The fact that Chalabi was able to feed disinformation to America's most widely recognized publication and have it go relatively unchallenged as the electorate was whipped into a get-Saddam frenzy ought to be keeping Times editors awake all night. Nobody wanted a war against Iraq more than Ahmed Chalabi -- and the biggest paper in the U.S. gave it to him almost as willingly as the White House did.
[...]The New York Times wire service distributed Miller's report to dozens of papers across the landscape. Invariably, they gave it prominence. Sadly, the sons and daughters of America were sent marching off to war wearing the boots of a well-told and widely disseminated lie.
Of course, Judy Miller and the Times are not the only journalists to be taken by Ahmed Chalabi. Jim Hoagland, a columnist at the Washington Post, has also written of his long association with the exile. But no one was so fooled as Miller and her paper.
Russ Baker, who has written critically of Miller for the Nation, places profound blame at the feet of the reporter and her paper. "I am convinced there would not have been a war without Judy Miller,"[yikes!] he said.
The introspection and analysis of America's rush to war with Iraq have turned into a race among the ruins. Few people doubt any longer that the agencies of the U.S. government did not properly perform. No institution, however, either public or private, has violated the trust of its vast constituency as profoundly as the New York Times.
I prefer to spread my blame around a little more... but my anger at the times and their lackluster mea culpas since is profound. I expect lies from a President with a clear agenda and a track record of bullshit, I expect the "so-called liberal media" to act as a brake, not a nitrous burst of acceleration.
On an unrelated but also disgraceful note, a Federal judge has ordered Miller to answer a subpeona and reveal the source of conversations that led to the outing of CIA operative or go to jail. Since we'll likely get that name from someone else, I'm hoping Judith holds out (not likely) and spends some unusually unpleasant time behind bars. She's earned it.