Sloppy Contradictions

Frank Rich in tomorrow’s New York Times (outside the firewall here):

…for all the sloppy internal contradictions, the most incriminating indictment of the new White House disinformation campaign is to be found in official assertions made more than a year ago. The press and everyone else seems to have forgotten that the administration has twice sounded the same alarms about Iranian weaponry in Iraq that it did last week.

In August 2005, NBC News, CBS News and The Times cited unnamed military and intelligence officials when reporting, as CBS put it, that “U.S. forces intercepted a shipment from Iran containing professionally made explosive devices specifically designed to penetrate the armor which protects American vehicles.” Then, as now, those devices were the devastating roadside bombs currently called E.F.P.’s (explosively formed penetrators). Then, as now, they were thought to have been brought into Iraq by members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard. Then, as now, there was no evidence that the Iranian government was directly involved. In February 2006, administration officials delivered the same warning yet again, before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

So why are the Bushies hyping this stuff again now?

After General Pace rendered inoperative the first official rationale for last Sunday’s E.F.P. briefing, President Bush had to find a new explanation for his sudden focus on the Iranian explosives. That’s why he said at Wednesday’s news conference that it no longer mattered whether the Iranian government (as opposed to black marketeers or freelance thugs) had supplied these weapons to Iraqi killers. “What matters is, is that they’re there,” he said. The real point of hyping this inexact intelligence was to justify why he had to take urgent action now, no matter what the E.F.P.’s provenance: “My job is to protect our troops. And when we find devices that are in that country that are hurting our troops, we’re going to do something about it, pure and simple.”

Darn right! But if the administration has warned about these weapons twice in the past 18 months (and had known “that they’re there,” we now know, since 2003), why is Mr. Bush just stepping up to that job at this late date? Embarrassingly enough, The Washington Post reported on its front page last Monday — the same front page with news of the Baghdad E.F.P. briefing — that there is now a shortfall of “thousands of advanced Humvee armor kits designed to reduce U.S. troop deaths from roadside bombs.” Worse, the full armor upgrade “is not scheduled to be completed until this summer.” So Mr. Bush’s idea of doing something about it, “pure and simple” is itself a lie, since he is doing something about it only after he has knowingly sent a new round of underarmored American troops into battle.

The real goal is to provoke war with Iran, of course.

See also Derrick Jackson, “The Wrong World War.”

8 thoughts on “Sloppy Contradictions

  1. “we’re going to do something about it, pure and simple.”

    Gee, I guess Bush must of went ahead an had his own testosterone surge regardless of whether Congress approves or not. It’s funny how he’s protecting the the troops, and we’re going to do something about it.

    Bush is such a fraud and such a loser. If he could only see himself through my eyes, he’d understand what a terrible loss a man has suffered when he’s pissed away his credibility. There’s nothing that can emanate from Bush’s being that counts for anything. He’s just a shell of a man clad only in stupidity who is not worthy of pity.

  2. When, Sweet Jesus, will this brazen, violent, and embarassing stupidity end?
    Do we have to sit around for another 23 month’s with a madman clutching a knife at the world’s jugular?
    Congress, wake the &@#$ up!!!
    Then, let The Hague figure out who’s guilty – ALL OF THEM!!!!!

    PS: And, BTW, thanks Ralph Nader. You were right, it doesn’t matter, does it?
    Al Gore, drunk, stoned on acid, shot-gunning pot with Hunter Thompson, mainlining heroin with Janice, while snorting Bolivian Marching Powder naked with a teenage male Catholic page could not have made the international mess that the “Grown-up’s” have made if he tried!!!

    Ralph, you imbecile, I love a lot of what you’ve done, but it does matter. It matter’s. I just hope it’s not too late….

