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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.
- ” . . . . 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. . . The claim was a lie, funneled to the Times by the office of US Vice President Dick Cheney. . . On May 26, 2004, the Times published a letter from its editors entitled ‘FROM THE EDITORS; The Times and Iraq ,’ ‘acknowledging that the Times repeatedly ‘fell for misinformation.’ . . . The letter notes: ‘But we have found a number of instances of coverage that was not as rigorous as it should have been... On Sept. 8, 2002, the lead article of the paper was headlined ‘U.S. Says Hussein Intensified Quest for A‑Bomb Parts.’ That report concerned the aluminum tubes that the administration advertised insistently as components for the manufacture of nuclear weapons fuel. … it should have been presented more cautiously . . . .”
- ” . . . . On April 20, 2014 . . . 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. . . .Four days later, the Times Public Editor was again compelled to retract  the claims in Gordon’s reporting, calling them ‘discredited.’ . . .”
On May 23, the Wall Street Journal published an article titled “Intelligence on Sick Staff at Wuhan Lab Fuels Debate on Covid-19 Origin .” 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  a “transparent” investigation into the origins of COVID-19.
The next day, on May 26, US President Joe Biden called on  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 ,” 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.
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  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.” . . . .