Wednesday, November 16, 2005

For those who see Judith Miller's complicity in the lying sprees of the Neocons as a signal of the decline of the New York Times from some previous plateau of objectivity and competence I suggest a review of its sometime defense correspondent Richard Burt in the late Carter years, as Al Haig's agent in place. Burt relayed truckloads of threat-inflating nonsense about the military balance in the Cold War, particularly in the European theater, most of them on a level of fantasy matching the lies Miller got from Chalabi's disinformers and trundled in print.

When the Reaganites seized power in 1981, Burt promptly threw down his press badge and went to work in the State Department as Director of Politico-Military Affairs.... At least Miller didn't go and officially work for Cheney.

--Alexander Cockburn in Counterpunch

...[Miller's] relationship with Richard Burt, a Times colleague, turned controversial when he left the paper and joined the State Department. Burt declined to speak on the record for this article. News articles of that period say Burt's relationship with Miller was questioned during his Senate confirmation hearings as an assistant secretary of state in 1982 and, in 1989, as a chief U.S. arms control negotiator. Some senators wanted to know whether Burt had passed classified information to Miller during their relationship. Burt denied it.

--Washington Post, 11/10/05

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