But here?s where the Times story gets downright contemptible. The article states that the administration had requested that news agencies hold off on the ?code? story, ?citing national security concerns,? and ?the Times agreed.? Except there was nothing secret about the ?code? story.
This journalist alone, in the first weekend after the raid, was involved in more than a handful of conversations with people outside of government where those specific allegations were discussed. Several people have expressed similar experiences, making it some ?secret? indeed. Most simply viewed the ?allegations? as laughable, not publishable.
And, for the record, the charges were published by National Review Online the Monday after the raid, fully nine days before the Times was given the government?s ok to release the information.
Much to the delight of State and CIA, the Times allowed the agencies to create two separate news cycles: before and after specific charges were announced. And within each cycle, the paper further granted the bureaucrats the ability to spread the smear to Bush?s political appointees at the Pentagon, who are Chalabi?s chief allies.
The day after reporting the ?code? allegations, the lead of a front-page story announced, ?Federal investigators have begun administering polygraph examinations to civilian employees at the Pentagon.? Problem is, those same ?civilian employees? adamantly insist?to this journalist and any other?that no polygraphs had been administered, yet the Times egregiously omitted this.
Smearing Chalabi and administration hawks has the clear effect of undermining, in the public?s eye, the justification and legitimacy of the war. Consequently, President Bush gets hammered, since his support is pegged to the war?s.
And that?s the point, at least for State and CIA, populated mostly by careerists with no loyalty to President Bush. Maybe that?s why the New York Times has given such carte blanche to State and CIA.
Joel Mowbray, who got his start with Townhall.com, is an award-winning investigative journalist, nationally-syndicated columnist and author of Dangerous Diplomacy: How the State Department Threatens America's Security.
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