May 27, 2003

Spoonfeeding the NYT

David Kolodney sends us an update on a suspicion he had:

Good Eye!

This is mainly of journalistic interest, but I'm sending it around anyway, (It won't be on the midterm):

I guess I'm gloating. In the Washington Post yesterday, it came out that the NYT's main WMD reporter, Judith Miller, has been channeling the Pentagon's protégé Ahmad Chalabi, for most of her big stories:

By Howard Kurtz, Washington Post Staff Writer, May 26, 2003

"Judith Miller ... acknowledges that her main source for such articles has been Ahmad Chalabi, a controversial exile leader who is close to top Pentagon officials. Could Chalabi have been using the Times to build a drumbeat that Iraq was hiding weapons of mass destruction?" ... Miller: "He has provided most of the front page exclusives on WMD to our paper."

So, why gloating? Because I was so incensed by her article last week that I actually "wrote a letter to the Times." Good eye! And nose!
Re: 5/11/2003 article: "Trailer is a Mobile Lab Capable of Turning Out Bioweapons, a Team Says," by Judith Miller

It is very odd, as if a different person wrote the first paragraph, the only place where it says just flatly: "A team of experts ... has concluded that a trailer found near Mosul in northern Iraq in April is a mobile biological weapons laboratory...."

Everything else in the article is more circumspect. The headline says only: "a Mobile Lab Capable of Turning Out Bioweapons." So we can all agree it is a mobile lab of some kind.

Further in the text, it says: "The members acknowledged that some experts were still uncertain whether the trailer was intended to produce biological agents." Even the phrase "intended to produce" is much weaker than "is a ... weapons laboratory." Was it ever actually used as intended? How long ago? Etc. And they were "still uncertain" even of whether it was so intended.

Worse: "... the lab contained equipment that could be used to make vaccines ... as well as deadly germs for weapons...."

And again: "... the equipment he took apart would support the production of peaceful germs, as well as those for weapons." What then proved it was weapons? "... the presence of equipment to contain the emission of gasses ... indicated that [they] ... did not want traces of what they were making to be detectable." Highly interpretive for a smoking gun!

"The team did not find any protective clothing or biocontainment system.... But the team leader said he was not surprised by the absence ... 'We've already seen what a low regard for human life this regime had,' the leader said." Well, they had protective gear in immense quantities everywhere else in the country, except in this weapons lab.

"Finally, they considered the possibility that the lab was intended for chemical production. 'There are still some experts who think that ... we haven't totally ruled it out....'"

So it is indisputably a germ warfare lab, unless, of course, it was for chemicals.

Please take another look at this.

Sincerely,

David Kolodney

Posted by xian at May 27, 2003 10:17 PM
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