FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Revoke Miller’s Pulitzer

 

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

 

 

 

More articles by:

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).

September 20, 2018
Mel Gurtov
On Dealing with China
Dean Baker
How to Reduce Corruption in Medicine: Remove the Money
September 19, 2018
Bruce E. Levine
When Bernie Sold Out His Hero, Anti-Authoritarians Paid
Lawrence Davidson
Political Fragmentation on the Homefront
George Ochenski
How’s That “Chinese Hoax” Treating You, Mr. President?
Cesar Chelala
The Afghan Morass
Chris Wright
Three Cheers for the Decline of the Middle Class
Howard Lisnoff
The Beat Goes On Against Protest in Saudi Arabia
Nomi Prins 
The Donald in Wonderland: Down the Financial Rabbit Hole With Trump
Jack Rasmus
On the 10th Anniversary of Lehman Brothers 2008: Can ‘IT’ Happen Again?
Richard Schuberth
Make Them Suffer Too
Geoff Beckman
Kavanaugh in Extremis
Jonathan Engel
Rather Than Mining in Irreplaceable Wilderness, Why Can’t We Mine Landfills?
Binoy Kampmark
Needled Strawberries: Food Terrorism Down Under
Michael McCaffrey
A Curious Case of Mysterious Attacks, Microwave Weapons and Media Manipulation
Elliot Sperber
Eating the Constitution
September 18, 2018
Conn Hallinan
Britain: the Anti-Semitism Debate
Tamara Pearson
Why Mexico’s Next President is No Friend of Migrants
Richard Moser
Both the Commune and Revolution
Nick Pemberton
Serena 15, Tennis Love
Binoy Kampmark
Inconvenient Realities: Climate Change and the South Pacific
Martin Billheimer
La Grand’Route: Waiting for the Bus
John Kendall Hawkins
Seymour Hersh: a Life of Adversarial Democracy at Work
Faisal Khan
Is Israel a Democracy?
John Feffer
The GOP Wants Trumpism…Without Trump
Kim Ives
The Roots of Haiti’s Movement for PetroCaribe Transparency
Dave Lindorff
We Already Have a Fake Billionaire President; Why Would We want a Real One Running in 2020?
Gerry Brown
Is China Springing Debt Traps or Throwing a Lifeline to Countries in Distress?
Pete Tucker
The Washington Post Really Wants to Stop Ben Jealous
Dean Baker
Getting It Wrong Again: Consumer Spending and the Great Recession
September 17, 2018
Melvin Goodman
What is to be Done?
Rob Urie
American Fascism
Patrick Cockburn
The Adults in the White House Trying to Save the US From Trump Are Just as Dangerous as He Is
Jeffrey St. Clair - Alexander Cockburn
The Long Fall of Bob Woodward: From Nixon’s Nemesis to Cheney’s Savior
Mairead Maguire
Demonization of Russia in a New Cold War Era
Dean Baker
The Bank Bailout of 2008 was Unnecessary
Wim Laven
Hurricane Trump, Season 2
Yves Engler
Smearing Dimitri Lascaris
Ron Jacobs
From ROTC to Revolution and Beyond
Clark T. Scott
The Cannibals of Horsepower
Binoy Kampmark
A Traditional Right: Jimmie Åkesson and the Sweden Democrats
Laura Flanders
History Markers
Weekend Edition
September 14, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Carl Boggs
Obama’s Imperial Presidency
Joshua Frank
From CO2 to Methane, Trump’s Hurricane of Destruction
Jeffrey St. Clair
Maria’s Missing Dead
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail