April 11, 2006

Full-Scale Civil War Breaks Out

On page one of The Washington Post.

Meanwhile the New York Times has its own little scandals to deal with:
Ricks found that one “selective leak”--about a recently discovered letter written by Zarqawi--was handed by the military to Dexter Filkins, the longtime New York Times reporter in Baghdad. Filkins's resulting article, about the Zarqawi letter boasting of foreigners' role in suicide attacks in Iraq, ran on the front page of the Times on Feb. 9, 2004...

William Safire, in his Feb. 11, 2004, column for the Times titled “Found: A Smoking Gun,” declared that the letter “demolishes the repeated claim of Bush critics that there was never a '’clear link’ between Saddam and Osama bin Laden.” Safire mocked the Washington Post for burying the story on page 17, while hailing a Reuters account quoting an “amazed” U.S. officials saying, “We couldn’t make this up if we tried.”

Three days later, another Times columnist, David Brooks, covered the letter as fact under the heading “The Zarqawi Rules.” The letter was covered in this manner by other media for weeks. So clearly, the leak to Filkins worked.


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