From the article:
"Kovtyukhova tried leaving out various agents and found that the oxidizing agent wasn't necessary for the reaction to take place." when using her mixture of acids (without the oxidizing agent) on boron nitride (a compound with a structure similar to graphite).
Then she balked at trying the same mixture on graphite based on "the extensive literature saying that the oxidizing agent was required". Why? Why she tried to remove that frigging agent in the first place then?
I mean: She knew that her technique without the oxidizing agent works on a material similar to graphite. She knew that the oxidizing agent is bad for graphite. Then why insisting on it???