The New York Times admits wrong on Iraq — but how wrong?
One of the leading newspapers published in the US, The New York Times has at last begun to have second thoughts about its own coverage of the lead up to the Iraq war. It claims that "Over the last year this newspaper has shone the bright light of hindsight on decisions that led the United States into Iraq. We have examined the failings of American and allied intelligence, especially on the issue of Iraq's weapons and possible Iraqi connections to international terrorists. We have studied the allegations of official gullibility and hype. It is past time we turned the same light on ourselves". It says, "we have found a number of instances of coverage that was not as rigorous as it should have been" and refers to such matters as the claims made about Iraq having weapons programs and chemical and biological weapons, about the aluminum tubes said to have been imported for a nuclear weapons program, that Iraq was cooperating with Al Qaeda and that Syria had sent "unconventional weapons" to Syria and was also cooperating with Al Qaeda. It goes on to claim that "in most cases, what we reported was an accurate reflection of the state of our knowledge at the time." Blaming others The NYT puts most of the blame for the misinformation (deliberate lies in the opinion of many) on Iraqi defectors. After saying that these allegations came from an Iraqi scientist who claimed to be "an official of military intelligence" the newspaper says, "The Times never followed up on the veracity of this source or the attempts to verify his claims". The newspaper promises to "continue aggressive reporting aimed at setting the record straight". There is, however, no indication that this leading US newspaper intends to shine "the bright light of hindsight" on President Bush, Colin Powell and others who are responsible for assiduously pushing this same misinformation for the purposes of justifying the invasion and occupation of Iraq, a war that they had already decided on and planned for. The simple reason is that the NYT continues to support the illegal war and the intention of the US leaders to keep their military forces in Iraq for "as long as it takes". The NYT will continue to justify this with their own misinformation about the right of nations to full independence and sovereignty which includes control over all military forces that may temporarily be in occupation of Iraq.