Monday on MSNBC’s “All In,” host Chris Hayes attempted to take on Judith Miller, a former reporter for The New York Times during the political build up to the Iraq war in 2003. Hayes suggested she accepted “deep professional or moral guilt” over accurately reporting the intelligence she received from named and trusted intelligence agency sources.
At one point during the interview, Hayes rolled his eyes, interrupted and quizzed Miller, who began to laugh in disbelief when Hayes asked, “When you look at the news out of Iraq, do you—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?”
Miller shot back, “No, I don’t feel guilty. I feel 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. As the information evolved, I continued to stay with the story. I went to Iraq to cover soldiers hunting for the weapons we thought were there.”
Exchange continues as follows:
HAYES: You don’t feel like you played some role in bringing that about?
HAYES: You genuinely don’t think that?
MILLER: No, I don’t think so. I relied on the sources who had been right about the buildup of Al Qaeda, had been right to warn about Osama bin Laden and his threat to the United States. No one wanted to listen then. They eventually did when the twin towers were attacked. I was relying on the very same sources who had warned me about anthrax and the threat to the United States.
HAYES: You’re operating this role and favoring an invasion.
MILLER: No, no, I did not favor it in print. Others favored it in print. I never did. I’m a reporter. what I was doing was reporting on the intelligence.”
HAYES: No. I don’t think that President Bush and Dick Cheney decided to go to war because The New York Times and Washington Post and every paper in the country was reporting the intelligence that they were getting. For the book, I interviewed Dick Gerhardt as one of many of the Democrats.
Miller went on to add, “Wait, wait. Let’s just remember, you want to talk about the intelligence, which has been well litigated … You can roll your eyes, but they were bipartisan reports that looked at the issue and didn’t find any pressure. When I left Anbar Province in 2010, what you were just showing on the screen there, Chris, in Anbar Province the murder rate was lower there than in Chicago. I think that the Iraq that I left after covering those soldiers who were there stabilizing the place, they were pretty confident that we had—they had succeeded in their goal.”
When Hayes asked how long should we stay in Iraq, Miller countered, “You know, we’re still in Germany and Italy and Japan.”
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