FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Revoke Miller’s Pulitzer

by DAVE LINDORFF

 

Now that the New York Times’ own ombudsman has weighed in with a scathing critique of Judith Miller’s lies and deceptions about her WMD and Al Qaeda reporting, including a recommendation that the paper not allow her back in its newsroom, it’s time to call for an independent investigation into her much trumpeted Pulitzer Prize, which she won jointly in 2002 with several other Times reporters for her articles in 2001 about Al Qaeda.

Clearly, Miller was no independent journalist looking for truth in her incarnation as “Ms. Run Amok,” pushing the Bush Administration line for war with Iraq in the post 9/11 run-up to the invasion of that country. Her breathless and terrifying stories claiming that Saddam Hussein was sitting on masses of WMDs–biological and chemical weapons and perhaps even nuclear bombs–and that his regime was tight with Osama Bin Laden and his merry band of bombers and terrorists–were at best single-sourced propaganda, and at worst deliberate fabrications.

Not that this is new information. As early as August 2003, Alex Cockburn, in Counterpunch, laid out the ongoing scandal of Miller’s and the Times’ war-mongering reporting in detail, showing how disinformation about WMDs and Al Qaeda was routinely passed off as fact, and how promised verification was never forthcoming. It’s just taken the Times over two years to finally admit (at least some of) what was going on.

As a 2004 article in Salon magazine explained her modus operandi, Miller would go to Iraq con-man and convicted embezzler Ahmad Chalabi, who would give her his latest wild fabrications about WMDs and Al Qaeda links, Chalabi would also go to the White House with the same information, which would be assimilated by the White House Iraq Group, a war marketing enterprise set up and run by Andrew Card and Karl Rove, and then Miller, who knew all this, would go to WHIG for “confirmation” of the information she’d gotten from Chalabi, which she would then portray, to Times editors and readers, as “confirmed” by White House sources.

It was all very neat.

And all extremely costly in terms of blood (the Iraqi death toll is over 100,000 and the U.S. military death toll is about to pass the 2000 mark) and taxpayer money (in excess of $300 billion and counting).

As Russ Baker put it in the Nation, “I am convinced there would not have been a war (against Iraq) without Judy Miller.”

The case for challenging and calling for the revocation of Miller’s Pulitzer–and also of her Emmy and Dupont awards for stories on WMDs and Al Qaeda in Times television specials–is that once one discovers a reporter is a fraud and a liar, it raises questions about their earlier work, which should be gone over with a fine-toothed comb for signs of the same pattern of behavior.

Her Pulitzer, after all, was for a series of articles she and several other Times reporters wrote about Al Qaeda right after 9/11, and likely represent the earliest examples of her Chalabi deception campaign and her embed with the White House Iraq Group.

Challenging Miller’s Pulitzer wouldn’t be the first time a Times reporter’s Pulitzer Prize has been called into question.

Right wingers have long been calling for the revocation of a Pulitzer Prize awarded in 1932 to Times Russia correspondent Walter Duranty, who has been accused posthumously of having been too credulous in his coverage of the Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin, and of soft-pedaling the 1930s famine that killed millions of Ukrainian and Russian peasants.

Duranty’s work, as a result of the calls for his head, was subjected to an investigation by historian Mark Van Hagen, who concluded that the articles which won the reporter his prize were “dull and largely uncritical recitations of Soviet sources.” So what would an independent historian looking at Miller’s 2001-2004 oeuvre say? Not, perhaps, that they her pieces were dull, for they were designed to terrify, but surely that they were “largely uncritical recitations of White House sources.”

If Duranty, who at least mentioned the problems Soviet citizens were facing under Stalin’s rule, can be considered credulous and one-sided in his Russian reports, what is one to say about Miller, who has been little more than a mouthpiece for the neo-con cabal running Middle East policy for the Bush administration?

To call on the Pulitzer Committee to investigate Judy Miller’s prize, send a message to Pulitzer@pulitzer.org

DAVE LINDORFF is the author of Killing Time: an Investigation into the Death Row Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. His new book of CounterPunch columns titled “This Can’t be Happening!” is published by Common Courage Press. Information about both books and other work by Lindorff can be found at www.thiscantbehappening.net.

