Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 02, 2007

Gordon's Source on Iran

(updated below)

Michael Gordon (NYT co-writer of Judith Miller) has another hate-Iran piece in today's NYT: U.S. Ties Iranians to Iraq Attack That Killed G.I.’s

BAGHDAD, July 2 — Iranian operatives helped plan a January raid in Karbala in which five American soldiers were killed, an American military spokesman in Iraq said today.
[...]
General Bergner declined to speculate on the Iranian motivations. But he said that interrogations of Qais Khazali, a Shiite militant who oversaw Iranian-supported cells in Iraq and who was captured several months ago along with another militant, Laith Khazali, his brother, showed that Iran’s Quds force helped plan the operation.
[...]
“Both Ali Musa Daqduq and Qais Khazali state that senior leadership within the Quds force knew of and supported planning for the eventual Karbala attack that killed five coalition soldiers,” General Bergner said.

Glenn Greenwald points out that Gordon's only source for this piece is a "military spokesman" Brig. Gen. Kevin J. Bergner. The source is not doubted, there are no other sources or viewpoints present. It is in fact, a pure U.S. military press release.

What Glenn doesn't not tell is the background of Brig. Gen. Kevin J. Bergner. Via sourcewatch we learn:

Kevin J. Bergner was named February 3, 2006, by President George W. Bush as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Iraq. Brigadier General Bergner recently served as Deputy Director of Political-Military Affairs (Middle East) at the Department of Defense. He received his bachelor's degree from Trinity University and his master's degree from City University of New York.

Berger left the White House and became spokesman for the U.S. military in Iraq only three weeks ago.

You can bet with a very good chance that his statement, which Michael Gordon dutiful stenographs,  has its origins in the White House. This bomb-Iran propaganda, the accusation of direct, official Iranian military intervention in Iraq, is originating from within the center of the Bush administration. It is fed through a "military spokesman" who just left the White House to Michael Gorden who's editors dependably publish it unfiltered in the New York Times.

Given the schemes we know from the start of the Iraq war disinformation campaign, the next step is obvious.

Someone from Bush's administration will appear on television and will cite and confirm Gordon's New York Times reporting as proof for Iran's "bad intent".

Newsweek explained how this worked on Iraq:

The strongest evidence that Saddam was building a nuke was the fact that he was secretly importing aluminum tubes that could be used to help make enriched uranium. At least it seemed that way. In early September, just before Bush was scheduled to speak to the United Nations about the Iraqi threat, the story was leaked to Judith Miller and Michael Gordon of The New York Times, which put it on page one. That same Sunday (Sept. 8), Cheney and national-security adviser Condoleezza Rice went on the talk shows to confirm the story.

Here is the transcript Wolf Blitzer's interview with Rice and there is Cheney on Meet the Press:

VICE PRES. CHENEY: [...]The third thing you need is fissile material, weapons-grade material. Now, in the case of a nuclear weapon, that means either plutonium or highly enriched uranium. And what we’ve seen recently that has raised our level of concern to the current state of unrest, if you will, if I can put it in those terms, is that he now is trying, through his illicit procurement network, to acquire the equipment he needs to be able to enrich uranium to make the bombs.

MR. RUSSERT: Aluminum tubes.

VICE PRES. CHENEY: Specifically aluminum tubes. There’s a story in The New York Times this morning-this is-I don’t-and I want to attribute The Times. I don’t want to talk about, obviously, specific intelligence sources, but it’s now public that, in fact, he has been seeking to acquire, and we have been able to intercept and prevent him from acquiring through this particular channel, the kinds of tubes that are necessary to build a centrifuge. 

Thanks to Michael Gordon "it's now public that, in fact," Iran attacks U.S. forces in Iraq.

Here we go again ...

UPDATE

1. As Glenn just added, the NYT has changed its story:

Gordon's article has now been edited substantially, most notably to include several sentences near the beginning of the article that cast at least some doubt on the military's claims. None of these facts were included in the original version:
...

2. As slothrop in the comments points out, CNN ran about the same story Michael Gorden filed but as an exclusive yesterday. Here is a youtube video of that segment. The CNN's Michael Ware  in Baghdad and the studio anchors express little doubt that all they have been told is really, really, really true.

Associated Press runs the story too and has no caveats either.

According to CNN some "Lebanese Hizbullah fighter" got caught in Iraq and "did confess in interrogations ..."

Let's ask: Does he breathe again now or is he still coughing up water ...

Posted by b on July 2, 2007 at 10:59 AM | Permalink

Comments

Xymphora has an interesting quote from one of Gates recent military appointments today:

“Gates was nonplussed and quickly announced that Pace's replacement would be the current chief of naval operations, Admiral Michael Mullen – a riposte that was a mini-declaration of war against the pro-war press.

Mullen, a tough-minded and hard-nosed conservative, is known for his scoffing (if private) dismissal of Washington's neo-conservatives, though sometimes he can barely keep it under wraps. During a recent Washington reception, he was asked by a reporter whether he would oppose an attack on Iran: ‘It's your job to convince the politicians just how stupid that would be,’ he said, ‘not mine.’


Posted by: Cloned Poster | Jul 2, 2007 11:32:52 AM | 1

b. This post should be sent to the op/ed department of every major paper in this sad country.

Thank you.

Posted by: beq | Jul 2, 2007 12:50:51 PM | 2

Hezbollah must be doing off-season training in Iraq for the forthcoming Lebanese invasion.

