Monday, February 12, 2007

Dog and Pony Show in Baghdad

Anonymous US military personal hold a briefing in Baghdad in which they claim that Iran is supplying Shi'tes in Iraq with weapons including weapons which killed US soldiers.

Oddly the personel insisted on anonymity. There is no doubt in my mind that they did so, because they know the briefing was deliberately deceptive and do not want to ruin their personel reputations. Notice that they can't refuse an order from their civilian superiors on the grounds that lying they know is a sin (not a crime).

The very extraordinarily feeble excuse for anonymity amounts almost to proof.

James Glanz in the NY Times

The officials were repeatedly pressed on why they insisted on anonymity in such an important matter affecting the security of American and Iraqi troops. A senior United States military official gave a partial answer, saying that without anonymity, a senior Defense Department analyst who participated in the briefing could not have contributed.


Ah yes "they" (plural) all have to be anonymous because "a" (singular) analyst is covert. That makes sense.

I wonder if they held up a sign saying "I'm lying" too ?

Being weak on singular and plural the anonymous briefers are a bit weak on the concepts of "not Iraq" and "Iran"

The precise machining of E.F.P. components, the officials said, also links the weapons to Iran. “We have no evidence that this has ever been done in Iraq,” the senior military official said.


Yep that's convincing. If they are not made in Iraq, they must be made in Iran. Notice, as quoted in the Times and in the Washington Post, no evidence was presented that E.F.P.'s have ever been made in Iran. Just that they were probably not made in Iraq.

Also mortar fins which are not made in "other countries" from the second page of Joshua Partlow's article in the Post


The weapons displayed for reporters on two tables on Sunday -- rocket-propelled grenades, football-shaped mortar shells, the shaped explosive charge and about 40 tail fins of exploded mortar shells -- showed specific signs of Iranian manufacture, the officials said. The mortar tail fins, for example, were made from a single fused piece of metal, while other countries make mortar shells that have removable parts, the explosives expert said.


Would that be "all other countries" which would amount to a "specific sign[s] of Iranian manufacture" or would that have the plain English meaning "at least two other countries" which would amount to just about nothing ? Hmmm are we to assume that in a determined effort to nail Iran the vagueness hides the strength of the evidence against Iran ? I will read it as "at least two other countries" or, in plainer English "we looked and looked and all we got were two RPGs and a lpointed stick" (rarer around those parts than RPGs).

Pathetic.

Also, by the way, how about we amend the constitution so that no people named after their dad can hold public office. Consider pathetic squaredin the Times.

Senator John D. Rockefeller IV, the West Virginia Democrat who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, said last month that he believed that Iranian operatives inside Iraq were supporting Shiite militias and working against American troops.


There is one very very interesting bit in the Times article.

The senior military official blamed recent press reports for, he said, overstating the importance of the weapons presentation, which had been delayed. Part of the delay reflected a view among officials in Washington that the original presentation was insufficiently strong. Officials here did not address that element of the internal debate.


Now the internet rumors was that the original presentation was overstated. Am I correct in reading "insufficiently strong" as meaning "did not make strong enough accusations against Iran" that is "this 'intelligence' is pumped up by political appointees just like the Saddam Hussein giving atomic bombs to al Qaeda evidence was ?

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "1/12/2007 03:05:00 PM":

Bush goes ballistic about other countries being evil and dangerous, because they have weapons of mass destruction. But, he insists on building up even a more deadly supply of nuclear arms right here in the US. What do you think? Is killing thousands of innocent civilians okay when you are doing a little government makeover?
What happened to us, people? When did we become such lemmings?
The more people that the government puts in jails, the safer we are told to think we are. The real terrorists are wherever they are, but they aren't living in a country with bars on the windows. We are.

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