To hell with Judith Miller
That’s what I said. And to hell with the press’s sanctimonious lamentations over First Amendment rights. If they were so fucking committed to the press being some kind of democratic tripwire, they wouldn’t behave like such craven hucksters about virtually every real issue that comes along. In particular, they would be critical of themselves about the likes of propaganda hacks like Judith Miller.
Jose Padilla, Wen Ho Lee, and lengthening list of others have had their Constitutional rights trampled as public spectacles in which the press participates as eagerly as any lynching crowd on a picnic, but where was Judith Miller when all this was happening?
She was working for the White House as a disinformation specialist even as she worked for the mighty New York fucking Times, helping the administration make its case for the war in Iraq. No single reporter was more solicitous in retransmitting the Rendon Group’s fabrication about mushroom clouds over New York and the Saddam-A-bomb.
It’s unlikely that more than a handful of reporters in the ntaion had as many chances as Miller to rub elbows with Dick Cheney’s favorite Iraqi advisor, Rendon Group vet, con man, and convicted embezzler, Ahmed Chalabi. Miller appeared at one point in Iraq to be actually working for Chalabi while working as an embedded reporter.
Little wonder, then, that Cheney’s chief of staff, I. Scooter Libby, is a prime target of the investigation into the administration’s vengeance outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame, when her husband Joseph Wilson refused to doctor evidence for the Bush administration to develop the weird claim that Iraq was buying weaponizable uranium from Niger. Libby, or whomever (someone on the White House staff) “leaked” Plame’s identity as a U.S. intelligence operative abroad – which is a felony violation of federal law.
Me. I don’t sit around losing sleep at night about the disempowerments of the Cenral Intelligence Agency (they’ve done more to disempower themselves than any opponent could ever do). I admit I’m seriously into situational ethics here… the ethics being whether the protections that ostensibly exist for journalists and their sources being a means to protect the public FROM official power can be reasonably claimed when a reporter lets themselves be used BY official power to punish people like Wilson for having a shred of integrity. I’ve always thought the categorical imperative is a form of detached philospohical stupidity anyhow. This case seems to prove that.
It’s an obligation for political activists to know what the masses are watching on television, so every day I try to force myself to see a bit of CNN, a bit of MSNBC, a bit of local affiliate news. It’s about as joyful as having a sea urchin packed up your ass, but it still seems like an obligation. It seldom changes, this self-referential parade of air-brushed news-models regurgitating the manufactured cliche of the day, and slobbering over think-tank reptiles and retired generals who are themselves reduced to preaning cheap-jackery before narcotic America.
It’s only the shortest step between this and Judith Miller’s breathless ranting about Saddam’s bombs on the flagshit NYT. I can’t for the life of me figure out why anyone would give the NYT any more credence than the fucking Debka-file. They get things right about equally as often.
When I see them give as much ink to Jose Padilla as they are to this vicious, self-serving hack, who willlingly let herself be used by the White House she now calims the First Amendment to protect, I’ll stand in front of the Supreme Court with a “Free the lying little shit” sign. But for now, she can rot for all the hell I care, and I’d be delighted to see “Scooter” Libby in the same cell block.