Posted by: Cloned Poster | Jul 2, 2007 1:40:04 PM | 4

Grennwald posted an Update (link see above):

Gordon's article has now been edited substantially, most notably to include several sentences near the beginning of the article that cast at least some doubt on the military's claims. None of these facts were included in the original version:
...
Who sent email to the editors? Stand up, be proud.

Posted by: b | Jul 2, 2007 1:44:20 PM | 5

Chris Floyd on the issue:

So this is where we are now. The Democratic-led House has now officially declared that Iran is led by a genocidist like Hitler, the embodiment of human evil. The Pentagon is repeatedly charging that Hitler is now killing Americans in Iraq. The American Establishment has committed itself to this scenario. Only the American people are lagging somewhat behind – but when push finally comes to shove, how many will oppose "defending our troops" against the aggression of the Persian "Hitler"?

Posted by: b | Jul 2, 2007 2:35:19 PM | 6

It will be war, from here on.

If America's political leaders ever made it plain to the citizenry the deep, deep fiscal hole America is in, and the austere remedies necessary to begin addressing it, they and their corporate backers would be hounded from their seats of power.

No. Our nation's political and economic elites cannot even admit the mess they've created, much less change course to correct it -- it would cost them who they are, what they own, and what they control. So, they will fail forward.

That way they win. No matter the blowback and economic damage to America that will come of attacking Iran and Syria, that blame will be laid entirely at the feet of the nations we are forced to attack in self-defense.

Polish forces started WWII by attacking German troops.

Iranian forces will start WWIII by attacking some American troops.

Posted by: Antifa | Jul 2, 2007 2:52:19 PM | 7

this would be more like going off to russia, than attacking poland. nonetheless, the lure of a hail mary is the last option left on a scoreboard screaming big fat zero late in the 4th quarter. i suppose the troops in iraq could always retreat east instead of south, and get a real conventional war instead of police work. yeahh thats the ticket.

Posted by: anna missed | Jul 2, 2007 3:52:11 PM | 8

Nice h/t to Bernhard and this post at firedoglake.

What happened to Michael Ware? I thought he was smarter than this. Sounds so credulous.

Posted by: Hamburger | Jul 2, 2007 5:13:12 PM | 9

The amazing thing is that they still get to say "even the liberal New York Times agrees with us."

Posted by: Rick Massimo | Jul 2, 2007 5:15:21 PM | 10

What happened to Michael Ware? I thought he was smarter than this. Sounds so credulous.

Who knows, maybe its true. If China came over and invaded Mexico, you can wager your donkey we'd have something to say about it.

So, best case scenario, this is all pentagon hype and spin, and noone will fall for it. Worse case, Glen Beck and Bill O'Reilly get all the mouth-breathers up in arms about the "crazy mooslims" and things get even more strained with Iran. Worst case, its true - we've made it ten times easier for the oligarchy in Iran to extend its influence from Afghanistan to the Mediterranean, and we eventually turn over some 30 million people to life under the ayatollah. Of course, the Saudis and the Gulf states will figure out how to proxy fight Iran with us or without us too. Oh, and did I mention that our economy still runs on oil?

Posted by: Old Billy | Jul 2, 2007 6:04:01 PM | 11

Neo-Con Monopoly for Goombahs

Perp: Paris Hilton, rich bitch

Crime: Driving With Suspended Drivers License, and generally loose and lascivious behavior to those in the Bible Belt.

Time Served: 23 days in a private cell, with TOFGB

--

Perp: Scooter Libby, little bitch

Crime: High crimes and treason, intermediary for Cheney in outing the active CIA station chief in charge of Iraqi WMD surveillance, compromising US intel and possibly sending CIA agents to their death; further aiding and abetting treason and war crimes on behalf of Cheney and Bush in illegal incursion into Iraq, its occupation and genocide, sending 3,576 US kids to their death; further aiding and abetting treason and grand larceny on behalf of Cheney in awarding IDIQNB contracts to political patrons now divested and moved offshore to Dubai; further, aiding and abetting malfeasance and the deliberate destruction of US trade and budget balance through MFN and US$ devaluation; all of which precipitate the End of the US Middle Class as we know it, in our time, transition to Slave Society.

Time Served: None. Sentence commuted by Bush as "too severe".

--

Libby's MTBF by "Airplane Crash", or "Shooting Himself in the Mouth in Deserted Traffic Intersection": Days. Weeks at most.

Run, Scooter, Run!!!!!!!

Posted by: Wyping Pos | Jul 2, 2007 7:16:27 PM | 12

Iran meddling in Iraq? Bah, that's a tired old story. Europe does better in the creativity department:
Solana suggests Iran behind Gaza, Lebanon attacks

The European Union foreign policy chief suggested on Monday that Iran could be linked to the Hamas military takeover of Gaza, recent attacks on the Lebanese army, and on European peacekeepers in Lebanon.

Javier Solana, who has led efforts to bring Iran back to the negotiating table over its nuclear programme, stopped short of blaming Tehran outright, but said the incidents could not be treated separately.

Posted by: Alamet | Jul 2, 2007 7:19:34 PM | 13

What other evidence would it take to satisfy Greenwald that the story was valid given his bias against the Bushies? He refers back to that CFR article which says the Iraqi government disputes Iranian involvement, but the CFR report is not specific in what is being denied. What exactly is Glenn hanging his hat on here?

