hell with Judith Miller
what I said. And to hell with the press’ 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.
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?
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.
unlikely that more than a handful of reporters in the nation
had as many chances as Miller to rub elbows with Dick Cheney’s
favorite Iraqi advisor, Rendon Group vet, conman, and convicted
embezzler Ahmed Chalabi. Miller appeared at one point in
Iraq to be actually working for Chalabi while working as
an embedded reporter.
wonder, then, that Cheney’s chief of staff, I. Scooter Libby,
is a prime target, along with Karl Rove, 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. Rove, 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
I don’t sit around losing sleep at night about the disempowerments
of the Central 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 philosophical stupidity
anyhow. This case seems to prove that.
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 airbrushed
newsmodels regurgitating the manufactured cliché of the
day, slobbering over think-tank reptiles and retired generals
who are themselves reduced to preening cheap-jackery before
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 as often.
I see them give as much ink to Jose Padilla as they are
to this vicious, self-serving hack, who willingly let herself
be used by the White House she now claims 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
Karl Rove in the same cell block.