Did NY Times Bias Lead to "Wishful Thinking" On Bogus Forged Ballots Story?

Late last night, the New York Times decided to run a story alleging major ballot fraud on the eve of the Iraqi elections through fraudulent ballots from Iran:

Less than two days before nationwide elections, the Iraqi border police seized a tanker on Tuesday that had just crossed from Iran filled with thousands of forged ballots, an official at the Interior Ministry said. The tanker was seized in the evening by agents with the American-trained border protection force at the Iraqi town of Badra, after crossing at Munthirya on the Iraqi border, the official said. According to the Iraqi official, the border police found several thousand partly completed ballots inside. The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly, said the Iranian truck driver told the police under interrogation that at least three other trucks filled with ballots had crossed from Iran at different spots along the border.

But there is one problem with the Times article... the single-sourced story appears to be totally false:

The head of Iraq's border guards denied police reports on Wednesday that a tanker truck stuffed with thousands of forged ballot papers had been seized crossing into Iraq from Iran before Thursday's elections. "This is all a lie," said Lieutenant General Ahmed al-Khafaji, the chief of the U.S.-trained force which has responsibility for all Iraq's borders. "I heard this yesterday and I checked all the border crossings right away. The borders are all closed anyway," he told Reuters....

Interior Minister Bayan Jabor also denied the reports, which the New York Times ran prominently, quoting a single unnamed Interior Ministry source, and said it was an attempt to discredit the election process.

But who is it who is trying to discredit the election, the unnamed source or the New York Times? The New York Times, bastion of the liberal press in America, appears to have pulled a Mary Mapes, wishing a story to be true instead of verifying it to be true. Pinch... you have some explaining to do.

Cross-posted to Confederate Yankee.

Iraq New York Times