Given Mookie's second home in Tehran, is it really that far fetched for his and other militias to receive Iranian support against the U.S? Does Greewald expect Gordon to interview militia members who acknowledge Iranian involvement?

It's funny that Greenwald doesn't seem to object when reporters take stenography from local stringers to report on horrorific incidents or attrocities which can't be independently corroborated. In fact, he vigorously defends those reporters and their news reporters from attack. Can anyone say double standard?

Posted by: daleyrocks | Jul 2, 2007 8:18:57 PM | 14

daleyrocks, anyone paying much attention would have to see that U.S. military spokesmen (just like IDF spokesmen) are a lot less spontaneously honest and direct than your typical "local stringers," which apparently your term for regular old human beings, the ones not involved in propaganda operations?

Gordon could have corroborated in other ways besides interviewing the alleged Iranian agents. The article makes it obvious he didn't even ask any follow-ups of the U.S. military personnel behind the allegations. A real reporter would have had plenty of doubts considering the U.S. military's questionable motives for releasing this information this way at this moment.

Not to mention that Gordon's own history makes him the most ridiculous choice of reporter to cover this beat but I believe the implication is that the NY Times editorship is basically in favor of the Neo-con/Zionist plan to destabilize the entire Middle East?

Bombs away!

Posted by: MM | Jul 2, 2007 8:59:23 PM | 15

MM - IDF spokesman, neocon/zionist plan. Okey Doke. Ignoring that, the video clip of the Berg release shows follow up questions were asked. Who asked them is not clear. Greenwald's earlier supposed discrediting of U.S. claims of Iranian involvement by quoting British sources is somewhat questionable itself. Correct me if I am wrong, but hadn't that sector of Iraq been relatively peaceful and British casualty counts very light leading up to the time of the articles cited by Glenn. If so, why would the British soldiers have found evidence of EFP's and such if they weren't engaging insurgents. Seems self explanatory, rather than a reason to discredit the U.S. claims.

Posted by: daleyrocks | Jul 2, 2007 11:18:00 PM | 16

@Alamet - 13 - when one reads that Reuters piece on Solana two thigs come to mind:
- Why hasn't any other agency but Reuters picket that up
- Why is it that the headline "Solana suggests Iran behind Gaza, Lebanon attacks" is not justifyable by the Solana quotes in the piece?

"What happened in Gaza cannot be seen separately from what happened in Lebanon," he told a conference on the Middle East hosted by the Socialist group of the European Parliament.


"There are new groups in the Palestinian camps," Solana said. "And the fact that UNIFIL has been attacked for the first time cannot be taken separately."

Not that I like Solana, but I don't find anything in there that justifies the ReutersAlertnet headline.

Posted by: b | Jul 2, 2007 11:55:13 PM | 17

@daleyrocks -

Stingers for the press are not known to systematically use torture on prisoners. Many of their stories that first sounded doubtful have been corborated (Haditha for example).
The US military is known for the systematic use of torture on prisoners. Many of its stories have been found to be exaggerated or being very thin on facts.

When the US military comes up with stating something as "fact" that is based, as they say, on an interogation of prisoners, one certainly should take their words with a ton of salt.

But Gordon swallows it hook, line and sinker. That is not "reporting".

Posted by: b | Jul 3, 2007 12:20:31 AM | 18

b - You meant stringers I think, right. The recent story about 20 decapitated bodies in Iraq run by AP and Reuters, the sources for which were policemen located 15 and 100 miles away (shades of Jamil Hussein!) made a nicely corroborated story given that there was a police detachment in the in the town where the alleged incident occurred. The Haditha incident is falling apart as an indictment of U.S. troops as more evidence comes out at the Article 32 hearings at Camp Pendleton. The shoddy reporting on that one was amazing.

Unless you have actual evidence of torture of this peaceful Lebanese guy who was hitchhiking his way through Iraq and forced into lying that he was actually a bombmaker for Hezbollah sent to Iraq in return for Iran's help in Lebanon, all you are really doing is speculating and smearing the troops. From the tone of your post it sounds like you are comfortable with that. When you have any actual evidence to refute what has been said by the military it might be worth listening to or reading.

Posted by: daleyrocks | Jul 3, 2007 12:52:18 AM | 19

all you are really doing is speculating and smearing the troops. From the tone of your post it sounds like you are comfortable with that. When you have any actual evidence to refute what has been said by the military it might be worth listening to or reading.

Of course I smear the troops. It's an illegal war and they should not be there. Following orders is no excuse.

I have no "evidence" to refute what the military says. I have no "evidence" to refute the alleged existence of tooth ferries either.
---

Back to the NYT story which has changed very significantly. The byline is now JOHN F. BURNS and MICHAEL R. GORDON instead of Gordon alone. It now includes voices from Iran and lots of caveats about what the military claimed. The military didn't include any evidence for its claims the piece says now.

But it makes a major point of Iran helping al-Sadr and financing or supporting the Sadrists. My question again: What about the Badr corps and Hakim's SCCI (former SCIRI) who have actually lived and trained in Iran for decades while Sadr and his folks never had good relations with Iran? It doesn't make sense that al-Sadr, who is very national in his speeches, is more in bed with Iran (if at all) than Hakim and his troops.

