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Encore for Michael R. Gordon

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COMMENT: In our ongo­ing series [5] about the Oswald Insti­tute of Virol­o­gy [6], we have com­pared the “set­ting up” [7] of the Wuhan Insti­tute of Virol­o­gy to the “paint­ing of Oswald Red.”

The jour­nal­is­tic gen­er­a­tion of the lab-leak the­o­ry comes, in part, from Michael R. Gor­don, who has a his­to­ry of gen­er­at­ing dubi­ous jour­nal­ism to sup­port the plans of the nation­al secu­ri­ty estab­lish­ment.

Gor­don:

 “Author of Wall Street Jour­nal ‘Wuhan Lab’ Sto­ry Wrote Lies about ‘Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruc­tion’”        by Andre Damon; World Social­ist Web Site; 6/1/2021. [10]

On May 23, the Wall Street Jour­nal pub­lished an arti­cle titled “Intel­li­gence on Sick Staff at Wuhan Lab Fuels Debate on Covid-19 Ori­gin [11].” Cit­ing unnamed “cur­rent and for­mer offi­cials,” it claimed that researchers at the Wuhan Insti­tute of Virol­o­gy “went to hos­pi­tal in Novem­ber 2019, short­ly before con­firmed out­break” of COVID-19.

Two days lat­er, on May 25, Health and Human Ser­vices Sec­re­tary Xavier Becer­ra, speak­ing at the Unit­ed Nations World Health Assem­bly, demand­ed [12] a “trans­par­ent” inves­ti­ga­tion into the ori­gins of COVID-19.

The next day, on May 26, US Pres­i­dent Joe Biden called on [13] the “Intel­li­gence Com­mu­ni­ty” to inves­ti­gate whether COVID-19 arose “from a lab­o­ra­to­ry acci­dent” and “report back to me in 90 days.”

Media reports by NBC, CNN, and the New York Times fol­lowed. All of them claimed that the Biden Administration’s actions were trig­gered by the “new evi­dence” pre­sent­ed in the Wall Street Jour­nal arti­cle. With­in 24 hours of pub­li­ca­tion of the Journal’s report, all of these pub­li­ca­tions declared that the Wuhan Lab con­spir­a­cy the­o­ry was “cred­i­ble.”

But the arti­cle pub­lished by the Wall Street Journal—beyond being total­ly unsub­stan­ti­at­ed and pre­sent­ing noth­ing fun­da­men­tal­ly new in terms of “intelligence”—is pre­sent­ed by a lead author who hap­pens to have helped fab­ri­cate the most lethal lie of the 21st cen­tu­ry.

The lead author of the Jour­nal piece, Michael R. Gor­don, was the same man who, along with Judith Miller, wrote the Sep­tem­ber 8, 2002 arti­cle false­ly assert­ing that Iraqi Pres­i­dent Sad­dam Hus­sein was seek­ing to build a nuclear weapon.

That arti­cle, enti­tled “U.S. says Hus­sein inten­si­fies quest for a‑bomb parts [14],” claimed that “In the last 14 months, Iraq has sought to buy thou­sands of spe­cial­ly designed alu­minum tubes, which Amer­i­can offi­cials believe were intend­ed as com­po­nents of cen­trifuges to enrich ura­ni­um.”

The claim was a lie, fun­neled to the Times by the office of US Vice Pres­i­dent Dick Cheney.

On April 20, 2014, Gor­don co-authored an arti­cle enti­tled “Pho­tos Link Masked Men in East Ukraine to Rus­sia,” which claimed to iden­ti­fy masked men oper­at­ing in east­ern Ukraine in oppo­si­tion to the US-backed coup regime as active-duty Russ­ian sol­diers.

Gor­don wrote,

Now, pho­tographs and descrip­tions from east­ern Ukraine endorsed by the Oba­ma admin­is­tra­tion on Sun­day sug­gest that many of the green men are indeed Russ­ian mil­i­tary and intel­li­gence forces — equipped in the same fash­ion as Russ­ian spe­cial oper­a­tions troops involved in annex­ing the Crimea region in Feb­ru­ary.

Four days lat­er, the Times Pub­lic edi­tor was again com­pelled to retract [9] the claims in Gordon’s report­ing, call­ing them “dis­cred­it­ed.”

The Times led its print edi­tion Mon­day with an arti­cle based in part on pho­tographs that the State Depart­ment said were evi­dence of Russ­ian mil­i­tary pres­ence in pop­u­lar upris­ings in Ukraine. The head­line read: “Pho­tos Link Masked Men in East Ukraine to Rus­sia.”

More recent­ly, some of those grainy pho­tographs have been dis­cred­it­ed. The Times has pub­lished a sec­ond arti­cle back­ing off from the orig­i­nal and air­ing ques­tions about what the pho­tographs are said to depict, but hard­ly address­ing how the news­pa­per may have been mis­led.

It all feels rather famil­iar – the rushed pub­li­ca­tion of some­thing excit­ing, often based on an exec­u­tive branch leak. And then, after­ward, with a kind of “morn­ing after” feel­ing, here comes a more sober, less promi­nent­ly dis­played fol­low-up sto­ry, to deal with objec­tions while not clar­i­fy­ing much of any­thing …

And the reporter Robert Par­ry (for­mer­ly of Newsweek and The Asso­ci­at­ed Press) on Consortiumnews.com sees a pat­tern in Times arti­cles, often based on admin­is­tra­tion leaks, that “draw hard con­clu­sions from very murky evi­dence while ignor­ing or brush­ing aside alter­na­tive expla­na­tions.” . . . .