“I’m so bored. I hate my life.” - Britney Spears

Das Langweilige ist interessant geworden, weil das Interessante angefangen hat langweilig zu werden. – Thomas Mann

"Never for money/always for love" - The Talking Heads

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Miller time again

First things first: Guy Baehr is the chairman of the Society of Professional Journalists that is giving Judy Miller a 1st Amendment prize next week. This is his email: gbaehr@spj.org. This is his official address:
Guy Baehr
Assistant Director
Journalism Resources Institute
Rutgers University of New Jersey
4 Huntington St.
New Brunswick, NJ 08901-1071

I’ve written him to tell him that I think that the award stinks. I’d urge others to let Mr. Baehr know what this award says about the standards of professional journalists. Surely there are writers for KBR Techtalk, Haliburton’s inhouse newsletter, more deserving of the prize.

Second: although, as an old fan of closing the CIA down permanently, I have a hard time getting too lathered about betraying CIA assets in Africa – in fact, given the CIA’s record in Angola, in South Africa, in Mozambique, in Tanzania, etc., etc., and I even find it wonderfully inspiriting that the rightwing is adopting the tactics of the Yippies with regard to that poisonous agency – there is no reason to be blind to what Judy Miller is, how she has operated at the NYT, and what it says about the NYT itself.

What Judy Miller is is an advocate. That in itself is not wrong. Any journalist is an advocate for something, some point of view. But there are thresholds between being an advocate and losing your integrity. The trajectory of Miller's agon reminds me the story of the disbarred lawyer who was the subject of Janet Malcolm’s book, The Crime of Sheila McGough. McGough was hired by a man accused of various business frauds. In the course of defending him, he became more than another case to McGough – she became passionately attached to his cause, much to the bewilderment of those around her. And in her passion, she allowed him to use her office as a transit point for cash transactions. Eventually, not only was the client imprisoned, but McGough was too, as an accomplice.

Usually the rap on Miller begins with her outrageously bad reporting on the WMDs. I think it should, instead, begin with her partnership with Laurie Mylroie, with whom she co-authored “Study of Revenge.” This is what Peter Bergen has said about Mylroie:

“It was the first bombing of the World Trade Centre in 1993 that launched Mylroie's quixotic quest to prove that Saddam's regime was the chief source of anti-US terrorism. She laid out her case in a 2000 book called Study of Revenge: Saddam Hussein's Unfinished War Against America. Perle glowingly blurbed the book as "splendid and wholly convincing". Wolfowitz and his then wife, according to Mylroie, "provided crucial support".

Mylroie believes that Saddam was behind every anti-American terrorist incident of note in the past decade, from the levelling of the federal building in Oklahoma City in 1995 to September 11 itself. She is, in short, a cranky conspiracist - but her neoconservative friends believed her theories, bringing her on as a terrorism consultant at the Pentagon.

The extent of Mylroie's influence is shown in the new book Against All Enemies, by the veteran counterterrorism official Richard Clarke, in which he recounts a senior-level meeting on terrorism months before September 11. During that meeting Clarke quotes Wolfowitz as saying: "You give Bin Laden too much credit. He could not do all these things like the 1993 attack on New York, not without a state sponsor. Just because FBI and CIA have failed to find the linkages does not mean they don't exist." Clarke writes: "I could hardly believe it, but Wolfowitz was spouting the Laurie Mylroie theory that Iraq was behind the 1993 truck bomb at the World Trade Centre, a theory that had been investigated for years and found to be totally untrue."

Mylroie vision of Saddam Hussein’s evil sway doesn’t stop with the 1993 bombing:

“She has said that Terry Nichols, one of the Oklahoma City plotters, was in league with Ramzi Yousef, the supposed Iraqi agent. The federal judge who presided over the Oklahoma case ruled this theory inadmissible. Mylroie implicates Iraq in the 1996 bombing of a US military facility in Saudi Arabia that killed 19 servicemen. In 2001, a grand jury indicted members of Saudi Hezbollah, a group with ties to Iran. Mylroie suggests that the attacks on US embassies in Africa in 1998 were "the work of Bin Laden and Iraq". An investigation uncovered no connection. Mylroie has written that the crash of TWA flight 800 in 1996 was probably an Iraqi plot; a two-year investigation found it was an accident. Saddam is guilty of many crimes, but there is no evidence linking him to any act of anti-US terrorism for a decade, while there is a mountain of evidence against al-Qaida.”

