I'm puzzling over the fact that the late Dr. David Kelly, a source for the BBC's report on British intelligence, was a pal of New York Times reporter Judith Miller -- the Times reported today that one ominous e-mail he sent shortly before his death (the one with the phrase "many dark actors playing games") was sent to Miller. The Times today also published an appreciation of Kelly written by Miller, an article that echoes some of what she wrote in a piece published yesterday, "A Chronicle of Confusion in the Hunt for Hussein's Weapons." In today's article, Miller says that before his death Kelly
was critical of the way in which American armed forces had gone about hunting for [WMDs], and expressed the fear that material might have been looted, hidden or carried away. "It may be virtually impossible to construct through traditional forensics what Iraq had done," he once said.
He also expressed frustration that the weapons hunters in Iraq included so few people who were knowledgeable about the country and its scientific and weapons experts.
Yesterday she wrote:
Some said that promising sites were looted — or cleared of evidence — before Americans could search or secure them.
"Because we arrived at sites so late, so often," said Capt. J. Ryan Cutchin, the leader of the team known as MET Bravo, "we may never know what was there, and either walked or was taken away by looters and Baathist elements under the guise of looting."
...some said that Special Operations forces alienated potential Iraqi sources through midnight raids and other harsh tactics....
Several analysts said that although the task force's weapons-hunting teams were highly motivated and innovative, the Pentagon initially erred in putting a field artillery brigade in charge of the hunt....
...the task force had virtually no inspectors and few analysts who knew Iraq or its weapons programs well....
It seems likely to me that Kelly was a source for yesterday's article by Miller although his opinions were seconded by other interviewees.