Haven’t We Learned Not to Rely on Unnamed Sources Before Going to War?
Huffington Post’s Eason Jordan nailed the problem with recent Iran “revelations”:
After weeks, if not months, of US official planning to present a damning “dossier” of incriminating evidence against Iran, and after this same US administration presented us with lopsided, erroneous information about the capability and evil intentions of the Saddam Hussein regime, the best the US government can give us today is incendiary evidence presented at a Baghdad news conference by three US officials who refuse to be quoted by name?
That’s disgraceful and unacceptable.
Yeah, you got that right. Disgraceful and unacceptable. There’s a book coming out about the coming war with Iran: “From the Wonderful People Who Brought You Iraq” by Craig Unger. I was listening to him on Democracy Now this morning, along with General Peter Pace, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff–in other words, a major big cheese in the US military–who doesn’t believe the “evidence” incriminates the Iranian government (of which I am no fan, and nor was I a fan of Saddam–but that doesn’t mean we go charging in with guns blazing and brains left behind).
Scary stuff. Once down that dangerous and foolhardy road is apparently not enough for the Bush League. Or for the New York Times, which ran a Page One story yesterday with the unsourced allegations–by none other than Michael Gordon, co-author with Judith Miller of some of the worst pro-war propaganda in the run-up to the Iraq invasion.
To its credit, today’s Times features a much more skeptical article:
Even so, critics have been quick to voice doubts. Representative Silvestre Reyes of Texas, the Democratic chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, suggested that the White House was more interested in sending a message to Tehran than in backing up serious allegations with proof. And David Kay, who once led the hunt for illicit weapons in Iraq, said the grave situation in Iraq should have taught the Bush administration to put more of a premium on transparency when it comes to intelligence.
“If you want to avoid the perception that you’ve cooked the books, you come out and make the charges publicly,” Mr. Kay said.
The article goes on to quote General Pace, who also gets his own article on the subject.