  3. A special group at the CIA’s Counter Terrorism Center, very similar to the group that tracked the activity of al-Qaeda through the 1990s, has been working on the Lebanese terrorist organization Hezbollah over the past three years. In the wake of the failed Israeli incursion into Lebanon last summer, the White House asked these Hezbollah analysts to provide a comprehensive assessment of the organization, its tactics, and its leaders. A team of analysts headed by an experienced senior officer completed the report over a month ago and concluded, surprisingly, that Hezbollah is actually a collection of diverse interest groups, and its leader, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, far from being a fanatic controlled by Tehran, is a fairly nuanced and astute politician who has maintained his independence from the Mullahs. It also indicated that Hezbollah’s threat to American interests has been seriously overstated. The report recommended that the U.S. government make an effort to establish a dialogue with Nasrallah in an attempt to moderate his organization’s more extreme policies; it suggested strongly that Nasrallah would likely be receptive to such an approach. The more politically sensitized senior managers of the CIA analytical division took one look at the report, were shocked by its conclusions, and sent it back to the Counter Terrorism Center for reconsideration and redrafting in a form that would be more politically acceptable to the White House.
    American Conservative Magazine, February 25, 2007

  4. Reports that an Iranian scientist working on Iran’s nuclear program has been assassinated by the Israeli intelligence service, Mossad, appear to be the latest in a series of deliberate fabrications. Ardeshire Hhassanpour, who died on Jan. 15, was an award-winning and internationally known scientist who worked at a plant in Isfahan where uranium hexafluoride gas is produced. The gas is used in the centrifuge-based enrichment process to generate nuclear fuel for the main Iranian research center at Natanz, and initial reports suggested that Hassanpour had died of “gas poisoning,” though the Iranian authorities did not hint of any unusual circumstances or foul play. Hassanpour’s death was first reported without additional comment by Prague-based Radio Farda, which broadcasts in Farsi into Iran and is funded by the U.S. Department of State. It was subsequently reported by the U.S.-based private information service Stratfor, which has close ties to Israeli intelligence and suggested that the Mossad was possibly involved. The story was then picked up and further relayed by Rupert Murdoch’s Times of London, which has often served as an outlet for Israeli disinformation and has also been reporting very alarming but usually erroneous information about Iran. Several U.S. intelligence sources believe that the Israelis have only limited intelligence capabilities inside Iran and that the story of Hassanpour’s assassination is, in fact, a fabrication produced by Mossad to frighten Iranian scientists working on Iran’s nuclear program, making them worry that they might be assassinated next. Hassanpour is certainly dead, but he most likely died in an accident, not because he was targeted and killed.
    American Conservative Magazine, February 25, 2007

  5. Letter to American Conservative Magazine, February 25, 2007, by Doug Giebel
    Only the most obstinate dead-enders still believe the Bush administration’s Iraq adventure is headed for success. Even timid Republicans have joined timid Democrats to offer up a time-wasting, nonbinding “resolution” meant to show very moderate displeasure with the so-called new strategy promoted by President Bush.
    Perhaps cynically, many Democrats are avoiding effective measures to rein in the Iraq debacle. Do they hope the situation will so worsen that even more Republicans will lose their seats and their shirts in coming elections? As long as administration policies are careening downhill, full speed ahead.
    It is time for true conservatives to send the strongest possible message to Republicans in Congress: stop the Bush juggernaut before future damage is done to the GOP and the nation.
    As distasteful as it may be, Republicans-not Democrats- should begin impeachment proceedings. Waiting for Democrats to act may be akin to waiting for Godot – with disastrous results. It took a courageous Barry Goldwater to tell Richard Nixon that the game was up. If he were here today, I’m certain he would urge his fellow conservatives to end the current long nightmare.
    Now and then it would benefit Republicans to admit that some ideas of the Democrats have merit. At this crucial time in our history, the radical Democrats who have been calling for impeachment know that it is the only means available to terminate the current malignancy. But it falls to Republicans – it is their duty – to step up to that proverbial plate.

  6. I also am wondering why nobody is taking action to impeach Bush & Cheney. I’ve heard that it is because they have done nothing to be impeached for. I disagree! However, it occurred to me that the Dems or others are holding back because if those two bozos are kicked out, that would mean Nancy Pelosi would be President. A lot of people don’t want a woman, let alone Pelosi and of course there would be the flak that the Dems only initiated an impeachment process to get Pelosi in. Just a thought. In the meantime, while they are protecting their and their political careers, people are dying in Iraq. Another thought, isn’t representation in government supposed to be a service, not a career?

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