New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller attacks Judith Miller in an e—mail to the staff and suggests he should have been more probing of her role in the Plame case.
While he's reviewing what he might have done better, perhaps he might share with us how probing he was of the work of another of reporter on his staff: Nicholas Kristof, who set off this Wilson fable with a pack of lies from the then—anonymously sourced Joseph A. Wilson:
I'm told by a person involved in the Niger caper that more than a year ago the vice president's office asked for an investigation of the uranium deal, so a former U.S. ambassador to Africa was dispatched to Niger. In February 2002, according to someone present at the meetings, that envoy reported to the C.I.A. and State Department that the information was unequivocally wrong and that the documents had been forged.
The envoy reported, for example, that a Niger minister whose signature was on one of the documents had in fact been out of office for more than a decade. In addition, the Niger mining program was structured so that the uranium diversion had been impossible. The envoy's debunking of the forgery was passed around the administration and seemed to be accepted — except that President Bush and the State Department kept citing it anyway. "It's disingenuous for the State Department people to say they were bamboozled because they knew about this for a year," one insider said.
How did Wilson make contact with Kristof?Did he just walk into the office? Did someone put him in contact with Kristof? How did he satisfy Kristof of his bona fides and credibility? And more importantly, why has the paper never acknowledged that Kristof was duped——every single assertion in this quote has been proven false by the bipartisan Senate Select Commission on Intelligence..
Clarice Feldman 10 22 05