The SanityPrompt

This blog represents some small and occasional efforts to add a note of sanity to discussions of politics and policy. This blog best viewed with Internet Explorer @ 1024x768

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Judy Miller White House Shill

Amidst all the information uncovered in the last few weeks around Plame-gate the clearest conclusion we can draw so far is that supposed First Amendment Martyr Judy Miller, Miss Run-Amok herself, was essentially just a propaganda tool of the Administration and happy to place herself as such. If that isn't ground for firing from a newspapers of supposed repute, I don't know what is. Here's from Frank Rich's piece in the NYT

The official introduction of that product (the War in Iraq) began just two days later. On the Sunday talk shows of Sept. 8, Ms. Rice warned that "we don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud," and Mr. Cheney, who had already started the nuclear doomsday drumbeat in three August speeches, described Saddam as "actively and aggressively seeking to acquire nuclear weapons." The vice president cited as evidence a front-page article, later debunked, about supposedly nefarious aluminum tubes co-written by Judy Miller in that morning's Times. The national security journalist James Bamford, in "A Pretext for War," writes that the article was all too perfectly timed to facilitate "exactly the sort of propaganda coup that the White House Iraq Group had been set up to stage-manage."

And from the LA Times:

Critics inside the paper and in the wider journalism community said Monday that they found particularly disturbing the revelation that the newspaper's editors seemed unable to control Miller and that the reporter agreed to use a misleading identification to shield the identity of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff.

The Pentagon also raised doubts about Miller's contention that she had a special security clearance that allowed her to report on the search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.Some critics were particularly harsh, noting that the 57-year-old Miller's work had been questioned before.Her editors had pulled her off coverage of Iraq and weapons issues in 2003 and later ran an unusual editors' note admitting that they could no longer stand by six stories about weapons of mass destruction, or WMD — including five that Miller wrote or co-wrote.


But some of her colleagues and others said her relationship with Libby appeared too cozy.They noted that Miller told how Libby asked her for an autographed copy of her book on biological weapons. And they were upset that Miller agreed to Libby's request to be identified as "a former Hill staffer" instead of "a senior administration official."

No reason was given by Ms. Miller on why she didn't just identify Libby as a "former 3rd grader."


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