Does the New York Times correct errors in its stories
that falsify history?
Not necessarily. Consider the following: On January
2, 2002, The New York Times began the New Year with
an article on its Op Ed page byTom Mangold asserting
that in 1964, James Jesus Angleton, then chief of the
counter- intelligence staff at the CIA had violated
the constitutional rights of Yuri Nosenko, a Soviet
defector from the KGB, by having him "arrested
and thrown into solitary confinement." The statement
is demonstrably untrue.
Nosenko had come to the United States in the custody of
the CIA's Soviet Russia Division, then headed by David
Murphy. The CIA did not have the power to arrest anyone
in the U.S., so Murphy, together with two other CIA officials,
Richard Helms and Lawrence Huston went to the Justice
Department and asked Deputy Attorney-General Nicholas
Katzenbach for legal approval from Attorney-General Robert
F. Kennedy to imprison Nosenko. Kennedy then authorized
the detention of Nosenko. All this is a matter of public
record, and can be found in the testimony of Helms, Murphy
and Katzenbach before Congressional committees.
Angleton was in the hospital at the time of Nosenko's
arrest and did not participate in the Soviet Russia Division's
action. (Even if the record of participants were not already
clear, Angleton would have had no authority over the case,
which was in the hands of the Soviet Russia Division not
his Counter-intelligence staff.)
Mangold knew that the claim in the NewYork Times that
Angleton had Nosenko arrested was,even by Mangold's own
prior account, untrue. In his book "Cold Warrior,"
he writes (page 189) that after Nosenko arrived in the
US, "Richard Helms and David Murphy began preparations
to imprison the Soviet defector and start hostile interrogations."
What he did in the New York Times was change "Richard
Helms and David Murphy" to "Angleton."
By switching identities whether to make or dramatize
some point, or for any other reason he falsified
the historic event itself.
Even though the New York Times was informed of this fictoid
planted in its pages, it elected to publish no correction
( that same week it corrected a half-dozen mis-spellings
of names). For more about the New York Times correction
policy, I recommend Renata Adler's introduction to her
new book Canaries in the Mineshaft (St. Martin's Press,