Posted by: b | Jul 3, 2007 1:07:42 AM | 20

Congress has authority to rule the high seas. Not the POTUS. Putting Navy people in control should mean COngress will begin to determine ovesight and stop this madness...

Posted by: Mr.Murder | Jul 3, 2007 1:16:35 AM | 21

b - I agree, much more credible article with Burns attached. It adds much more information that was already out there in one article for the skeptics to evaluate.

Illegal war? Congress approved it. The U.N. blesses our presence. The Iraqi government has not asked us to leave. Are you hearing voices?

Posted by: daleyrocks | Jul 3, 2007 1:38:44 AM | 22

Illegal war? Congress approved it. The U.N. blesses our presence. The Iraqi government has not asked us to leave. Are you hearing voices?

Congress has approved lots of illegal stuff. That's why you have a Supreme Court, remember? Above that, there is international law accepted and endorsed by the US. The UN charter for example. The UN has declared the war illegal.

The UN has accepted the occupational status of Iraq, because this puts severe legal restrictions on the occupier. That acceptance was in no way an endorsement or legal acceptance of the war.

The Iraqis want the US out. The Iraqi parliament wants the US out. The Maliki administration (depending solely on US protection) has asked the US to stay for now. But the parliament has now enacted a law that takes the power to prolong the US occupation away from the Maliki administration. This fall, there will be a direct vote of the Iraqi parliament on that. That is - if such a vote is allowed to happen which I doubt.

And yes, I do hear voices. Right now those seem to come out of the radio, but I'm sure I'll hear more later on the sub.

Posted by: b | Jul 3, 2007 1:51:23 AM | 23

WaPo

The accusations against Iran occurred on a day when Iraqi health officials said U.S. airstrikes had caused civilian casualties in the southern city of Diwaniyah.

Early Monday, about 25 mortar shells struck inside the perimeter of Camp Echo, a base for Polish troops in Diwaniyah, injuring three coalition soldiers, the U.S. military said. Two U.S. F-16 fighter jets then bombed the suspected launch sites of the mortar and rocket attack.

The airstrikes killed at least 10 people and wounded 35, according to Hussein al-Jarrah, director of Diwaniyah General Hospital. In a statement about the incident, the U.S. military made no mention of civilian casualties, but said the bombing took place along a street "where insurgents persistently use urban areas from which to attack, in order to use civilians as human shields."

Angered by the violence, residents staged a protest near a government building and some threw rocks. Gunfire broke out, killing one of the demonstrators, police said. Two policemen were injured.

Also Monday, the U.S. military said a third American soldier had been charged in the deaths of three civilians near Iskandariyah. Sgt. Evan Vela, of Phoenix, Idaho, was charged Sunday with premeditated murder, wrongfully placing a weapon by the remains of a dead Iraqi, making a false statement and obstruction of justice.

Ok - so when the resistance fires from urban areas, that is the "use civilians as human shields" and justifies intense airial bombing? Proportionality?

Posted by: b | Jul 3, 2007 2:05:15 AM | 24

where did this tedious daleyrocks moron wander in from?

yes of course it's an illegal war, started on a pack of laughable lies.

where are the WMDs dr? where is the ludicrous Saddam/AQ link Shrubco endlessly touted?

face it, Iraq was never a threat to the US in any way, shape, or form.

the war criminals who lied is into this clusterfuck knew this perfectly well but invaded Iraq anyway and in a just world they should be answering for their murderous crimes in The Hague, not still running this country.

what are we still doing there murdering/maiming/torturing/raping/imprisoning/displacing Iraqis? there weren't any WMDs and Saddam's dead. answer: we won't leave because we never intended to, at least while there's still oil in the ground. we're there to control the oil and set up permanent bases, period.

Posted by: ran | Jul 3, 2007 2:10:00 AM | 25

ran - You are soooo 2003!!!!

Posted by: daleyrocks | Jul 3, 2007 2:19:11 AM | 26

nice non-response dipshit.

Posted by: ran | Jul 3, 2007 2:22:28 AM | 27

b - I agree that the Iraqis want us out - some time. There was a bogus proposed resolution that people tried to slip into parliament a couple of months back about us leaving. When people figured out what it meant they deep sixed it. So far the Iraqi government doesn't look like it's getting anywhere close to asking us to leave and I don't think the neighbors, except perhaps Iran and Syria want us out of there either.

Posted by: daleyrocks | Jul 3, 2007 2:24:12 AM | 28

ran - I wilt before the awesomeness of your troofiness.

Posted by: daleyrocks | Jul 3, 2007 2:28:09 AM | 29

daleyrocks is one of the trolls that hung out at Glenn Greenwald's blog before he went to Salon. as trolls go he is probably one of the better ones. after getting spanked a lot by the other commenters at GG he kinda slunk away.

if we are unlucky we might see shooter242 and realname over here too.

Posted by: dan of steele | Jul 3, 2007 2:33:50 AM | 30

one of the better ones eh dan?

talk about damning with faint praise.

Posted by: ran | Jul 3, 2007 2:41:48 AM | 31

There was a bogus proposed resolution that people tried to slip into parliament a couple of months back about us leaving. When people figured out what it meant they deep sixed it.

Iraqi Lawmakers Pass Resolution That May Force End to Occupation

The parliament today passed a binding resolution that will guarantee lawmakers an opportunity to block the extension of the U.N. mandate under which coalition troops now remain in Iraq when it comes up for renewal in December. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, whose cabinet is dominated by Iraqi separatists, may veto the measure.

