Former New York Times journalist Judith Miller’s reporting figured perhaps most prominently in the American mainstream media’s affirmative coverage of the fictitious “weapons of mass destruction” that the Bush administration accused then-Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein of hiding back in 2003. It was just that ultimately unsubstantiated rationale, readers will recall, that fueled Bush’s drive to invade Iraq in March of that year.

Now, Miller is back in the news, doing what all self-respecting members and corollary players from the Bush era have done, knowing what they know now. That’s right — she’s on a nationwide book tour.

Touting her memoir, tastefully outfitted with the simple and Oprah-ready title “The Story: A Reporter’s Journey” (no WMD’s to be found on this book cover, either), Miller is doing her best to gloss over her role in creating what she is willing to admit eventually became an international catastrophe.

Watching her rhetorically dissociate herself from the pack of shoulder-rubbing, pocket-lining elites who rightfully should share the blame for the WMD fiasco would make for an impressive political object lesson were it not so galling.

Take her appearance on Monday night’s episode of “All In with Chris Hayes,” for example, in which Hayes came right out of the gates with the money question: “When you look at … the news out of Iraq, do you feel guilty? I mean, do you feel like you have a piece of that — that you own, in some deep professional or moral sense, what’s going on there?”

So far, so good. But Miller, who had already sparred with the likes of Bill Maher on her current tour de talk show, was ready for this line of interrogation.

“No, I don’t feel guilty,” she immediately declared, explaining that, “as a reporter, I did the very best job I could to disclose to the American people some of the intelligence information that the president and the former vice president got that helped them form their decision to go to war.”

Miller added that she pursued the story to Iraq “to cover soldiers hunting for the weapons we thought were there” — at which point, Hayes interrupted and point-blanked her again: “Who’s the ‘we'”?

According to Miller, the “we” is “The New York Times and the American press who were more or less reporting the exact same story in the lead-up to the war.” Safety in numbers, in other words.

That said, Hayes was able to bring Miller to say, in so many words, that “the Iraq war was a disaster.” Watch their discussion in the clip below (via Salon):

–Posted by Kasia Anderson


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