Nobody here but us slightly dull reporters 

Nobody here but us slightly dull reporters

This is going to be one of the interesting chapters of a book on the Iraq war. Michael Gordon was another NYT reporter who, in the months before March 2003, re-cycled crap from the White House and Ahmed Chalabi about WMDs. There is still a lot of ass-covering going on: honest misunderstanding, we did the best we could; hey, even the CIA was fooled, and who would have guessed that could ever happen?

Actually, I believe the CIA has consistently over-estimated--not under-estimated--the threat posed to the U.S. by various countries. That's what they do. That's how they justify their budget, and ask for a bigger budget. See: Missile Gap in the 50s; Team B in the 80s.

The Times didn't say, as Gordon now says, there was a lot of confusion, a number of different views, some experts, while clear that the aluminum tubes were not for nuclear weapons, then went on to say they thought Saddam was developing nukes somewhere. Hardly anyone who was an expert said both that the tubes were not for nukes, and that Saddam probably didn't have any nukes. Saddam's disinformation worked. Boy, I guess we look like saps now--but it absolutely couldn't be helped.

Glenn Reynolds, who claims to be an apostle of ordinary people using the Internet to question the mainstream media, has never questioned this river of crap.

Amy Goodman does (via Atrios):

...I wanted to go to Michael Gordon and ask you about that September 8 piece that you wrote with Judith Miller, the article that was on the front page of the New York Times, that was cited by Dick Cheney, when he went on "Meet The Press," where you wrote from the beginning -- you said, “More than a decade after Saddam Hussein agreed to give up weapons of mass destruction, Iraq has stepped up its quest for nuclear weapons and has embarked on a worldwide hunt for materials to make an atomic bomb, Bush administrations officials said today. In the last 14 months, Iraq has sought to buy thousands of specially designed aluminum tubes, which American officials believe were intended as components of centrifuges to enrich uranium. American officials said several efforts to arrange the shipment of the aluminum tubes were blocked or intercepted, but declined to say, citing the sensitivity of the intelligence, where they came from or how they were stopped.

This was probably all that most people remembered about the issue of Saddam and nukes in the months leading up to the war. No: experts disagree. No: one crucial group of experts in the State Department actually thinks Saddam has no nukes. No: it is kind of unlikely that Saddam has acquired uranium. Just: exactly what the Bushies wanted to read on page 1 of the NYT.

Gordon says: when contrary views emerged, the NYT covered them. Goodman says: buried in back pages, and even then, deep in smaller articles. Gordon says: those are editorial decisions, not my decisions. Powell and his people were briefed by the CIA, and they were convinced on the tubes issue! How are we supposed to do better than that?

Goodman closes in:

And in fact, let me make a point, on that weekend that your first piece appeared on September 8th, that was the weekend that British Prime Minister Tony Blair and President Bush were at Camp David, and they talked about an IAEA report that showed new information about the concern of Saddam Hussein getting weapons of mass destruction, particularly nuclear weapons. In fact, President Bush said, “I don't know what more evidence we need.” Well, actually, any evidence would have helped. There was no such IAEA report, but few mainstream American journalists, including the Times at the time, questioned the leaders' outright lies.

MICHAEL GORDON: ...You know, I couldn't write what the IAEA’s assessment was before they made it.

AMY GOODMAN: But you could have challenged President Bush at the White House --

MICHAEL GORDON: I wasn’t at the White House, I’m sorry, I wasn’t at the -- can I --

AMY GOODMAN: The article, the Times could have challenged President Bush and Tony Blair, saying that a new IAEA report had showed that Iraq was six months away from building nuclear weapons, when in fact it didn't come out with such a report. And instead, the Times came out with a front-page piece that very weekend, which was yours, talking about Saddam Hussein getting nuclear weapons, the aluminum tubes.

After all this time, Gordon still won't even question Miller's performance, judgment, or competence. Are they all in love with her or something?

On nukes, I venture to say, the Bushies were lying rather than clueless.

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Comment when you say it like that it makes a lot of sense

Wed Apr 5, 2006 2:18 pm MST by bob stevens

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