November 01, 2003

EMBARRASSING DEVELOPMENTS FOR THE WASHINGTON POST: First, David Kay writes to say that the Post's reporter, Barton Gellman, misrepresented his findings:

The Oct. 26 front-page article "Search in Iraq Fails to Find Nuclear Threat" is wildly off the mark. Your reporter, Barton Gellman, bases much of his analysis on what he says was told to him by an Australian brigadier, Stephen D. Meekin. Gellman describes Meekin as someone "who commands the Joint Captured Materiel Exploitation Center, the largest of a half-dozen units that report to [David] Kay."

Meekin does not report, nor has he ever reported, to me in any individual capacity or as commander of the exploitation center. The work of the center did not form a part of my first interim report, which was delivered last month, nor do I direct what Meekin's organization does. The center's mission has never involved weapons of mass destruction, nor does it have any WMD expertise. . . .

We have much work left to do before any conclusions can be reached on the state of possible Iraqi nuclear weapons program efforts. Your story gives the false impression that conclusions can already be drawn.

Then (scroll down), Meekin writes to say that Gellman misquoted him.