Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
August 08, 2007

Stop Michael Gordon's Lies

Michael Gordon, co-writer of Judith Miller, is again stenographing the U.S. military's lies to launch another war.

Attacks on American-led forces using a lethal type of roadside bomb said to be supplied by Iran reached a new high in July, according to the American military.

The devices, known as explosively formed penetrators, were used to carry out 99 attacks last month and accounted for a third of the combat deaths suffered by the American-led forces, according to American military officials.

This a lie (there are more in the article) as the EFPs are likely manufactured in Iraq. How do we know? Well ...

The Independent on Sunday can also reveal that the bombs and the firing devices used to kill the soldiers, as well as two private security guards, were initially created by the UK security services as part of a counter-terrorism strategy at the height of the troubles in the early 1990s.

According to security sources, the technology for the bombs used in the attacks, which were developed using technology from photographic flash units, was employed by the IRA some 15 years ago after Irish terrorists were given advice by British agents.
Revealed: IRA bombs killed eight British soldiers in Iraq, Independent, October 16, 2005


But in November, U.S. troops raiding a Baghdad machine shop came across a pile of copper disks, 5 inches in diameter, stamped out as part of what was clearly an ongoing order. This ominous discovery, unreported until now, makes it clear that Iraqi insurgents have no need to rely on Iran as the source of EFPs.
In Iraq, anyone can make a bomb, LA Times, February 16, 2007


The Wall Street Journal reports (sub. req.), troops "uncovered a makeshift factory used to construct advanced roadside bombs that the U.S. had thought were made only in Iran." The main feature of the find were several copper liners that are the main component of EFPs.
WSJ via TPMM, February 27, 2007


But while the find gave experts much more information on the makings of the E.F.P.’s, which the American military has repeatedly argued must originate in Iran, the cache also included items that appeared to cloud the issue.  

Among the confusing elements were cardboard boxes of the gray plastic PVC tubes used to make the canisters. The boxes appeared to contain shipments of tubes directly from factories in the Middle East, none of them in Iran. One box said in English that the tubes inside had been made in the United Arab Emirates and another said, in Arabic, “plastic made in Haditha,” a restive Sunni town on the Euphrates River in Iraq.
[A]nalysts have expressed skepticism that the American military has made a strong case for the Iranian origin of the E.F.P.’s as tensions are running high between the United States and Iran over its nuclear program.
U.S. Displays Bomb Parts Said to Be Made in Iran, NYT, February 27, 2007


A U.S. military spokesman, Lieutenant-Colonel Scott Bleichwehl, said three to six "enemy fighters" were killed, five wounded and 17 captured. U.S. and Iraqi forces suffered no fatalities, he said.
Bleichwehl said troops, facing scattered resistance, discovered a factory that produced "explosively formed penetrators" (EFPs), a particularly deadly type of explosive that can destroy a main battle tank and several weapons caches.
Iraqi, U.S. forces sweep through volatile Iraqi city, Boston Globe, April 6, 2007


U.S. and Iraqi forces uncovered an assembly area for the powerful roadside bombs known as explosively formed projectiles, the statement said. Four bombs were already assembled, it added, and others were in various stages of being put together.
Chlorine gas attack by truck bomber kills up to 30 in Iraq, IHT/NYT, April 7, 2007

To stop further Michael Gordon lies, you can contact the public editor of the New York Times:    

* E-mail: [email protected]
* Phone: (212) 556-7652
* Address: Public Editor
      The New York Times
      620 Eighth Avenue
      New York, NY 10018

Posted by b on August 8, 2007 at 5:57 UTC | Permalink


I copied the list & sent it with this:

"What is it exactly that makes you keep repeating Bush administration lies? Why dont you just say it was aliens that did it, at least that would be funny, as opposed to just being pathetic."

Posted by: anna missed | Aug 8 2007 6:22 utc | 1

My twopenorth:

>Dear Public Editor,

Please stop Michael Gordon telling yet more lies, this time about IEDs. Last time he lied us into war with WMDs in Iraq. I am British. Hundreds of British soldiers have lost their lives, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have lost their lives, bombs have gone off in my coubntry and their country killing thousands of people, all because Michael Gordon and Judith Miller, in your newspaper, told disgraceful lies. Your paper is meant to be supporting democracy. Unless those who vote in democratic elections are given truthful information about the world so they can decide upon how they are going to vote, democracy dies. Please start doing your duty to democracy by sacking Michael Gordon.

