to set the record straight are duplicitous. They come too late to matter.
On May 26, 2004, Times editors headlined "The Times and Iraq," saying:
"Over the last year this newspaper has shone the bright light of
hindsight on decisions that led the United States into Iraq."
"We have examined the failings of American and allied intelligence,
especially on the issue of Iraq's weapons and possible Iraqi connections
to international terrorists."
"We have studied the allegations of official gullibility and hype.
It is past time we turned the same light on ourselves."
It discussed "journalism that we are proud of." It reflected "an
accurate (picture) of the state of our knowledge at the time."
It was based on duplicitous intelligence, hawkish neocons, and Iraqi
exiles paid to lie.
Times editors admitted "a number of instances of coverage that was
not as rigorous as it should have been."
Information used was "controversial. (It) was insufficiently qualified
or allowed to stand unchallenged. Looking back, we wish we had been more
"We consider the story of Iraq's weapons, and of the pattern of
misinformation, to be unfinished business. And we fully intend to continue
aggressive reporting aimed at setting the record straight."
Follow-through was woefully inadequate. Credible sources were ignored.
Scott Ritter was America's former chief weapons inspector.
He vocally criticized sanctions. He opposed US intervention. He
said members of his team spied on Saddam. He spoke publicly.
He said no WMDs existed. Suspect sites inspections found nothing.
They'd been abandoned for years. "Presidents lie to the American people,"
"If Rumsfeld had information about Iraqis hiding weapons, why wasn't
he sharing this information with the inspectors on the ground?"
He said Bush officials wanted war. Media scoundrels regurgitated
White House claims. They showed "a collective cowardice to confront the
They demonstrated a "horrific disregard for facts and for the truth."
Americans were willfully deceived. They got false information. They got
Times editors ignored him. So did other media scoundrels. The rest
is history. Pre-2003 Iraq no longer exists. The cradle of civilization
Since 1990, millions died. Millions more were displaced. Iraq's
a dystopian wasteland. It's one of history's greatest crimes. It's unsafe
to live in.
Judith Miller bears much responsibility. So do Times editors. They
featured her daily propaganda. They knew it lacked credibility.
On March 19, Times editors headlined "Ten Years After." The Iraq
war "still haunts the United States," they said.
"(It) was unnecessary, costly and damaging on every level. It was
based on faulty intelligence manipulated for ideological reasons."
"The terrible human and economic costs over the past 10 years show
why that must never happen again."
More on that below.
When America goes to war or plans one, New York Times editors march
They played a lead role in supporting Washington's Iraq war. Managed
news misinformation substituted for truth and full disclosure.
Peace never had a chance. Judith Miller was a key instigator. The
late Alex Cockburn called Iraq "Judy Miller's war."
"Lay all (her) New York Times stories end to end, from late 2001
to June 2003, and you get a desolate picture of a reporter with an agenda,"
"With Miller, we sink to the level of straight press handout."
She wrote daily Pentagon propaganda pieces. Times editors made them
front page feature stories. Her most "sensational disclosures" were bald-faced
She wrote "garbage, garbage that powered the Bush administration's
propaganda drive toward invasion."
"She was a witting cheerleader for war. She knew what she was doing."
So did Times editors. They supported what they should have stopped.
They had ample evidence. Hussein Kamel was Saddam's son-in-law.
He headed Iraq's weapons programs. He defected with crates of state secrets.
US intelligence operatives debriefed him. No nuclear program existed.
After the Gulf War, "Iraq destroyed all its chemical and biological weapons
stocks and missiles to deliver them," he said.
The Times reported it. It then buried what he said and forgot it.
It never resurfaced in the run-up to the 2003 war. Lies substituted for
On July 1, 2003, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) headlined
"The Great WMD Hunt," saying:
"Within the press, perhaps the most energetic disseminator of "inactionable
intelligence" on Iraq's putative weapons has been the New York Times'
She "accumulated a bulging clippings file over the years full of
splashy, yet often maddeningly unverifiable, exposes alleging various
Iraqi arms shenanigans." Reports about them included:
"Secret Arsenal: The Hunt for Germs of War" (2/26/98)
"Defector Describes Iraq's Atom Bomb Push" (8/15/98)
"Iraqi Tells of Renovations at Sites For Chemical and Nuclear Arms"
"Defectors Bolster US Case Against Iraq, Officials Say" (1/24/03).
Former Times writer Craig Pyes co-wrote a 2000 Al Qaeda report with
Miller. He wanted his name removed.
"I'm not willing to work" with her, he said. "I do not trust her
work, her judgment, or her conduct."
"She is an advocate, and her actions threaten the integrity of the
enterprise, and of everyone who works with her. (She uses) unproven assertions
and factual inaccuracies. (She) tried to stampede it into the paper."
She substituted propaganda for verifiable facts. She did it daily.
She lied for power.
Ten years too late to matter, Times editors reflected. Bush/Cheney
& Co. "wage(d) preemptive war against Saddam Hussein and a nuclear
arsenal that did not exist," they said.
"They promised a 'free and peaceful Iraq' that would be a model
of democracy and stability in the Arab world."
They turned Iraq into a free-fire zone. A State Department travel
warning calls Iraq dangerous. Americans are "at risk of kidnapping and
Car-bombings and other attacks occur regularly. "Yet none of the
Bush administration's war architects have been called to account for their
They're guilty of crimes of war, against humanity and genocide.
They belong in prison doing hard time. Don't expect Times editors to explain.
They claim Obama opposed the war "from the start." In November 2004,
he was elected US senator. In January 2005, he took office. He was uninvolved
in the war's run-up.
His voting record was hawkish. He backed defense authorization spending.
He supported Homeland Security funding. In July 2005, he voted to reauthorize
the Patriot Act. As president he's supportive.
His Senate and presidential policies belie his rhetoric. He supports
permanent wars and occupations. He's militantly hardline. He opposes prosecuting
Bush, Cheney and CIA torturers. He's more pro-business than some Republicans.
Don't expect Times editors to explain. "Iraqis are responsible for
their own future," they say. "It requires more sustained American involvement…."
"Iraq is a reminder of the need for political leaders to ask the
right questions before allowing military action and to listen honestly
rather than acting on ideological or political impulses."
"Mr. Bush led the war, but Democrats as well as Republicans in Congress
So did Times editors. They did so enthusiastically. They cheerled
America to war. They did so duplicitously. They suppressed information
potentially able to prevent it. They featured bald-faced lies instead.
They have blood on their hands. Reconsideration now doesn't wash.
Setting the record straight in time to matter alone counts. Times editors
fail every time.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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