NYT: You, Too, Can Second-Guess the Government [Nathan Goulding]
I found this article in today's NYT reporting on the thousands of Iraqi documents recently released to the public. According to the NYT — er, the experts — this is just a political move to boost President Bush's poll numbers.
The article is scornful of the idea from the outset:
[A]n unusual experiment in public access is giving anyone with a computer a chance to play intelligence analyst and second-guess the government.
Are you telling me that now I can second-guess the government by myself
? I don't know — I'm so used to the NYT doing it for me.
But there's no need to second-guess in this case, the NYT assures us. After all, an anonymous "senior intelligence official" says there's nothing to these documents. Besides, the only people who seem interested in the documents are those crazy conservative bloggers:
On his blog last week, Ray Robison, a former Army officer from Alabama, quoted a document reporting a supposed scheme to put anthrax into American leaflets dropped in Iraq and declared: "Saddam's W.M.D. and terrorist connections all proven in one document!!!"
I spoke with Ray Robison
this morning. The NYT left a few things out:
- Ray's team at Iraq Survey Group worked to digitize, file, and translate audio and video for the released documents.
- He has a BS in pre-med biology from the University of Tampa.
- He served in the Gulf War, and was deployed as a senior signal officer with the 101st to Kosovo on a peacekeeping mission.
- He currently works as a senior military operations research analyst with a major defense contractor involving next-generation missile development.
This is a far cry from the loony-toony crazy-conservative blogger portrayed in the NYT.
Asked if the NYT painted him fairly, Ray said, "I thought it was pretty unfair. They quote [the senior intelligence officer] and let him give his reasons, but don't give any reasons why I say the things I do. It's just a headline, no reasons."
In fact, the NYT never addresses the research done
by Stephen F. Hayes of The Weekly Standard
, and instead picks on the easy target: bloggers. Remember when Dick Durbin
tried that tactic?
The NYT also brings up the issue of "quality control" by quoting Michael Scheuer as "a former Central Intelligence Agency specialist on terrorism." Did the NYT forget about Scheuer's anti-Bush book Imperial Hubris
released in the middle of the 2004 campaign
When I think "quality control" and "blogosphere," the CBS memos and the NYT fake Abu Ghraib photo come to mind. If I recall correctly it was the blogosphere calling out the MSM, not vice versa.
Ray Robison had this to say about quality control: "You don't need a quality control when you have Saddam Hussein saying, 'We did gas the Iranians.'" I couldn't agree more.
03/28 11:54 AMShare