You are herecontent / The Ghost of Judith Miller

The Ghost of Judith Miller

By Michael Munk

Did you see NYTimes military correspondent Michael Gordon's lead story in today's NYTimes reporting the "evidence" that more effective IED's are from Iran?

I sent him a brief note asking if he is the ghost of Judith Miller-- functioning as a transmission belt for people cooking the intelligence books to persude NYT readers to support attacks on Iran and she did for the invasion of Iraq.

He replied:

I am well aware of the controversy over the WMD intel. I think this case is different. The US intelligence community is not on the outside looking in, as was the case with the WMD intel. The US is in Iraq and this largely reflects intelligence gathered on the battefield. At any rate, I spend some time talking to a range of officials on this issue and quoted the intel reports accurately.

I also don't think that intelligence on Iran's role in Iraq necessarily undercuts or supports the case of those who argue for troop withdrawals. If you are opposed to the troop reinforcement you could argue that Iran's involvement makes the mission all the more difficult and suggests the need for direct talks with Tehran. If you favor the "surge" you could argue that there is a case for cracking down on Iranian operatives in Iraq.

If you think about it some more the issue is more complex that your comment suggests.


Note that Gordon was just gently rapped on the hand by his employer for supporting the current escalation on TV and after writing a piece dumping on those who oppose it.

So I came back with:

Are your anonymous military sources cry babies? From the invasion on, they've complained the resistance was using cellphones, garage door openers, etc to trigger IED's--as if that was somehow unsportmanlike to use against--what?--their monopoly on domiant hi tech weaponry? So now they're bitching the resistance is getting better IEDs from Iran. I went on to quote Brzezinski who just warned the Senate that "accusations of Iranian responsibility for the failure [in Iraq]" or a provocation or terrorist attack "blamed on Iran" could culminate "in a 'defensive' U.S. military action" that would plunge "a lonely America into a spreading and deepening quagmire eventually ranging across Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan."

Also quoted Juan Cole that" Getting Iran is an obsession of the neoconservatives at the American Enterprise Institute and their plants inside the administration, such as Iran-Contra felon Elliot Abrams in the National Security Council and David Wurmser and John Hannah on Cheney's rump veep national security council."

Finally, I sent him today's Guardian's (UK) story, "Target Iran: US able to strike in the spring
Despite denials, Pentagon plans for possible attack on nuclear sites are well advanced" by its Washington correspondent Ewen MacAskill at


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Hey David,

Way to get on these hacks in the so-called "free press" who are once again selling war for the Bush-Cheney-PNAC crowd. Glad that you are keeping your eye out for these columns and then responding quickly and effectively. We cannot have another media sales job again for another war of choice. Again, good job David !

Phil Restino
Central Florida Veterans For Peace

New York Times Reveals “Reporter” Michael Gordon Actually Voice-Activated Tape Recorder
NEW YORK—New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller today announced that the paper’s longtime staff writer Michael Gordon is not an actual person, but rather a voice-activated tape recorder.

“I’m not sure why everyone didn’t figure this out before now,” said Keller, pointing to the fact that, in Gordon’s 26-year career, all of “his” stories have consisted entirely of transcribed statements by anonymous government officials.

According to Jill Abramson, the paper’s Managing Editor, Gordon was purchased for $27.95 at a Radio Shack on West 43rd Street. Describing the situation as “a prank” that had “gotten slightly out of hand,” Abramson said the paper had decided to acknowledge Gordon’s identity because—after the tape recorder’s front page story today, “Deadliest Bomb in Iraq Is Made by Iran, U.S. Says”—there “was no place left to take the joke.”

Keller described how he and Abramson “really had a good laugh” while preparing the Iran story, which is based on the following sourcing:

U.S. Says…United States intelligence asserts…reflects broad agreement among American intelligence agencies…civilian and military officials from a broad range of government agencies provided…military officials say…The officials said…The assessment was described in interviews over the past several weeks with American officials…Administration officials said…according to the intelligence…According to American intelligence…Some American intelligence experts believe…they assert…notes a still-classified American intelligence report…a senior administration official said…according to Western officials…Officials said…An American intelligence assessment described to The New York Times said…Other officials believe…American military officers say…American officials say…According to American intelligence agencies…Assessments by American intelligence agencies say…Marine officials say…American intelligence agencies are concerned…Gen. Peter Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said last week.