So: the NYT let a woman who has gone on record in a best seller as claiming that Saddam Hussein was behind the 1993 WTC bombing as well as 9/11 run the story about Saddam Hussein’s WMD. It is odd that they just didn’t turn over the front page to Paul Wolfowitz and get it done with.

If, to use the phrase of the network around Ken Starr, there were “little elves” pushing us into this stupid, misbegotten invasion, one of the little elves is certainly Miller. Her role in trying to blacken Wilson’s name did succeed in one respect: it pretty much paralyzed the NYT’s reporting on the kind of scandal that, once upon a time, the NYT was very good at. According to the NYT itself:
"Some reporters said editors seemed reluctant to publish articles about other aspects of the case as well, like how it was being investigated by Mr. Fitzgerald. In July, Richard W. Stevenson and other reporters in the Washington bureau wrote an article about the role of Mr. Cheney's senior aides, including Mr. Libby, in the leak case. The article, which did not disclose that Mr. Libby was Ms. Miller's source, was not published.

Mr. Stevenson said he was told by his editors that the article did not break enough new ground. "It was taken pretty clearly among us as a signal that we were cutting too close to the bone, that we were getting into an area that could complicate Judy's situation," he said."

In fact, her 85 days in prison took a nice little chunk out of the news cycle in which it has usually been NYT's role to play a leading part. Taking a bullet for your side is something you do, if you are a believer. That the NYT management has been as close to Miller’s side as the House of the Romanovs was to Rasputin shows that the NYT badly needs a new editor in chief, new blood in the Washington D.C office, and constraints that make sure that star reporters with obvious agendas don't use their paper space to promote these agendas, and their institutional weight to suppress the criticism of these agendas.

6 comments:

Patrick J. Mullins said...

Thanks, Roger. I also remember Mylroie on MacNeil Lehrer reports not even being able to stand it when they'd try to blame something on Iran. She'd interrupt everybody and say 'No,it's Iraq!'

I thought Rich's column was disappointing under the circumstances, calling it 'It's Bush/Cheney, not Rove/Libby', not because he didn't have good stuff in there, but because he figured out a way not to talk about Miller--still. This time you could hear the ponderous Frank Rich sound, laid bare to reveal part of its draw--but the results of which are curiously never as dramatic as the way he writes about them. Even Dowd's little insert had more guts than Rich's Old Testament-speak. Unless you were supposed to have read already that Miller quoted Libby as saying Cheney knew nothing about his meetings with her, etc.--because Rich wasn't going to say it explicitly. I don't know, maybe a certain amount of cronyism is natural even--I've noticed tons of it at Village Voice and even at the New York Review of Books (I've even thought Didion was guilty of that at least once.)

roger said...

Patrick, I haven't read the Rich yet. But the op ed people shouldn't be policing the Times on this elementary level -- this is a massive failure of the news editors and management. The question of why Judy Miller went to jail has overshadowed the question, what did Miller succeed in doing by going to jail? At least we now know the answer to the latter question: she succeeded in shutting the NYT up at a crucial time in the life of a budding scandal. Add this to her previous hijinks, and one has to say Miller's advocacy has been highly successful.

Patrick J. Mullins said...

I know the op-ed people aren't the important ones here, but they did feel free to talk about it in a clubbish way before they knew who the super-Bush sources were; and the liberal ones talked about Miller just as though she were the single exemption from the whole machine they condemned every few days. Now they just don't say anything as if it were of no importance. NYT and Miller alone probably haven't affected Fitzgerald's probability or not of indicting Rove or Libby, have they? I mean I know what you mean about shutting the NYT down, but the case itself was probably not affected that much by this, was it? (Sorry, but I'm on a bit of an elementary level myself here!)

roger said...

