With a book to promote, Judy Miller succeeds in trolling enemies about Iraq War – Mashable.com
America’s most famous former spy and a fallen-star New York Times writer have started a new round of smacktalk over a topic that has 2003 written all over it: Who’s to blame for the U.S. invasion of Iraq?
Judy Miller and Valerie Plame Wilson have re-litigated the question of war over the past week in op-ed pages and on Facebook and Twitter. It became personal.
“I took America to war in Iraq. It was all me,” Miller wrote in a commentary in the the Wall Street Journal.
In response, Plame derided Miller’s articles on Facebook as “cheering from the sidelines” and her attempt at recovering her legacy “pathetic and self-serving.”
Is it 2003 again?
One important factor in the sudden renewal of the debate over Operation Iraqi Freedom: Both principals have their versions of history at stake. Miller has a new book coming on April 7; Plame’s book came out in October 2014.
Miller, a Pulitzer Prize-winning former reporter for the New York Times, saw her reputation take a sharp hit from her coverage in the runup to the Iraq War, for which many felt she was not critical enough of the Bush administration’s claims that Iraq allegedly held “weapons of mass destruction.” Miller’s stories about Iraq’s WMD programs helped justify the Iraq invasion in 2003, and two years later, the CIA concluded there was no basis for the WMD claims.
Plame came to public attention in 2003 when columnist Robert Novak outed her in a column as a covert agent for the Central Intelligence Agency.
Outing a CIA agent is a felony, so the identity leak was investigated by the Department of Justice. Lewis “Scooter” Libby was convicted for interfering with the investigation.
In 2006, Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage admitted leaking Plame’s name inadvertently, and Novak confirmed that Rove backed up the revelation. Plame and her husband brought suit against a host of Bush administration officials, including Rove, Armitage and Vice President Dick Cheney.
The two women are best connected by a single man: Scooter Libby. Libby, a Bush administration official, was close to Miller. When she chose to go to jail rather than identify her sources for her controversial reports, Libby sent her a mysterious message of support that referred to the way in which aspen trees are connected at the roots: “Out west, where you vacation, the aspens will already be turning. They turn in clusters, because their roots connect them. Come back to work — to life.”
“Pathetic and self-serving”
In her WSJ essay, Miller pointed to what she viewed as a series of fallacies about the origins of the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Her main points were:
Her sources: Miller said “no senior official spoon-fed me a line about WMD,” adding that her sources were the same that helped her write about Osama Bin Laden and the growth of al-Qaeda before the Sept. 11 attacks.
Pressure: Miller said that aside from a few instances, congressional inquiries did not find significant pressure from the administration of George W. Bush.
Executive decision: Bush “was the ‘decided,'” Miller wrote, saying that allegations he had been pushed into the war were false.
Plame responded on Monday night in a scathing Facebook post:
No one is crediting you with starting the Iraq war. We know you were not actually on the team that took us into the biggest, most tragic US foreign policy debacle ever. You were just cheering from the sidelines. Your attempt to re-write history is both pathetic and self-serving.
The U.S. pulled its last troops in late 2011, almost nine years after the initial invasion. Some U.S. security forces are still stationed in Iraq; one was injured in March. U.S. forces have been helping the Iraqi military fight ISIS, recently retaking the city of Tikrit.
Nearly 4,500 US servicemen died in Operation Iraqi Freedom, with more than 30,000 more wounded, according to the Department of Defense.