He can be reached at: dlindorff@yahoo.com

 

 

 

Dave Lindorff is a founding member of ThisCantBeHappening!, an online newspaper collective, and is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

August 24, 2016
John Pilger
Provoking Nuclear War by Media
Jonathan Cook
The Birth of Agro-Resistance in Palestine
Eric Draitser
Ajamu Baraka, “Uncle Tom,” and the Pathology of White Liberal Racism
Jack Rasmus
Greek Debt and the New Financial Imperialism
Robert Fisk
The Sultan’s Hit List Grows, as Turkey Prepares to Enter Syria
Abubakar N. Kasim
What Did the Olympics Really Do for Humanity?
Renee Parsons
Obamacare Supporters Oppose ColoradoCare
Alycee Lane
The Trump Campaign: a White Revolt Against ‘Neoliberal Multiculturalism’
Edward Hunt
Maintaining U.S. Dominance in the Pacific
George Wuerthner
The Big Fish Kill on the Yellowstone
Jesse Jackson
Democrats Shouldn’t Get a Blank Check From Black Voters
Kent Paterson
Saving Southern New Mexico from the Next Big Flood
Arnold August
RIP Jean-Guy Allard: A Model for Progressive Journalists Working in the Capitalist System
August 23, 2016
Diana Johnstone
Hillary and the Glass Ceilings Illusion
Bill Quigley
Race and Class Gap Widening: Katrina Pain Index 2016 by the Numbers
Ted Rall
Trump vs. Clinton: It’s All About the Debates
Eoin Higgins
Will Progressive Democrats Ever Support a Third Party Candidate?
Kenneth J. Saltman
Wall Street’s Latest Public Sector Rip-Off: Five Myths About Pay for Success
Binoy Kampmark
Labouring Hours: Sweden’s Six-Hour Working Day
John Feffer
The Globalization of Trump
Gwendolyn Mink – Felicia Kornbluh
Time to End “Welfare as We Know It”
Medea Benjamin
Congress Must Take Action to Block Weapon Sales to Saudi Arabia
Halyna Mokrushyna
Political Writer, Daughter of Ukrainian Dissident, Detained and Charged in Ukraine
Manuel E. Yepe
Tourism and Religion Go Hand-in-Hand in the Caribbean
ED ADELMAN
Belted by Trump
Thomas Knapp
War: The Islamic State and Western Politicians Against the Rest of Us
Nauman Sadiq
Shifting Alliances: Turkey, Russia and the Kurds
Rivera Sun
Active Peace: Restoring Relationships While Making Change
August 22, 2016
Eric Draitser
Hillary Clinton: The Anti-Woman ‘Feminist’
Robert Hunziker
Arctic Death Rattle
Norman Solomon
Clinton’s Transition Team: a Corporate Presidency Foretold
Ralph Nader
Hillary’s Hubris: Only Tell the Rich for $5000 a Minute!
Russell Mokhiber
Save the Patients, Cut Off the Dick!
Steven M. Druker
The Deceptions of the GE Food Venture
Elliot Sperber
Clean, Green, Class War: Bill McKibben’s Shortsighted ‘War on Climate Change’
Binoy Kampmark
Claims of Exoneration: The Case of Slobodan Milošević
Walter Brasch
The Contradictions of Donald Trump
Michael Donnelly
Body Shaming Trump: Statue of Limitations
Weekend Edition
August 19, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Carl Boggs
Hillary and the War Party
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Prime Time Green
Andrew Levine
Hillary Goes With the Flow
Dave Lindorff
New York Times Shames Itself by Attacking Wikileaks’ Assange
Gary Leupp
Could a Russian-Led Coalition Defeat Hillary’s War Plans?
Conn Hallinan
Dangerous Seas: China and the USA
Joshua Frank
Richard Holbrooke and the Obama Doctrine
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail