Monday, April 21, 2003

More smoke; gun TK? The Times' Judith Miller today reports what may be the existence of the smoking gun. Her lead:

A scientist who claims to have worked in Iraq's chemical weapons program for more than a decade has told an American military team that Iraq destroyed chemical weapons and biological warfare equipment only days before the war began, members of the team said.

Further down, though, Miller writes:

Under the terms of her accreditation to report on the activities of MET Alpha, this reporter was not permitted to interview the scientist or visit his home. Nor was she permitted to write about the discovery of the scientist for three days, and the copy was then submitted for a check by military officials.

Those officials asked that details of what chemicals were uncovered be deleted. They said they feared that such information could jeopardize the scientist's safety by identifying the part of the weapons program where he worked.

The facts that Miller reports may turn out to be true. But based on the sketchy, censored details that she has to offer today, why was this story published on the front page? For that matter, why was it published at all?

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