The law requires the parliament's approval of any future extensions of the mandate, which have previously been made by Iraq's prime minister. It is an enormous development; lawmakers reached in Baghdad today said that they do in fact plan on blocking the extension of the coalition's mandate when it comes up for renewal six months from now.

I have seen no report anywhere that this was "deep sixed".

But daleyrocks will certainly have something to back up his/her claim ...

Posted by: b | Jul 3, 2007 2:48:35 AM | 32

Whose sewage system broke to bring in this trollflood?

Posted by: jj | Jul 3, 2007 2:52:48 AM | 33

"BBC UK survey suggested that the public (has been led to believe) terrorism, graffiti, crime and dog shyte were all of more concern than global climate change, or the war in Iraq."

Play the Tin Drum slowly..;.

Posted by: Peris Troika | Jul 3, 2007 3:09:02 AM | 34

jj

Glenn Greenwald linked to b's story, some of his readers came over here.

Posted by: dan of steele | Jul 3, 2007 3:39:23 AM | 35

The same style of propaganda was used by Hitler to spread fear and nationalism in Germany during the 30's. Its no different.

Posted by: Michael | Jul 3, 2007 5:10:01 AM | 36

And now, Tuesday morning, the Times runs basically the same article for a second time top left front page as in---
"U.S. Says Iran Helped Iraqis Kill Five G. I.'s
Hezbollah Implicated Too, in Karbala Raid"
Thank you for pointing out that Gordon's "source" Gen. Bergner, comes to us directly from the White House.
I wonder if Gordon will tell us that in the article?

Posted by: Griffin | Jul 3, 2007 9:19:35 AM | 37

Steely Dan is Transcendent , dan of steele is just mean . I am one of those wandering GG entities . You may be right about where dear old Dailyrocks has unpleasantly drifted from . But I am far and away much worse , although I despise the vapid thumb twiddling of Mr rocks posing absurdities measured in granular demented dimensions . I support the new vagaries , Facts . Trewthie used in collaboration with the emperors breath is an abomination . Colbert will not be amused

Posted by: FRP | Jul 3, 2007 11:59:16 AM | 38

belly up to the bar FRP, we can have drink before smashing each others skulls in with the empty bottles

Posted by: dan of steele | Jul 3, 2007 12:19:40 PM | 39

If Bush is allowed to attack Iran,(or with Israel as the surrogate), we will enflame the entire Middle East, making what is happening in Iraq seem like a sideshow. Such a misguided decision could be likened to the assassination of archduke Ferdinand, that was the catalyst sparking world war 1. An unnecessary war, concocted for no good reason, against an enemy that poses no iminent threat to the U.S., its allies, its neighbors or the world.
It will be seen as an attack on the Muslim World,(even in Sunni dominated countries),severely disrupt world oil supplies, bring on consequences that could further destabilize the world economy, foment terrorism to unprecedented levels world wide and possibly precipitate a catastrophic struggle that could be impossible to contain short of a clash of civilizations world war.
U.S. foreign policy has little credibility left in the world, its motives suspect especially after defying the world community and pre-emptively attacking Iraq and presiding over a thoroughly incompetent occupation that incited the present meltdown of Iraqi society into sectarian civil war.

Posted by: Dave Lefcourt | Jul 3, 2007 2:13:54 PM | 40

Comment on post by Antifa is really frightening because the alleged Polish attack on German troops was actually carried out by Germans wearing Polish Army uniforms. It was all a show. .. Hmmm. Remember the Maddox and the C. Turner Joy (leading to the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution).!

Peace

Posted by: ffrank54 | Jul 3, 2007 2:18:14 PM | 41

Enough of all this "I'm rubber you're glue" nonsense.

I mean really: the obvious point of all of this is to note the parallels between how the table was laid for the Iraq war and what we're hearing today.

We now know loads about how public opinion was manipulated from all sorts of sources. The most apt phrase here is intelligence laundering. Most of what we were told about the necessity to invade Iraq was a crock of doodoo. Therefore, we should make sure those with large megaphones don't get snookered again in exactly the same manner.

Of course there were (and are) plenty of villains.

But does the fact that there were (and are) so many villains - those guilty of perfidy, mendacity, laziness, ideological blinders, blind trust, and cowardice - prevent us from using our minds to interpret reality?

Really, sometimes I think that people like the silly trolls here want us all to join them in their self-enslavement.

Appreciate this new read, Bernhard (followed the link from Rick Perlstein's place). Nicely argued & sourced.

Posted by: vernonlee | Jul 3, 2007 2:31:07 PM | 42

Dave@40 - Could you restate the obvious one more time for everyone, with that nice lefty spin, it's like that golden oldie you just can't hear enough times.

Fer Chrissakes, don't you guys get tired of saying the same thing over and over and over. Don't you think anyone is sensitive to allegations about "cooking" intelligence, even though it wasn't cooked the first time, or a rush to war, even though it took more than 10 year of continued violations by Sadaam of his obligations under the treaty before anyone was willing to take action. Instead, it's all neocon/zionist conspiracies, war for oil bullshit.

Because fire can't melt steel and Rove is about to be indicted Valerie must have been covert and Prescott Bush arranged to have Hitler's head smuggled out of Germany and embalmed and the Bush family all worship it at their house in Kennebunkport to further our imperial quest for world domination.

