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The kennel blind New York Times

Eli Stephens
Left I on the News

In the dog breeding world, "kennel blind" is an expression meaning that you
can see faults in everyone else's dogs, but you think the dogs in your
kennel are perfect. You're blind to faults in your own dogs which are
glaringly obvious to everyone else. And what better description of today's
editorial in the New York Times, which is otherwise an excellent dissection
of the lies George Bush has been telling in recent speeches, as well as the
lies he told in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq.

Here's the wonderfully kennel blind paragraph:

"The administration had little company in saying that Iraq was actively
trying to build a nuclear weapon. The evidence for this claim was a dubious
report about an attempt in 1999 to buy uranium from Niger, later shown to be
false, and the infamous aluminum tubes story. That was dismissed at the time
by analysts with real expertise."

Gee, I wonder where we could have heard about those "analysts with real
expertise" who were dismissing the "infamous" aluminum tubes story?
Certainly not with any prominence in the New York Times, that's for sure!
Here's the seminal article from September 2002, written by Michael R. Gordon
and Judith Miller:

"In the last 14 months, Iraq has sought to buy thousands of specially
designed aluminum tubes, which American officials believe were intended as
components of centrifuges to enrich uranium...The diameter, thickness and
other technical specifications of the aluminum tubes had persuaded American
intelligence experts that they were meant for Iraq's nuclear program,
officials said, and that the latest attempt to ship the material had taken
place in recent months...Bush administration officials say the quest for
thousands of high-strength aluminum tubes is one of several signs that Mr.
Hussein is seeking to revamp and accelerate Iraq's nuclear weapons
program...Officials say the aluminum tubes were intended as casing for
rotors in centrifuges, which are one means of producing highly enriched
uranium...Experts say the dimensions and precise specification of the
aluminum tubes would provide a clear indication of its intended use. Iraq
used European designs for centrifuges in its earlier efforts, and American
experts know what type of tubes are needed to make such centrifuges. Senior
administration officials insist that the dimensions, specifications and
numbers of the tubes Iraq sought to buy show that they were intended for the
nuclear program."

I've quoted extensively from the article to include essentially every use of
the word "tubes" in the entire article. Notice any dissenting quotes from
those "analysts with real expertise"? No, I didn't think so. There weren't

"The administration had little company in saying that Iraq was actively
trying to build a nuclear weapon." Perhaps. Unfortunately that "little
company" included the New York Times.

Update: I'm surprised that none of my readers has asked what I thought would
be the obvious question: am I comparing Judy Miller to a dog? Answer: no. I
like animals, and I try not to insult them by comparing them to people.




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