NYT’s ‘Blatant Lie’ Now ‘Embedded Fact… as Intended’

Salon‘s Glenn Greenwald (7/9/09, ad-viewing required) is extolling “The Significance of McClatchy‘s Act of Journalism” when reporting that recently released six-year Guantanamo prisoner Haji Sahib Rohullah Wakil–one of many who supposedly “returned to or are suspected of returning to terrorism after their release”–“far from being in hiding, operates openly among officials of Afghanistan’s U.S.-allied government.”

Labeling Nancy Youssef’s piece “a consummate example of excellent journalism,” Greenwald also wants us to

note the central role the New York Times played–yet again–in spreading and given credence to pure government propaganda. And the method used to accomplish that is exactly what led them to help disseminate lies about the “Iraq threat” in the run-up to the war: Anonymous government sources leak something, they mindlessly print it without identifying who gave it to them, Dick Cheney cites the NYT article to bolster the lie, and then–even once the NYT is forced to admit they were used–they not only protect the identity of the anonymous sources who manipulated them, but they’ll use the same exact method tomorrow–and the day after and the day after that–to report the “news.”

What Judy Miller and Michael Gordon did in September, 2002 on the front page–that the NYT supposedly regrets so much–is exactly what Elisabeth Bumiller and her editors did here on the front page.

“As a result,” Greenwald writes, “a blatant lie–that 1 in 7 released Guantanamo detainees ‘returned to jihad’–became, as intended, embedded fact in our political debates.” Read the FAIR Activism Update: “NY Times Ombud Agrees with Activists: Paper Failed to Question Pentagon Propaganda on Gitmo Prisoners” (6/8/09).