Saturday, February 10, 2007

Sorry about the stink - that's just the intel cooking...

If you were harboring any faint hope that the White House is telling the truth when they insist they're not planning to attack Iran, it's time to weigh your anchors. This White House memo thinly disguised as actual reporting in today's NYT by Michael R. Gordon explodes that myth just as effectively as the new “explosively formed penetrator” busts up armored Humvees. The "intel" being promoted by some unnamed sources provided by the administration for the double secret talking points meeting press conference alleges Iran is supplying these new IEDs, in greater numbers. By their own account, they appear to have managed to document three of them.

This White House sanctioned leak session is just a prelude to the full course propaganda promotion expected to be held shortly by named administration shills where they will point to a "growing body of evidence" suggesting an Iranian link to the new IED. Maybe they're waiting until they find two or three more of them, or maybe it just takes a long time to engrave serial numbers on shrapnel. They're also expected to share information "gleaned" from Iranian prisoners recently captured in raids in Iraq. I guess glean must be the new code word for waterboarding.

Before you faint from fear over this frightening "new" development, it might be useful to remember, as Glenn Greewald reminds us, that Mr. Gordon was also the NYT's resident White House steno in the race to invade Iraq. He and Judy Miller were recognized by their peers for their superior shilling skills in promoting the fake WMD stories, of which our personal favorite was the imaginary aluminum tubes. And in case you misplaced your hard bound copy of Gordon's priceless work, Greg Mitchell excerpts the infamous prose that tricked us into Iraq. Change a few words and it's hard to tell the difference between the two stories. One suspects this new one will have the same unhappy ending.

The WaPo also was invited to the confab but to their credit they showed a little skepticism on the retreaded claims and fleshes out the inconsistencies.

It appears the administration is also trying to draw a nexus -- stop me if this sounds familiar -- between al-Qaeda and Iran and are pushing within the international community for increased sanctions against Tehran based on the fact that Iran has key members in custody. Bush is pressing the UN to rebuke Iran for cooperating with and harboring the AQ and offering them safe haven -- in prison. Apparently our president is unimpressed that AQ members were arrested in Iran for attempting to cross the border as late as last week. Not to mention, (and the White House would prefer you didn't):
Since al-Qaeda fighters began streaming into Iran from Afghanistan in the winter of 2001, Tehran had turned over hundreds of people to U.S. allies and provided U.S. intelligence with the names, photographs and fingerprints of those it held in custody, according to senior U.S. intelligence and administration officials. In early 2003, it offered to hand over the remaining high-value targets directly to the United States if Washington would turn over a group of exiled Iranian militants hiding in Iraq.
It was a pretty good offer, trade low value targets for high level ones, but needless to say Bush turned them down on the advice of Cheney and Rumsfeld. And please forget all about the fax from Tehran in 2003 that Condi Rice claims she doesn't remember seeing.
It was a proposal from Iran for a broad dialogue with the United States, and the fax suggested everything was on the table -- including full cooperation on nuclear programs, acceptance of Israel and the termination of Iranian support for Palestinian militant groups.
The WaPo also sheds some light on the some unnamed sources whose cooking Gordon so eagerly swallows.
Five administration officials were made available for interviews for this story on the condition that they not be identified. Other officials who spoke without permission -- including senior officials, career analysts and policymakers -- said their standing with the White House would be at risk if they were quoted by name.
Right, their standing for regurgitating the White House spew on command would be greatly jeopardized. The president just hates when you leak under your own name. It takes all the fun out of it and you know how he loves his war games.

I don't know what's more insulting. That the White House holds us in such disregard that they don't even bother to try to change the recipe for this swill or that the NYT thinks we're stupid enough to swallow it again while we're still suffering from food poisoning from the first batch of cooked intel they dished out in their last catering job for the President.
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

cindi has a terrible memory. so does scooter. but then why would she remember getting an offer of peace from iran, a nation thats been our mortal enemy since 1979?

Also, this whole thing reminds me of the "safe house documents" found on zarqawi that described an al queda plot to get us into war with iran. I remember thinking "these look like the minutes of a Weekly Standard editorial meeting"

3:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gordon makes it clear that he has multiple sources for his story. He clearly points out that he had cross-checked the story with intelligence analysts who had been skeptical about previous claims of Iranian involvement. And he points out that these skeptics have changed their minds after being presented with new damning evidence, which dispells all doubts.

3:56:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Lester, with all the memory problems in the White House, you have to wonder how they remember where their office is.

Anon - click the links. The WaPo made clear who those sources were, administration shills. But since you choose to comment anonymously, tell us, are you one of the some unnamed sources yourself?

4:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous - the White House claimed all sorts of "good" intel for the argument of invading Iraq over WOMD that proved to be totally nonexisitent. Now you think "new" evidence concerning Iran should dispel all doubts? Besides, it's a no-brainer; close off the weapons line from Iran and they will come through another area or country. Bottom line: if we don't make peace in the middle east, the resulting war is going to engulf the whole middle east catastrophically.

5:31:00 PM  

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