Monday, May 24, 2004

NY Times mea culpa for publishing misleading falsehoods about Iraq's WMD

[May 24, 2004] The NY Times has issued a mea culpa saying that some of their reporting leading to the Iraq War was dubious. Uh, duh, they were repeating the lies of the Administration.

However there is a Salon.COM article [salon.com/news/feature/2004/05/27/times/index.html] claiming that the principle NY Times reporter on this beat, Judith Miller, was apparently actively cooperating with the White House to get their lies published. She was working closely with the same liar, Ahmed Chalabi and his cronies, as was the Administration, so when Chalabi or one of his cronies might have told her some lie, he will have already told that lie to sources at the White House or DoD whom she could then call to get the confirmation required to publish.

For example, the issue of the Aluminum Tubes supposedly to be used to build centrifuges.

If the double-agent spy business had a trophy to hold up and show neophyte spooks what happens when their craft is perfectly executed, it would be a story by Judith Miller and Michael Gordon that appeared on the front page of the New York Times on a Sunday morning in September 2002. The front-page frightener was titled "Threats and Responses: The Iraqis; US Says Hussein Intensifies Quest for A-Bomb Parts." Miller and Gordon wrote that an intercepted shipment of aluminum tubes, to be used as centrifuges, was evidence Hussein was building a uranium gas separator to develop nuclear material. The story quoted national security advisor Condoleezza Rice invoking the image of "mushroom clouds over America."...The story had an enormous impact, one amplified when Rice, Secretary of State Colin Powell and Vice President Dick Cheney all did appearances on the Sunday morning talk shows, citing the first-rate journalism of the liberal New York Times. No single story did more to advance the political cause of the neoconservatives driving the Bush administration to invade Iraq....But Miller's story was wrong. ...It turned out that the aluminum tubes were covered with an anodized coating, which would have been machined off to make them usable in a centrifuge. But that change in the thickness of the tube wall would have rendered the tubes useless for a centrifuge, according to a number of nuclear scientists who spoke publicly after Miller's story. Aluminum, which has not been used in uranium gas separators since the 1950s, has been replaced by steel. The tubes, in fact, were almost certainly intended for use as rocket bodies. Hussein's multiple-launch rocket systems had rusted on their pads and he had ordered the tubes from Italy. "Medusa 81," the Italian rocket model name, was stamped on the sides of the tubes, and in a factory north of Baghdad, American intelligence officers later discovered boxes of rocket fins and motors awaiting the arrival of the tubes of terror.