I'm sure I left a few things out, but it was a start.

Posted by: daleyrocks | Jul 3, 2007 11:48:53 PM | 43

Editor & Publishers joins the beating

As if he hadn’t done enough damage already, helping to promote the American invasion of Iraq with deeply flawed articles in The New York Times, Michael R. Gordon is now writing scare stories that offer ammunition for the growing chorus of neo-cons calling for a U.S. strike against Iran – his most recent effort appearing just this morning.

What’s most lamentable is that editors at The New York Times, who should have learned their lessons four years ago, are once again serving as enablers.
...


Posted by: b | Jul 4, 2007 1:26:28 AM | 44

Dizzyrocks comment on 7/3/07 at 11:48:53 smacks of the truth. So he and his ilk have finally told some semblence of truth. That they are all full of it.

Posted by: A | Jul 4, 2007 2:36:46 AM | 45

Because fire can't melt steel and Rove is about to be indicted Valerie must have been covert and Prescott Bush arranged to have Hitler's head smuggled out of Germany and embalmed and the Bush family all worship it at their house in Kennebunkport to further our imperial quest for world domination.

Are you authorized to disseminate that information?

Posted by: bobbyp | Jul 4, 2007 10:24:34 AM | 46

Hello, I'm an Iranian living in Iran and was attracted to this blog by the exceptionally high quality of the comments (well, most of them, ;-)

I drafted a response to the NYT/IHT online article on Tuesday evening (Tehran time = ET + 7 1/2 hours) only to discover, like some of you, that the editors had ironed out 50 % of the flaws in an extended version. But that still left another 50 % of clear distortions and lies to deal with. So I amended my comments and wrote the following yesterday to the Editors of the NYT/IHT:

"Quote":
Dear Editor,

Your report, even the title ("U.S. Says Iran Helped Iraqis Kill Five G.I.’s"), is pure neoconservative propaganda disseminated by military spokesman Bergner who was employed by the White House a few weeks earlier. If the Pentagon speaks for the entire U.S., why is it that the CIA and the NSC openly discredited the Pentagon’s main information source (Ahmed Chalabi) prior to the invasion of Iraq???

And how can you believe a Pentagon which created the Office of Special Plans (run by Douglas Feith, in whose office Larry Franklin was sentenced to 13 years imprisonment for spying for Israel) for the special purpose of fabricating pre-war WMD evidence against Iraq? (As you are aware, the OSP was established in September 2002 and was closed down just 3 months after the invasion, its ‘mission’ apparently ‘accomplished’).

Your report on Iran's direct role in the killing of 5 American soldiers has more holes than a Swiss cheese: The sources of information are the Iraqi Khazali brothers and a Lebanese Hezbollah operative, Ali Musa Daqduq, who was also "interrogated" for 3 months.

Why did the U.S. army take several months to obtain these apparent confessions? If, as claimed, "The Americans also obtained Daqduq's personal journal and detailed documents on tactics for attacking Iraqi, American and other coalition troops" after his capture in March, why did they wait 3 months before revealing such an eagerly sought "smoking gun"? Certainly not in deference to Shi’ite sensitivities, as the report claims.

24-year veterans of the fanatical Hezbollah don’t crack under normal questioning. What form did the "interrogations" take, considering the Pentagon's history of "waterboarding" and other techniques that the rest of the world defines as torture? Has the 22-page document incriminating Iran been independently verified by the CIA and the NSC, or is it being conveniently concealed for "reasons of national security"? Has anyone asked why the Pentagon “did not present transcripts of the interrogations or the seized documents for inspection”?

Every Pentagon accusation against Iran has so far been unsubstantiated. What we are now witnessing is a ratcheting up of pressure in preparation for a military strike, since sanctions aren't working and time is running out for the Neocons. Earlier American "suspicions" have been conveniently converted into "fact", as was the Pentagon's earlier claim of "indisputable” Iraqi WMD evidence. The media, America’s intelligence agencies and the nation’s Congress and Senate, must determine fact and fiction for themselves, as the Pentagon’s disgraceful record shows it has great difficulty in distinguishing one from the other.

"Unquote"

Now, contrary to what you may conclude from the above, I am fiercely ant-Mullah. If anyone wants a couple of paragraphs from me on what I feel has caused this unholy global mess I would be happy to oblige. Meanwhile, keep up the great and informative blog. Parviz.

P.S. to the Blog Editor: I operate under a pseudonym and with a real but totally misleading email address, for obvious reasons.

Posted by: Parviz | Jul 5, 2007 3:06:51 AM | 47

Hello B and former whiskey bar friends... just wanted to give you the actual link for the Iran piece in which I mentioned B and Moon - Bring 'em on - Hezbollah Edition.

...Siun who once helped run a Speakeasy

Posted by: Siun | Jul 5, 2007 4:13:43 AM | 48

New visitor...great reading. It appears obvious that now is the time for our military commanders to speak out against any attack on Iran. I mean NOW. We won't be accepting of a second go-round of excuses. Why doesn't PEW do survey asking, "Would you support a USA military coup since impeachment is lengthy? I'll bet more than a few generals have actually discussed the idea. Our Founders gave us no way to quickly arrest a Pres.