“You can’t deny that’s funny,” said Keller, adding that the lack of skepticism displayed by Gordon was “literally inhuman.” Keller and Abramson asserted that the Iran article is “even more hilarious” than Gordon’s 2002 stories on Iraq’s purported nuclear program, written with Judith Miller.

According to the paper’s management, the Times plans to keep the tape recorder on its staff indefinitely, given that it does not require health insurance and its voice-activation feature “saves a lot of tape.” Indeed, the tape recorder formerly known as Michael Gordon has already filed its own story on the matter, consisting entirely of transcribed statements from anonymous government officials.

Hi--I also emailed Michael Gordon about his NYTimes on Iran. I questioned his credibility and the fact that he is writing anything about Iraq or Iran. He doesn't seem to comprehend the fact that his reputation is shot. Why is he still employed by the NYTimes? The ghost of Judith Miller, indeed. Gordon's email is

Here's my response to a series of emails to and from Gordon re: his 2/10 NYTimes article on Iran.

Mr. Gordon, 2/11/07
Thanks for your email reply. I am well aware of the numerous articles you wrote about the Iraq War since 2003. I admire all the journalists who put themselves in harms way to bring us the details of the War.
But you must agree with me that your 2002 & 2003 articles--many of them written with Judith Miller--provided unquestioned support for the bogus information from the Bush Administration about WMD in Iraq and non-existent links between Iraq and Al-Qaeda. They will always be your public record. You are responsible for the misinformation you wrote, not once or twice, but repeatedly. This record diminishes anything you write about Iran in February 2007.
What is most alarming about your Feb. 10 article and this morning's media drumbeat about Iran is the real possibility that blaming Iran for the deaths of US forces fits the Bush Administration's need to divert attention from the god-awful mess in Iraq. It also works to fix blame on Iran, instead of recognizing correctly that the overwhelming chaos in Iraq today results directly from Bush's reckless illegal invasion of Iraq on March 19, 2003. Again, your NYTimes articles fanned the flames of War in 2003, while the UN Inspectors made regular reports stating they had found no WMD.
And today, as we watch and read stories about Iran possibly supplying Iraqi insurgents with lethal devices to kill US forces, we must ask--who can possibly be surprised? Four years into a brutal never ending US occupation, who is shocked that Iraqi Shiites would seek military support from Iran? This catastrophe is a product of Bush's illegal War and it is on America's dismal record. So we do not appreciate the NYTimes presenting this story as a veiled justification to beat the drums of War against Iran. See Rep. Ike Shelton's call for diplomacy with Iran as an alternative story.
Again, I must ask--why does the NYTimes continue to give you the assignment to cover the Iraq War and Iran? You can be assured that errors of the magnitude of the Miller-Gordon articles in 2003 would have resulted in the immediate termination of my job.

Judy Munro-Leighton

Michael Munk's reporting is great. Where was the NY Times investigation of the 1000lb bomb/truck? What kind of explosives were used? Where's the Army's analysis? What country provided them? Now off the Iran with the Times complicity.

We need investigative journalistic reporters, not these arrogant YJ (yellow journalist) propagandists. We can never rest as long as they are complicit. Thanks for continuing to question the "free" press, David. Hopefully , we all can fizzle any "Gulf of Tonkin" before they attempt it to sell papers . "Remember the Maine!"


After supplying mujahideen insurgents with weapons and training to kill Russians in Afghanistan we're indignant about the Iranians doing it to us next-door to them?

Canada can now rest assured that we would never run to their aid if they were invaded

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Speaking Events



August 2-6: Peace and Democracy Conference at Democracy Convention in Minneapolis, Minn.


September 22-24: No War 2017 at American University in Washington, D.C.


October 28: Peace and Justice Studies Association Conference

Find more events here.


Support This Site


Get free books and gear when you become a supporter.



Speaking Truth to Empire


Families United


Ray McGovern


Julie Varughese


Financial supporters of this site can choose to be listed here.



Ca-Dress Long Prom Dresses Canada
Ca Dress Long Prom Dresses on

Buy Books

Get Gear

The log-in box below is only for bloggers. Nobody else will be able to log in because we have not figured out how to stop voluminous spam ruining the site. If you would like us to have the resources to figure that out please donate. If you would like to receive occasional emails please sign up. If you would like to be a blogger here please send your resume.
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Enter the characters shown in the image.