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From the People Who Brought Us Judith Miller and George Bush

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From the People Who Brought Us
Judith Miller & George Bush

Former New York New York Times reporter, Judith Miller, who wrongly
claimed Iraq had weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and her president.
left, right)

The New York Times "Covers" the Susan Lindauer Hearing

Michael Collins
"Scoop" Independent News
Washington, DC

The New York Times disgraced itself and betrayed the citizens of the United States when it repeatedly headlined misleading stories by reporter Judith Miller that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction (WMD). The paper issued a meandering apology well after the 2003 invasion prompted by the inaccurate reporting of Miller, the self-styled "Miss Run Amok" reporter, and others. But it was too little and too late to correct the damage. And it seems the Times is still running amok at the expense of what's in the public interest.

One has to wonder if the New York Times and the White House coordinated efforts on the WMD matter. They certainly worked very well together, propping up in tandem the fear-based prophecy of a menacing Saddam who would deliver his nuclear filled hate to our shores. This was total nonsense, to put it kindly.

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We know that the Bush administration and the New York Times editor, William Keller, communicated about a very sensitive matter before the 2004 election. New York Times reporters James Risen and Eric Lichtblau had discovered that the Bush administration had been illegally wiretapping citizens since Sept. 11, 2001. "Internal discussions about drafts of the article had been 'dragging on for weeks' before the Nov. 2 election, Mr. Keller acknowledged," according to an article by Times public editor Byron Calme Instead of publishing the story, Times editor Keller killed and barred the story from public release until December 16, 2006, 13 months after the 2004 election.

Was this a coincidence? Not at all. Bush requested the story be killed for "national security" reasons. Forgetting the paper's shining moment when it released the Pentagon Papers, Keller willingly complied.

This was the election that would determine if Mr. Bush would have another four years to work the magic that's brought the nation to its current state of peril. When the story finally broke, it created a wave of negative reaction across the political spectrum.

Thanks to the New York Times' deliberate delay, we'll never know how the public would have responded just weeks before the 2004 vote. Based on the public response when the story was released, it may well have created enough of a shift to render the dirty tricks of Ohio and elsewhere meaningless.

The false WMD reports represented propaganda of the most frightening type. It came from reporter Miller who had relied largely on one source, Ahmad Chalabi. He was on the Defense Department payroll at the time that reporter Miller gained the WMD information from him. Without any doubt, the New York Times was a major enabler of the Iraq invasion and occupation.

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By withholding a most devastating indictment of the lawless regime in power, namely illegal wiretapping of U.S. citizens, the New York Times denied citizens the option of a fully informed choice in 2004 and it played a major role in returning Bush-Cheney to power.

Four thousand U.S. deaths, tens of thousands of life long injuries to U.S. troops, 1.2 million dead Iraqis due to civil strife triggered by the war, 5 million Iraqi orphans, and the loss of United States' prestige on a massive scale: this is the shared legacy of the New York Times coverage leading up to the Iraq invasion. A nation on the verge of bankruptcy, foreclosures at epidemic rates, national debt so out of control it is difficult to even measure and a deep recession with possibly worse down the road: this is just a part of the legacy of the New York Times' coverage of the 2004 election.

How low will they sink?

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