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The Ghost of Judith Miller
By Michael Munk
Did you see NYTimes military correspondent Michael Gordon's lead story in today's NYTimes reporting the "evidence" that more effective IED's are from Iran?
I sent him a brief note asking if he is the ghost of Judith Miller-- functioning as a transmission belt for people cooking the intelligence books to persude NYT readers to support attacks on Iran and she did for the invasion of Iraq.
I am well aware of the controversy over the WMD intel. I think this case is different. The US intelligence community is not on the outside looking in, as was the case with the WMD intel. The US is in Iraq and this largely reflects intelligence gathered on the battefield. At any rate, I spend some time talking to a range of officials on this issue and quoted the intel reports accurately.
I also don't think that intelligence on Iran's role in Iraq necessarily undercuts or supports the case of those who argue for troop withdrawals. If you are opposed to the troop reinforcement you could argue that Iran's involvement makes the mission all the more difficult and suggests the need for direct talks with Tehran. If you favor the "surge" you could argue that there is a case for cracking down on Iranian operatives in Iraq.
If you think about it some more the issue is more complex that your comment suggests.
Note that Gordon was just gently rapped on the hand by his employer for supporting the current escalation on TV and after writing a piece dumping on those who oppose it.
So I came back with:
Are your anonymous military sources cry babies? From the invasion on, they've complained the resistance was using cellphones, garage door openers, etc to trigger IED's--as if that was somehow unsportmanlike to use against--what?--their monopoly on domiant hi tech weaponry? So now they're bitching the resistance is getting better IEDs from Iran. I went on to quote Brzezinski who just warned the Senate that "accusations of Iranian responsibility for the failure [in Iraq]" or a provocation or terrorist attack "blamed on Iran" could culminate "in a 'defensive' U.S. military action" that would plunge "a lonely America into a spreading and deepening quagmire eventually ranging across Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan."
Also quoted Juan Cole that" Getting Iran is an obsession of the neoconservatives at the American Enterprise Institute and their plants inside the administration, such as Iran-Contra felon Elliot Abrams in the National Security Council and David Wurmser and John Hannah on Cheney's rump veep national security council."
Finally, I sent him today's Guardian's (UK) story, "Target Iran: US able to strike in the spring
Despite denials, Pentagon plans for possible attack on nuclear sites are well advanced" by its Washington correspondent Ewen MacAskill at http://www.guardian.co.uk