This is from the new book Hubris by Michael Isikoff and David Corn:
On the eve of war in Washington, journalists and others gathered at a cocktail party at the home of Philip Taubman, the Washington bureau chief of the New York Times…Judy Miller was one of several Times reporters there, and she seemed excited. Another journalist present asked if she was planning to head over to Iraq to cover the invasion. Miller, according to the other guest, could barely contain herself. “Are you kidding?” she asked. “I’ve been waiting for this war for ten years. I wouldn’t miss it for the world!”
Miller got herself a special embedding deal with one of the military teams searching for banned weapons. She then immediately wrote one of the most notoriously stupid stories ever to appear in the New York Times. (It was about how she was allowed to look at from a distanceâ€”but not meet or interviewâ€”an Iraqi wearing a baseball cap who purportedly said (1) Iraq was bursting at the seams with WMD, (2) Saddam and Osama were Best Friends Forever, and (3) Saddam was jealous of George Bush because Bush is so handsome.)
Here’s what the U.S. government thought of her, according to Hubris:
Judy Miller “is probably the best ally we have out there in the media,” Colonel Richard McPhee, the commander of the 75th Exploitation Task Force told one of the unit’s public affairs officers, Sergeant Eugene Pomeroy, according to an email Pomeroy sent to a colleague.
And what does Miller have to say about that story today?
Asked about the baseball-cap story several years later, Miller told the authors of this book, “I won’t talk about the baseball-cap guy.”
Judith Miller was employed by the New York Times for twenty-eight years.