Patrick, I edited this post to make it clearer that the shutting down of NYT's reporting on Fitzgerald's case was one of the material harms caused by Miller.

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Anonymous said...

This time the holocaust will be black.

Austrian Sigmund Freud is known as the father of psychoanalysis yet people have (mental) health problems because of their disfavor, illustrating the preditory purpose of this discipline, this individual.
These people.

Of course Hitler was Austrian. Glock, maker of the semi-automatic gun favored by the most ruthless of black street gangs, the Bloods and the Crips, is Austrian.
RedBull Energy drink, Buwdeiser both Austrian.

The Holocaust was foreshadowing, yet another example of the Jews sacrificing to help the disfavored::::
1. 1492 exodus from Spain.
2. Spread throughout Europe as clue to heathen Christians worshipping a false god.
3. "Quasi-Holocaust claim" contradicting boss.
The Apocalypse (or an Apocalyptic event) will be initiated by an Austrian. When the national referendum to allow foreign-born individuals to run for president is introduced I recommend you DEFY and vote NO!! In the years prior to this vote the gods will send POWERFUL clues suggesting the IMPORTANCE OF DEFIANCE.

It will be the Koreans. There may not even be any invasion:::They gods will scapegoat them telepathically.
Black people like the ones who terrorized Korean businesses during the 1992 riots in California will be executed. I have personal reinforcing evidence.
This time the holocaust will be black.

Italy's boot is a clue showing the god's intent with the Romans.
Oshkosh. Oshkosh is a clue just as Lake Michigan and Green Bay are clues::::
Oshkosh is the ejaculate clue:::Life springs forth from this city.
Expect your traditional Second Coming of Christ to come from Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Consistant with the possibility of matrilinial lineage it may be the mother's family from the Lake Winnebago area fulfilling some "Manifest Destiny" bullshit theater.

1. Corporate sourcing violently punished::::
They suggest the whole "sourcing" era, where it is positioned that their brain-less clones obtained product from China and other Asian countries for the lowest possible price, will be punished violently if the gods elect to employ the "Chinese invasion" script.
One of the reasons it was so important to get out before 1980 or before the end of each 20-year war-revelry cycle (1960, 1980, 2000, 2020, etc).

2. Deception of Southern rednecks to blame for Republican control:::::
Republicans, party of preditory disfavored, keep guns available. Easy gun availablility is an "open door" for the gods, a tool used to prey on the disfavored.
Republicans, party of preditory disfavored, gave you the Clinton impeachment theater 1998.
Republican loyalty is why noone cares that rednecks are set up for the slaughter.

The Simpsons offered many clues to the disfavored, not the least of which the frequent references to "pack/mob mentality".

This isn’t about reals and clones. This is about the brains and the brain-less.
This is the key which unlocks the god’s puzzle.

Kosher is a favor bestowed upon the Jews. The South eats LOTS of pork and there is a oyster bar on every corner.
It's kinda like liquor stores in the ghetto. This is the kind of irony the gods laugh about:::::

gods got rid of the retarded woman who lived across the street, prior to the fall of 2006 so your handiwork wouldn't stare you in the face while there was so much attention.
gods took similar evansive manuvers w/ bi-racial.

Bill Clinton wasn't impeached because he lied.
Bill Clinton wasn't impeached because he was orally copulated.
Bill Clinton was impeached because it was 1998.

HOW TO PRAY:::1. I'm sorry for what I've done wrong. 2. I don't want to sccumb to temptation and make any more mistakes. 3. I want to fix my problems. 4. Please don't hurt me.

We will ALL be held to the responsibilities entrusted to us, no matter what temptations contradict this.


If you don't do the right thing you're going to do the wrong thing, and the right thing to do is to ACTIVELY fix your problems and pursue the favor of the gods.
If you're not working hard to fix your problems, if you don't creatively work to get the hell off Earth then you will be consumed by it, by the reverse positioning-institutions they instilled as temptations::::popular culture, democracy, materialism.