The Right Coast

May 26, 2004
Judith Miller, non-person
By Tom Smith

The Times is so disgusting. Now that it has become an article of faith that there never were any WMDs in Iraq, Judith Miller's stories must somehow be disavowed. Miller is one of the few reporters at the Times who actually knows what she is talking about. She has an in depth knowledge of both the Middle East and biological warfare. I wonder if she would be willing to say, off the record, that she still thinks the WMDs are out there. It would have been interesting to be a fly on the wall at the little show trial they probably had for her.

There's still plenty of reason to think there are as yet undiscovered chemical weapons mixed in among the millions of artillery shells waiting to be inspected or buried somewhere. And biological weapons are easy to hide, and the germ stocks have probably been smuggled out of the country now anyway. No media outlet I have seen has seen fit to investigate where the many gallons of chemical weapons to have been used in the aborted chemical truck bomb attack in Jordan came from. You might think an attack that might have killed 80,000 would be big news. But nahhh. Too many non-fact facts. Not newsworthy, in the spin sense of newsworthy.

Anyone who has bothered to read Judith Miller's excellent book Germs would know what a wilderness of mirrors the underground world of bio-warfare is in that part of the world. It's more like making moonshine with portable stills than it is like manufacturing ball bearings. It's not the least surprising that by the time our troops show up, all that is left are some recently cleaned tanks and labs. But a clean still that would work for making bio-weapons proves nothing! Unless it's a dead village straight out The Andromeda Strain, no germ weapons round here.

The irony in this is that Bush is supposed to have lied to everyone about WMDs, forcing a few facts into a legend. What is really happening, instead, is that the supposed truth-seekers in the media have decided it must be the case, for political reasons, that there never were any such weapons, strange as that fact may be, because that makes such a damaging charge against Bush. Then you ignore any leads that point the wrong way, and purge the people who know better. And then, just to make the irony complete, congratulate themselves for saying their earlier stories were not rigorous enough. Maybe the Times should establish the Courageous Truth Seeker of the Century Award and then give it to themselves, after they have purged everyone who might report something inconsistent with the company line. I wonder how long James Burns will last. I swear, one of the many reasons to be glad the Nazis lost, way down the list, I admit, is that we don't have to read stories in the Times about how there were never that many Jews in Europe anyway. Really, can you prove there used to be a lot of Jews here? I don't see any Jews. Hearsay doesn't count.

To be even handed, the Bush people don't exactly have an interest in explaining where the WMDs are either, and they are not. They probably slipped through our fingers into Syria, Jordan and Iran. I bet the Mossad has few illusions about how those WMDs were just imaginary all along. I guess at this point we should hope those Iraqi weapons scientists who haven't been assassinated (another non-story) fall into Israeli hands, since they haven't officially decided there's no such thing as an Iraqi sarin bomb (except for that old one they probably didn't even know they had). Mossad is probably searching like hell for them, so they don't show up in Tel Aviv. Sure, it doesn't make a very good story for the White House to say, they really were there, but now they seem to be in the hands of Al Quaeda. O well, we tried. The media could beat Bush over the head with that, but I guess that wouldn't be as damning as the stupid conspiracy theory that there never were any WMDs. Along with that other article of faith, that Saddam and the islamofascist terrorists never had anything to do with each other.

I am so over wishing for a media that got at the truth. But is it too much to hope for one, a la Florence Nightingale and hospitals, that at least doesn't deliberately bury the facts?