26 November 2005

The Man Who Sold the War -- and the cunt who helped...

RollingStone.com: The Man Who Sold the War : Politics:

"The INC's choice for the worldwide print exclusive was equally easy: Chalabi contacted Judith Miller of The New York Times. Miller, who was close to I. Lewis Libby and other neoconservatives in the Bush administration, had been a trusted outlet for the INC's anti-Saddam propaganda for years. Not long after the CIA polygraph expert slipped the straps and electrodes off al-Haideri and declared him a liar, Miller flew to Bangkok to interview him under the watchful supervision of his INC handlers. Miller later made perfunctory calls to the CIA and Defense Intelligence Agency, but despite her vaunted intelligence sources, she claimed not to know about the results of al-Haideri's lie-detector test. Instead, she reported that unnamed 'government experts' called his information 'reliable and significant' -- thus adding a veneer of truth to the lies.

Her front-page story, which hit the stands on December 20th, 2001, was exactly the kind of exposure Rendon had been hired to provide. AN IRAQI DEFECTOR TELLS OF WORK ON AT LEAST 20 HIDDEN WEAPONS SITES, declared the headline. 'An Iraqi defector who described himself as a civil engineer,' Miller wrote, 'said he personally worked on renovations of secret facilities for biological, chemical and nuclear weapons in underground wells, private villas and under the Saddam Hussein Hospital in Baghdad as recently as a year ago.' If verified, she noted, 'his allegations would provide ammunition to officials within the Bush administration who have been arguing that Mr. Hussein should be driven from power partly because of his unwillingness to stop making weapons of mass destruction, despite his pledges to do so.'

For months, hawks inside and outside the administration had been pressing for a pre-emptive attack on Iraq. Now, thanks to Miller's story, they could point to 'proof' of Saddam's 'nuclear threat.' The story, reinforced by Moran's on-camera interview with al-Haideri on the giant Australian Broadcasting Corp., was soon being trumpeted by the White House and repeated by newspapers and television networks around the world. It was the first in a long line of hyped and fraudulent stories that would eventually propel the U.S. into a war with Iraq -- the first war based almost entirely on a covert propaganda campaign targeting the media."

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