Miller and the Neocons
My article on Judith Miller and the neocons is out in Salon.com.
‘ Miller began to uncritically parrot even some of the neocons’ loonier claims. On CNN’s “American Morning With Paula Zahn” for May 14, 2002, Miller explained the controversy that had broken out about allegations that Cuba had a biological weapons program. She told Zahn, “And there are a lot of very unsavory contacts, as the administration regards them, between Cuba and especially Iranians who are involved in biological weapons.” Such frankly weird assertions raise questions about where in the world Miller got her so-called information. No serious intelligence professional believes that either Iran or Cuba has a significant biological weapons program, much less that a communist Latin American dictatorship was being helped by a Shiite Muslim fundamentalist state with deadly microbes.
Miller’s statement only makes sense in light of the speech given by John Bolton, then undersecretary of state for arms control and international security, in May of 2002, in which he alleged that Cuba had a biological weapons program. Thomas Fingar, head of the State Department’s Intelligence bureau, along with a retired national security officer, demurred from the charges in Bolton’s speech. When Christian Westermann at the State Department intelligence bureau raised questions about the intelligence on which Bolton was basing his campaign, Bolton called him into his office, chewed him out, and then allegedly tried to have him fired, according to the April 18, 2005, edition of the Washington Post. Miller was channeling Bolton in her comments to Paula Zahn, and very likely was simply repeating whatever Bolton himself had told her. Washington political analyst Steven C. Clemons asserted that Bolton was a regular source for Miller in her reporting on national security and weapons of mass destruction issues. Bolton has a special interest in getting up a U.S. war against Iran, accounting for the bogus charge that it was active in Havana . . . ‘