Posted by: Varletta | Jul 5, 2007 5:12:19 AM | 49

@ Parviz -
Thanks for joining the discussion, and for raising objections directly to the Times. The rewrite of their original article suggests that either many readers are objecting, or someone with power within the Times is resisting the quickstep to war this time.

One caution re Pentagon: It should perhaps not be regarded as a monolith, esp now when evidence keeps bubbling to the surface of a major, internecine struggle over policy and direction throughout the Administration. While active WH plants continue to be salted among the high level military, Admiral Mullen, whom Cloned Poster mentions @1, probably represents more closely the view of most of the high level military commanders today than a WH mouthpiece like Bergner. And Gates was positioned as SecDef, whether or not the Shrub recognized it at the time, to guard against the maneuvers of the OVP and its mostly civilian activists intent on more war.

The OSP, after all, was a largely civilian body of men with no military experience, inserted into the high end of Pentagon policymaking by Rumsfeld & Cheney, and seen as an insult by many professional military leaders and analysts, who had spent whole careers developing expertise in areas over which these amateurs peremptorily asserted control. Do you recall career Pentagon intelligence analyst Karen Kwiatkowski, who resigned early in 2003, publicly repudiating the work of the OSP, their interference, their idiocy, and manipulation of analysis for political goals? Would that more had spoken out then, as she did.

Incidentallly, Kwiatkowski wrote an interesting piece in http://militaryweek.com/columns/withoutreservation.php?id=15>May 2006 on why the generals were revolting against Rumsfeld more or less publicly, at last. "They call for Rumsfeld's resignation because they see it as the only tactic available to them to stop the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld tsunami of war aimed at Iran."

Posted by: small coke | Jul 5, 2007 6:03:32 AM | 50

@Siun - Thanks!

@Parviz - welcome - If anyone wants a couple of paragraphs from me on what I feel has caused this unholy global mess I would be happy to oblige.

That would be welcome. If you want to publish something here, send it to MoonofA_at_aol.com (_at_=@)

Posted by: b | Jul 5, 2007 6:58:12 AM | 51

The Independent Democratic Senator from Israel, Joe Lieberman, is using the Bergner/White House propaganda to call for war on Iran: Iran's Proxy War

No responsible leader in Washington desires conflict with Iran. But every leader has a responsibility to acknowledge the evidence that the U.S. military has now put before us: The Iranian government, by its actions, has all but declared war on us and our allies in the Middle East.

America now has a solemn responsibility to utilize the instruments of our national power to convince Tehran to change its behavior, including the immediate cessation of its training and equipping extremists who are killing our troops.
...
The threat posed by Iran to our soldiers' lives, our security as a nation and our allies in the Middle East is a truth that cannot be wished or waved away. It must be confronted head-on. The regime in Iran is betting that our political disunity in Washington will constrain us in responding to its attacks. For the sake of our nation's security, we must unite and prove them wrong.

Posted by: b | Jul 6, 2007 12:53:31 PM | 52

Thanks, everyone, for the warm welcome. I will email the administrator with my comments on what could, and should, have occurred (by foresight, not hindsight). Meanwhile I want to share this superb piece with you:

The path to war with Iran is paved by the hands of our enemies within
by Kam Zarrabi (source: Payvand )

Thursday, July 5, 2007

There is a world our there where Paris Hilton is known only as some hotel in Europe, where nobody gives a damn about Scooter Libby's pardon or Los Angeles Mayor's extra marital affairs. Millions are dying daily in that world and millions of others are threatened with impending doom and devastation, ignored by the high and mighty as either unworthy of attention or regarded as a nuisance to be dealt with by the world's most powerful military machine. In this display of greed and prejudice, a great nation's soul has been stolen and grand ideals encoded in the Constitution that framed this nation have been compromised by influence peddlers, foreign and domestic, and by policy makers whose personal interests and private allegiances override their duty to serve their own country.

Meanwhile, the world out there, where Paris Hilton is known only as some hotel in Europe, is paying the price for the luxury we enjoy of having even the most gruesome global events packaged piecemeal in entertaining vignettes in-between glamour shots of beady-eyed Paris Hilton and Miss luscious-lips, Angelina Jolie.

With that much interesting stuff to keep track of, who's got the time or the incentive to worry about foreign policy issues or even the number of the dead and injured among our own young soldiers who are fighting for a non-descript cause they have been told is our war on terror?

It is in this kind of atmosphere that special interest groups, individuals and specially planted moles in the Administration create policies such as those that dragged us into the invasion of Iraq, and are now paving the way to expand the bloodshed into Iran.

Now Iran is looming bigger and bigger in the crosshairs.

The older, vaguer and less imminent threats of regime change through anti Iran propaganda, exploitations of pro democracy and human rights advocates, support for dissident groups inside and outside Iran, and various economic pressures, have now been ratcheted up to a level that might quickly get out of control.

Now we are hearing that Iranian weapons are "killing Americans" and Brits in Iraq, as well as allied forces in Afghanistan. We hear that Iran is training and sending Lebanese Hezbollah fighters to Iraq to commit terrorism and to "kill Americans" (a cunningly created new catch-phrase that is meant to generate just the perfect rationale to declare war). We hear that Iran is sending arms to the Taliban fighters in Afghanistan, and even to Al-Gha'eda terrorists in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Naturally, nobody expects the public to demand some proof of all this involvement; allegations seem to always suffice. After all, it is not like having doubts about who the father of Anna Nicole's daughter was!

