Friday, October 21, 2005

Dog Pile on Judith Miller!

We've seen the dog pile on other less deserving journalists.

This time it's actually fun.

I'd like to praise Judith Miller as a woman who clawed her way to such an important position in the field of journalism, but she did it under the protection of the neocons because she passed on their lies without much examination,. Even by reading her own newspaper she could have found out that most of what the Bush administration had said was bogus even before the first American soldier put his 'boots on the ground' within Iraq.

Slate's, Jack Shafer has a good analysis of Judith Miller and the Times.

The Times won't break free of Miller's malevolent spirit until the paper commissions an exorcism in print, akin to the ones it conducted following the Blair and Lee possessions. I've been calling for such an accounting since July 25, 2003, damning Miller for her credulous and slapdash weapons-of-mass-destruction reporting in the Times. I asked the Times to revisit Miller's sources and methods to show how she and the paper had been rolled by devious Iraqi defectors and administration sources.

And to Judy's current help to the Bush people Shafer has a response which more timid news sources, who have chosen to hide from future Rovian wrath have chosen to ignore. (You and I know that Rove's going to be tied up working on his own defense for a while. Does he really have time to lead, that can lead a "journalist destruction campaign" anymore? Or did he have an apprentice?) The horror of the attacks on journalists that the Bush administration had been putting out, might take a while to wear off. The news business is pretty lazy anyway these days.

In Judy's last article she gives gives the neocons a parting gift when she wrote in her "mea culpa" published last weekend:
As I told the grand jury, I recalled Mr. Libby's frustration and anger about what he called "selective leaking" by the C.I.A. and other agencies to distance themselves from what he recalled as their unequivocal prewar intelligence assessments. The selective leaks trying to shift blame to the White House, he told me, were part of a "perverted war" over the war in Iraq.

Oops! Breaking: Ignore all this Miller, Plamegate stuff. Bomb scare at US Capitol! (Booga, Booga!)

I noted in a post below that the C.I.A. was not unequivocal before the invasion of Iraq, but I've not read any but Shafer among the paid journalists reminding Americans of that fact.

So, in their distress the neocons firm up one more lie.

But Shafer has a small page of links to NY Times articles that refute it and show that the intelligence agencies were put under heavy pressure to manufacture intelligence leading to an invasion of Iraq. The gist of the articles (that were even in the Times itself) are clear even in the abstract. The C.I.A. had serious misgivings about whether Iraq had WMDs. It was Rumsfeld that used the D.I.A. to gather information from spurious sources and Cheney's office that twisted it to the Bush administration's ends.

Articles like this were every newspaper with a shred of respectibility fighting for space from reports by lazy journalists that just followed the "talking points".

Don't worry about Judy. She will be taken well care of. The neocons have lots of extremely wealthy supporters. She may have to shed her mask of impartiallity, but few intelligent people believed it anyway in the last few years.

Ishikoff and Hosenball also have a good article on Miller. I guess those two are never going to learn the lesson of media intimidation. Good for them!
With no weapons of mass destruction having been found in Iraq and new questions being raised about the case for war, Libby assured Miller that day that the still-classified document, a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), contained even stronger evidence that would support the White House’s conclusions about Iraq’s weapons programs, according to Miller’s account.

In fact, a declassified version of the NIE was publicly released just 10 days later, and it showed almost precisely the opposite. The NIE, it turned out, contained caveats and qualifiers that had never been publicly acknowledged by the administration prior to the invasion of Iraq. It also included key dissents by State Department intelligence analysts, Energy Department scientists and Air Force technical experts about some important aspects of the administration’s case.

Fineman analyses Presidential Crises as Poetic Justice but somehow misses Reagan and Iran-Contra. What's up with that?

Michael Kinsley adds some good ideas on the Miller case.

As does Eugene Robinson

More on Miller and Plamegate at thit:
Also see:


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