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New York Times reporter Judith Miller is out of jail. In all probability Miller played a role in revealing the name of CIA agent Valerie Plame and assisted the White House in discrediting Plame’s whistle blower husband, Joseph Wilson. Whatever is ultimately revealed about Miller won’t come from the pages of the Times. It has so far refused to come clean on her shilling for the Bush administration.

Bush’s right hand henchman, Karl Rove, has testified four times before the grand jury investigating the case and special prosecutor James Fitzgerald may be ready to hand down indictments. It took quite a while for the corporate media to pay attention to the illegal outing of a CIA agent, and therein lies a very sordid tale.

Jeff Gannon, born James Guckert, is like the bad penny that won’t go away. Gannon is the “reporter” from the now defunct Talon News Service. Talon was a Republican phony news service that existed only to bolster White House propaganda efforts. When would be reporter Gannon was still calling himself Guckert he was also advertising his services as a gay prostitute.

It is easy to be distracted by Gannon’s personal life because this administration cynically uses anti-gay bigotry to energize its political base. As tempting as it would be to expose the ugly underbelly of the already ugly, that would not do justice to the point of this column.

While the private lives of the Bushmen may be ugly – no surprise there – it is their public lives which must be closely scrutinized. In the scheme of things it really is not important that Gannon used to be a professional whore. It is important that this former prostitute and phony reporter was allowed to gain access to the classified information that identified Plame. Gannon is a bit coy, saying only that “I acquired knowledge of the memo….“

We already know he wasn’t really a reporter. If Gannon “acquired knowledge” of anything classified it is because someone gave him the information. The self-made web site porn star had a friend in a very high place.

Meanwhile, the worst and ugliest act undertaken by this administration, the occupation of Iraq, continues. President Bush made it clear in a recent speech that it isn’t going to end anytime soon. We must not falter, we must stay the course, we must continue the war on terror and so on. While Bush speaks the same awful words that are used to hide the destruction of a nation, America’s namby pamby media have sadly chosen to assist him in keeping that horror in the closet.

Occupations are inherently oppressive. You can’t take over someone else’s country without breaking bodies, homes and dignity. We saw a brief glimpse of the humiliation and violence waged against Iraqis when photos of abuse and death at Abu Ghraib prison were first made public. As awful as those images were, there are more to come that are apparently much, much worse.

The American Civil Liberties Union sued the federal government to force the release of an additional 87 photographs and 4 videos. The feds took the position that the images will ruin America’s image abroad and increase the likelihood of terror attacks. That is quite an admission of guilt.

It has been reported that these new photos may depict the sexual abuse of women and minors. If that is true it will be further proof that the U.S. is in fact the infidel, the great Satan and anything else that will cause aggrieved people to want to kill us all.

Speaking of photos and Iraq, the mixture of violence and sex recently exposed yet another incident that goes under the heading of “scandals that should have been but were swept under the rug.” A patriotic porn meister offered access to his web site to anyone who submitted photographic evidence of military service in Iraq or Afghanistan. Some soldiers sent humdrum shots of Baghdad while others felt compelled to use gruesome images of bodies blown to bits.

It seems the government doesn’t have to worry about more Abu Ghraib photos. They have to worry about horny soldiers emailing pictures of dead bodies so that they can see pictures of live nude girls.

The war in Iraq, like every other war, has killed and maimed thousands of people. Unlike other wars the killers in this conflict have digital cameras and can spread their handiwork thousands of miles away in a matter of seconds.

The New York Times has access to the same technology. The Gray Lady could show us how Iraqis are suffering because of the United States. Instead, their ace reporter Judith Miller gave us pornography when she aided the war mongers in their campaign of lies. Unless the Times fully discloses its role in this dirty story it is no better than Hustler. Actually it is worse. Hustler has no pretense about what it is selling.

Margaret Kimberley’s Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BC. Ms. Kimberley is a freelance writer living in New York City. She can be reached via e-Mail at [email protected]. You can read more of Ms. Kimberley's writings at


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October13 2005
Issue 154

is published every Thursday.

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