Richard Miniter: NYT Reporter in Basra Is Former Saddam Officer

This is not an April Fool's gag.

Richard Miniter at Pajamas Media caught the jaw-dropping significance of these two paragraphs in a New York Times report by Qais Mizher out of Basra (HT Instapundit; bolds are mine):

Early last week, when the assault started, I happened to be in Diwaniya, another southern city, as part of my work as a reporter and translator for The New York Times.

Calling on my experience as a captain in the Iraqi Army before the 2003 invasion and essentially a war correspondent since then, I headed to Basra to see if I could make my way into the city and see what was happening there.

Miniter, while also noting how vapid and misleading Mizher’s reporting is, emphasizes the jaw-drop:

Got that? The New York Times reporter was an officer in Saddam’s army. Nice. By the way, officers were not drafted (that’s how the enlisted ranks were filled). Officers had to be selected and regularly vetted for loyalty and effectiveness. So Saddam decided that he could trust our intrepid correspondent and so did the New York Times.

Makes you wonder: Would the Times have hired former Nazi officers to cover the three-year insurgency against the American presence in Germany in the late 1940s? Even if they spoke the language, knew the countryside well and said they “never really believed” in that evil ideology?

My question: Who can be confident that the newspaper that gave us Walter Duranty didn't do that?

Included in shorter form as the final item at this BizzyBlog post.

Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.