Thursday, August 24, 2006

Once again, with feeling

It appears that the Israel-Lebanon conflict won't be parlayed into a large scale military effort against Syria and Iran. At least it doesn't look that way so far, considering that the Israeli effort was meant as a "dry run" for any Iranian engagement, as it was reported Cheney believed. And with the fruitless neo-con effort of trying to justify attacks on Tehran via the Israeli-Hezbollah conflict, it now appears that the PNAC-ers have tacked back onto the Iranian nuclear program as the only go-to option in their desire to raze Tehran.

Apropos of this, today saw the horrific sight of both The Washington Post and The New York Times once again coddling neo-con war mongering, only this time they were channeling GOP frustration with intelligence agencies about Iran, not Iraq. Seemingly unaware of their own complicity in the Iraq WMD fiasco, when neo-cons both within and without the White House demanded fealty of the intelligence community toward their demand for intelligence that would justify their pre-ordained attack on Baghdad, WaPo and NY Times both laddled up the same tired brew of GOP "frustration" about intelligence regarding Iranian weapons programs.

Despite the fact the IAEA has never found evidence of an Iranian "nuclear weapons program," even after three years of investigation and inspection, the Grey Lady and whatever WaPo is have both deemed that some mid-level Republican staffer report -- a "stinging critique" as WaPo calls it -- worthy of front page news coverage. In fact, the report doesn't seem to be much at all, relying as it does on "publicly available documents," and none who worked on it had even spoken directly intelligence officials.

Calling this a report is probably a misnomer; it has the tone and appearance of a transcribed Republican gripe session about how their latest "casus belli" is not being supported by the intelligence community. Imagine the gall of those intelligence folks after being pounded for not producing Iraq WMD intelligence, and then being blamed for what came mostly out of the Office of Special Plans while their own reports offered caveats, caveats that were summarily ignored, downplayed and even redacted. Why, how can these people not want to go through all that again?

Admittedly, WaPo's article is more subtly circumspective, including as it does lines like,
[the report] chides the intelligence community for not providing enough direct evidence to support that assertion.
Which is the familiar refrain from the last round of WMD scare stories: spare us the facts and give us what we want to hear. But in the Iraq WMD tale, Rumsfeld's Office of Special Plans in the Pentagon subverted much of the circumspection being offered by other agencies. While the CIA had issued cautions and expressed significant doubts over and over about the White House yellow cake stories and frightful tales of deadly aluminum tubes, and Al Qaeda ties to Baghdad, the White House downplayed these and hype up the speculation. They did this with a redacted form of the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) of 2002, a document that had been whipped together in a matter of three months and then only after Congress had requested one.

Annoyingly, both of these stories offer up the traditional White House line that it had been the intelligence agencies that had got Iraq WMD all wrong, when just the opposite was true. It was the White House that got it wrong and they did so because they wanted to get it wrong. The facts were not cooperating and so were discarded, or rather, "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy."

And now, both The Washington Post and the New York Bloody Times is giving a bullhorn to the same neo-con campaign that lied us into the Iraq war. That these major media outlets would allow themselves to be used, once again, as propaganda outlets for the neo-con war machine is to the shame of both themselves and this country. Have they learned nothing?


Post a Comment

<< Home