Of course, it is common knowledge that American arms are found in the hands of terrorists who kill Iranians in Iran or Iranians on pilgrimage in Iraq. And it doesn't seem to matter if American Special Forces or the Brits are supplying arms and training to the likes of Jund-Ullah terrorists, among many other groups, to infiltrate Iran and "kill Iranians".

We hear that a former politician and part-time television actor, now a candidate (by default, because of the lackluster Republican hopefuls) for presidency of the United States, is also a visionary in foreign policy and, like his co-campaigners on the Republican ticket, is a proponent of bombing Iran. Leading Democratic candidates for presidency refuse to rule out a preemptive attack on Iran. They prefer for the Democratic majority Congress to approve and get credit for such a decision, which it surely will. And, the sly weasel himself, the so-called Independent (he is definitely independent of true American interests, but fully committed to the mandates of the Israeli regime) Senator Joseph Lieberman, whose compatriots and co-conspirators are the top foreign policy advisors to Vice President, Dick Cheney (the real decision maker), as well as to the State Department, doesn't believe we should even wait past the end of this year!

We also saw the American Congress almost unanimously (minus only two votes by Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul) approve a resolution accusing the Iranian President Ahmadinejad of inciting "genocide" by promoting the destruction of Israel (against all evidence that he ever said such a thing!).

The other sly fox, the Holocaust survivor Tom Lantos, now the chairman of the House Foreign Relations Committee, has just championed another resolution to strengthen sanctions against the Islamic Republic in order to strangulate the Iranian people beyond recovery. But, unlike his compatriot and co-conspirator, Joe Lieberman, Mr. Lantos does not believe in nuking Iran first and asking questions later; he prefers, instead, to destroy Iran at a slower, more tortuous pace, through economic deprivation resulting in social chaos.

This sly fox, our Congressional arch Zionist and long-time Iran-hater, had the audacity recently to coyly ask a member of the visiting Russian delegation at a meeting of the committee he chairs, televised by C-SPAN, to intervene on his behalf to get a visa to visit Iran. He expressed his dismay and surprise that the Iranian government has thus far refused to grant him a visa! Now, this is chutzpah. Can you imagine having Osama Bin Laden being invited to address a joint session of the US Congress?!

Perhaps he wants to offer Mr. Ahmadinejad his personal testimony as a living survivor that Holocaust did really take place, notwithstanding the fact that Mr. Ahmadinejad has never questioned the reality of the Holocaust, only some of its established narratives and subsequent ramifications.

Our major newspapers, like their television and radio counterparts, prefer to pander to their readerships and audiences rather than carry out their honest journalistic task of unbiased reporting and informing. After all, money or the bottom line is everything. Rags like The Nation or Mother Jones don't enjoy much of a circulation and have to print their few humble pages on cheaper paper.

On television, the only voices of dissent or criticism are wrapped in entertaining comedy shows and satire or cartoon programs.

There surely will be big demonstrations across the nation against the decision to attack Iran, after it has been initiated, of course! Most will object to such a war because of its certain losses of American lives, economic costs to the nation and the negative image it would create for America worldwide. But the same rationale that was used to justify dropping atomic bombs over Japan in WWII will again be used to justify doing the same to Iran: Why; aren't they doing things that help kill Americans? Ask Joe Lieberman!

But, once again, other episodes of American Idol, Wheel of Fortune, and soon to restart, NFL football, will more than make up for the ugly news from overseas.

Should we not wake up to the realities behind the scene, we are doomed to repeat and expand our mistake in invading Iraq by attacking Iran. No doubt Iran will be the big loser by sinking into total economic collapse after its vital infrastructure is devastated. Just as in Iraq, the United States will also be a loser in the eyes of the world. The war America is fighting against terror will also be lost, while terrorism will gain an even stronger position to expand and proliferate with greater zeal.

There will, however, be a winner in all this. This winner, albeit in short-term, is well represented by its warmonger cronies and supporters in our Administration.

Do I have to name that winner? (Personal comment: Could he be referring to Israel??? Of course not, because this is the typically misguided conclusion of simplistic ‘conspiracy theorists’!)

Clearly, interfering in the internal affairs of any sovereign nation and openly threatening, and even actually engaging in, steps to culminate a regime change are blatantly against the charter of the United Nations and American law. Implementing severe economic and trade embargos against Iran is tantamount to a de facto economic blockade, which can be interpreted easily as an act of war. So, in actual fact, a cold war has been taking place between the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran for the past decades, now nearing a flashpoint.

In my view, and I do hope, even expect, that I am right, this cold war will also vaporize as did the last one between the Soviets Block and the West, much like a block of dry ice. And just like the last one, the end result will be a cautious, protracted détente as we see going on currently between the United States and Russia.

Should I prove too optimistic, we'd better tighten our belts for a very rough ride, brother; there'll be rocky roads ahead.

About the author: Kam Zarrabi is the author of In Zarathushtra's Shadow and Necessary Illusion. Please visit intellectualdiscourse.com for ordering.

Posted by: Parviz | Jul 8, 2007 3:04:07 AM | 53

small coke, thanks, I appreciate your comments on the Pentagon. I was just trying to make a point to the NYT/IHT Eds. Kwiatowski is a true American patriot. (We have many Iranian patriots down here, but they're in prison...........).

Posted by: Parviz | Jul 8, 2007 3:55:29 AM | 54

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