalabi. Several bloggers and a few journalists noticed that her "interviews" with Iraqi scientists did not pass the smell test. And IIRC, she was interviewing "Deck of Cards" scientists who were being held by Chalabi's militia *before* they were turned over to American authorities.

So.... She's been disgraced and humiliated, right?

Ummm, in a word, no.

Editor and Publisher Magazine points out that it is no longer just Miller's credibility at stake.
The Knight Ridder revelations raise, once again, the nettlesome issue of where the U.S. government left off and the Times began, or vice versa, in making the case for Iraqi possession of WMD. There remains the more disturbing question of whether a Times reporter served as a cat's paw for the neo-con policymakers in Washington with whom she had close ties.

Yesterday, the Times scored a scoop of its own in Richard Oppel's "U.S. to Halt Payments to Iraqi Group Headed by a Onetime Pentagon Favorite." Noting that Ahmad Chalabi had played a crucial role in persuading the Bush administration that Hussein had to be removed from power, Oppel wrote that the INC leader had since become a lightning rod for critics of the administration "who say the United States relied on him too heavily for prewar intelligence that has since proved faulty. ... Internal reviews by the United States government have found that much of the information provided ... before American forces invaded Iraq last year was useless, misleading or even fabricated."

The irony of this scoop appearing in the Times seems to have escaped the newspaper's editors.

 
Shouting into the closet to inform and entertain the 10 people who actually read this thing. In our new format as an online magazine, we take pride in our reporting and opinions. Please leave reader feedback on our online magazine message board so that we can better serve you.

“There’s a lot of money to pay for this that doesn’t have to be U.S. taxpayer money, and it starts with the assets of the Iraqi people…and on a rough recollection, the oil revenues of that country could bring between $50 and $100 billion over the course of the next two or three years…We’re dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon.” -Paul Wolfowitz

Cost of the War in Iraq
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