Jon Stewart finally got to interview the former New York Times reporter whose stories helped bolster the US case for the war in Iraq — and it got ugly fast.
“I believe that you helped take us to, like, the most devastating mistake in foreign policy that we’ve made in 100 years,” Stewart told investigative journalist Judith Miller.
On Wednesday, Miller stopped by the Daily Show to promote her new memoir, “The Story,” in which she attempts to refute claims that her discredited New York Times stories linking Saddam Hussein to weapons of mass destruction gave the Bush administration the ammunition to convince the public that it was necessary to go to war.
In a testy 10-minute interview, Miller blamed unreliable intelligence sources, while the Daily Show host tried to demonstrate that Miller leaned too heavily on biased Bush administration sources.
“That’s what the intelligence community believed,” Miller said, referring to false information that showed Iraq attempting to enrich uranium before the US invasion.
“That’s what they were feeding you,” Stewart said.
The former journalist has maintained that various high-level officials got it wrong, and that she has been unfairly singled out for criticism. In the interview with Stewart, Miller noted that various lawmakers were also concerned that Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was seeking weapons of mass destruction, naming then-Senators Hillary Clinton and John Kerry.
“Turns out, idiocy is bipartisan,” Stewart replied.
After Miller refused to concede that she was any more to blame than intelligence officials and lawmakers, Stewart lamented that so few officals who believed that Iraq had WMDs have taken responsibility for their mistakes.
“I appreciate you coming on the program. These discussions always make me incredibly sad because I feel like they point to institutional failures at the highest levels, and no one will take responsibility for it, and they pass the buck to everyone but themselves,” Stewart said. “It’s sad.”
Miller’s 2002 reporting has been controversial since its release over a decade ago. The report was widely cited by Bush administration officials in the lead up to the war in Iraq as credible evidence that Hussein was seeking to obtain materials for a bomb. In 2004, the Times offered a tepid apology for the reporting leading up to the war, citing faulty sources.
Watch the interview below:
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