Nearly 13 years ago, the talk in Washington was all about whether Iraq’s Saddam Hussein was pursuing construction of a nuclear bomb. The New York Times famously ran stories saying he was, though subsequent events proved that he was not.
Now Washington is full of that talk again – thanks to a new book that the reporter of those inaccurate stories has written. In the book, “The Story: A Reporter’s Journey,” Judith Miller tries to defend her work.
In an April 29, 2015, interview with Jon Stewart on The Daily Show, she said she was merely relying on her sources.
Stewart pressed her on the faulty intelligence by pointing out that “Not everybody got it wrong.”
Miller’s reply was “Almost everybody did, except for Knight Ridder.”
Knight Ridder was acquired by McClatchy in 2006, and the author of many of the stories that now are judged the most accurate assessment of Bush administration policy toward Iraq written at the time still works in McClatchy’s Washington Bureau.
McClatchy remains proud of what reporters Jonathan S. Landay, Warren Strobel and others wrote in the months ahead of the Iraq invasion.
Here is The Daily Show clip at 2:55 -
Here is a link to the archive of Knight Ridder/McClatchy coverage.
Some of the individual stories are below. The first one is particularly germane to Stewart’s interview with Miller because both Landay and Miller relied on the same named source, David Albright, with very different results.
CIA report reveals analysts' split over extent of Iraqi nuclear threat, 2002: The CIA released a new report on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction that added little to earlier appraisals but exposed a sharp dispute among U.S. intelligence experts over Saddam Hussein's nuclear weapons program. The dispute centers on thousands of high-strength aluminum tubes that Iraq allegedly has tried to purchase from foreign suppliers.
Bush has decided to overthrow Hussein, 2002 - President Bush has decided to oust Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein from power and ordered the CIA, the Pentagon and other agencies to devise a combination of military, diplomatic and covert steps to achieve that goal, senior U.S. officials said.
Lack of hard evidence of Iraqi weapons worries top U.S. officials, 2002 - Senior U.S. officials with access to top-secret intelligence on Iraq say they have detected no alarming increase in the threat that Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein poses to American security and Middle East stability.
Iraq has been unable to get materials needed for nuclear bomb, experts say, 2002 - President Bush said Thursday that Iraq could make a nuclear bomb within a year after getting enriched uranium or plutonium. But Saddam Hussein has been unable to get that nuclear fuel for more than a decade.