Posted by: | Aug 8 2007 6:49 utc | 2

Not to mention the utter absurdity, when you think about it, of them accusing Iran of "meddling" or "causing harm to our troops" when the US is committing massively massively more "meddling" in the form of introducing arms into both Iraq and Iran... the incredible hubris of it is just mind-boggling. As if we have a right of ownership over Iraq.... as if our soldiers are there for any legal or legtimate purpose whatsoever to begin with... as if we are not, at the very moment we are uttering this blather, de-stabilzing Iran with god knows what myriad of underhanded means....

Posted by: Bea | Aug 8 2007 9:11 utc | 3

Sweet chocolate Jesus.

Gordon is so damned lazy that he isn't even bothering to invent his own original lies.

He's just pulling old debunked lies out of the sanitary landfill, brushing the worst of the dirt off, and offering them up to his masters as bright shiny new lies.

Reality to Michael Gordon.

Come in, Gordon.

You dumbass.

The Iraqi insurgents are quite capable of fabricating EFPs on their own. They don't need to get them from Iran.

Thanks to the criminal incompetence of Donald Rumsfeld and his happy moronic little band of syncophants, there weren't enough US boots on the ground to keep an eye on the captured Iraqi munitions dumps after the occupation began.

So some time between April of 2004 and October of 2004, about 370 TONS of some of the most brisant and powerful military explosives known to explosives chemistry just grew feet and walked away.

Does the place name "Al Qaaqaa" ring any bells?

A smart Iraqi can plasticize this stuff on a table top.

With small to zero risk to himself. Since RDX won't actually go off unless you pass a really serious shock wave through the stuff. Even burning, let alone heating, isn't enough to do the trick.

The "Iranians must have supplied EFPs to the insurgents" lie was first aired, then exposed, more than a year ago.

Posted by: Stormcrow | Aug 8 2007 9:25 utc | 4

Sorry. My bad. That should have read ...

"some time between April of 2003 and October of 2004"

Posted by: Stormcrow | Aug 8 2007 9:27 utc | 5

The BBC are also helping to spread the lies.

US and Iraqi forces say they have killed 30 militants in the Iraqi capital Baghdad.

They said most had died in an air strike following a raid in the Shia district of Sadr City. Twelve people were also detained in the operation.

The US military alleged the dead were part of a network that smuggles weapons from Iran.

AFP news agency quoted a witness as saying women and children were among those killed in the air strike.

Posted by: Cloned Poster | Aug 8 2007 11:22 utc | 6

EFP = shaped charge

nothing new or necessarily high tech in that and the principles of construction are commonly known making homespun variations not too hard to come by - especially with tons of stable, workable HE mysteriously available...

Is RDX found in these EFP blasts?

Posted by: jcairo | Aug 8 2007 14:21 utc | 7

Linked from Juan Cole:

"From: William O. Beeman
Sent: Wed 8/8/2007 3:22 PM
To: [email protected]
Subject: U.S. Says Bomb Suppled by Iran Kills Troops in Iraq

To the Editor:

Re: "U.S. Says Bomb Suppled by Iran Kills Troops in Iraq" by Michael R. Gordon, August 8, 2007

It is increasingly suspicious that every time the United States has begun a diplomatic initiative with Iran--the latest on August 6, some United States military official in Iraq comes forward to accuse Iran of supplying weapons to attack U.S. troops. Perhaps it is coincidence, but the reporter rendering these accusations for the public seems always to be Michael R. Gordon. These military reports and the Times reportage seem timed to undermine these diplomatic talks. Following the historic May 28 talks between Iran and the United States in Baghdad, the Iranian government called for a second round of talks. As negotiations for this second round were underway General Kevin Bergner provided a briefing on precisely the issue of the IED's covered in the August 8 article by Mr. Gordon. Mr. Gordon's last reportage of General Kevin J. Bergner's account of these Iranian attacks ("U.S. Ties Iran to Deadly Iraq Attack" July 2, 2007) was a textbook case in hype. Mr. Gordon significantly enhanced General Bergner's already specious and exaggerated statements to make the Iranian government appear even more culpable than the evidence in the press conference would warrant. Although Mr. Gordon's August 8 reporting on Lt. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno's account of essentially the same phenomenon does acknowledge that critics of the Bush administration assert that there is no proof of Iranian state involvement in supplying the IED devices, the article is riddled with innuendo accusatory of Iran, such as identifying "Iranian-backed cells" as if they existed as verified definable entities, and they had been proved to have ties to Iran. Mr. Gordon's piece appears on page 1 of the Times above the fold (as did his July 2 piece) thus increasing the hype factor. The Times should save its partisanship for the editorial pages, and not conscience it in its reporting.


William O. Beeman Professor and Chair Department of Anthropol

Posted by: anna missed | Aug 9 2007 8:59 utc | 8

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