Sunday, October 16, 2005

More on Miller

(Posted Sunday for Monday, which I'll likely miss)

I know you'll be wanting to make some political hay out of the relatively peaceful election in Iraq, Bush--and with apparently significant Sunni participation. Still, for myself, I'm opting for wait-and-see. I really do hope the referendum opens the door to peace, prosperity, and democracy. But forgive me if I'm not yet able to congratulate you. It still looks like a three-way shotgun marriage to me. But then, of course, sometimes these marriages work out better than the love matches.

I've been reading up today (first time I've had reading time in what seems like weeks!) on the Judith Miller affair, and I have to confess that I remain confused. Perhaps that's the point: confusion. Given my admittedly limited knowledge, here's the reading that seems most logical and persuasive to me: you and your people had decided on the ouster of Saddam Hussein way before 9/11, and the terrorist attack on New York simply played into your hands, reinforcing that intention. (Just got shaken by an earthquake here in Southern California, Bush, as of this writing, Sunday afternoon. I'm getting a bit jittery about such things. Is the End of the World at hand?) Even with the added motivation of saving the country from the world-wide terrorism, though, there was a serious sales job to be done to get approval for your war--not only from the United States Congress, whose support you'd need, but from the American people. Hence the great, proliferating fiction of weapons of mass destruction, sold with considerable success--and at huge eventual expense--to the unwary public.

The media would have to be a part of it, of course. It wasn't only Judith Miller who was taken in by your propagana: you had the network television broadcasters bending over to help, along with the vast majority of the press. But, to judge from her pre-invasion articles, Miller was among those who took the bait, and she had the great, unimpeachable platform of the New York Times from which to propagate your gospel. If even this bastion of thinking liberalism went along, could the rest be far behind? So when the Times began to change its tune and published that now famous piece by Joe Wilson, what could be more logical than to use one of their own, whose gullibility was already proven, as a readily available tool in your administration's counter-attack? As I see it, Bush, she was not the willing tool, as some suggest, but rather the patsy: give her a handy "source" for inside information, and have him feed her the appropriate and self-serving lies; then let her take the heat whilst the real tool, Robert Novak, enacts the venomous, vengeful calumny with impunity.

Reading Miller's story about her Grand Jury testimony in the Times today, you can't really believe she swallowed the stories Libby fed her at face value, can you, Bush? That your Cheney knew nothing of Wilson's mission to Niger? That you yourself "might have made inaccurate statements because the C.I.A. failed to share doubts about the Iraq intelligence"? (Read, State of the Union Address!) Libby even asserted, according to Miller's notes, that "No briefer came in and said, 'You got it wrong, Mr. President.'" Tell that to the Marines whose lives are on the line today, Bush. If it's true, it can only be because of your reputation for reacting negatively to any information that fails to support your views. No one told you? Come on, Bush. As they say in Merrie Olde England, Tell me another.

In view of which large picture, I happen to think that the whole business of first amendment privilege and Miller's time in jail is no more than a distraction from the real issue. I have to agree with what our friend Frank Rich has to say, also in today's issue of the Times: that this whole thing "is about something far bigger: protecting the lies that took the country into what the Reagan administration National Security Agency director, Lt. Gen. William Odom, recently called 'the greatest strategic disaster in United States history.'"

So parse me that one, Bush, if you can. And forgive my irregularity. Ellie and I have been strategically out of town since Wednesday. Tomorrow, Monday, we actually get to move in to our new abode, if we can find a place to put ourselves between the boxes. (Oh, and before I forget to mention it: Costco came through. They did make sure to check our story by taking time to count their inventory, but called later to say they would credit our card with the erroneous cost of the third TV. Not only that, but with an apology for the mistake, no less. Costco, I think that we'll be back…)

5 comments:

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PK said...

Well, she had her visits from them in jail. She knows who it is. She's out now and still she "isn't sure" who told her about Plame. She got away with it. Being gone you missed out on the fact the tribunal is meeting to see if they can't get Bush on "crimes against humanity", and someone out there is talking impeachment. Enjoy your evening:):). I enjoy your diary.

v-dawg said...

I don't remember who gave me the name of a deep cover CIA agent? My pupppy went on it so I can't hand it in today. It has come out she signed something and was given a Pentegon clearence so even if she had known the truth she couldn't have reported it. Not that she was anywhere in the ballpark on anything. I'm just waiting to see how this is the democrates fault.

v-dawg said...

I don't remember who gave me the name of a deep cover CIA agent? My pupppy went on it so I can't hand it in today. It has come out she signed something and was given a Pentegon clearence so even if she had known the truth she couldn't have reported it. Not that she was anywhere in the ballpark on anything. I'm just waiting to see how this is the democrates fault.