Michael Gordon of the New York Times announces today that the "Deadliest Bomb in Iraq is made by Iran". The pages of the Gray Lady once again beat the drums of war.
The "intelligence" is damning:
The assertion of an Iranian role in supplying the device to Shiite militias reflects broad agreement among American intelligence agencies, although officials acknowledge that the picture is not entirely complete.
In interviews, civilian and military officials from a broad range of government agencies provided specific details to support what until now has been a more generally worded claim, in a new National Intelligence Estimate, that Iran is providing “lethal support” to Shiite militants in Iraq.
The focus of American concern is an “explosively formed penetrator,” a particularly deadly type of roadside bomb being used by Shiite groups in attacks on American troops in Iraq. Attacks using the device have doubled in the past year, and have prompted increasing concern among military officers. In the last three months of 2006, attacks using the weapons accounted for a significant portion of Americans killed and wounded in Iraq, though less than a quarter of the total, military officials say.
This is truly breathtaking "news". Iran is actively supplying weapons to Shia militias who are killing American soldiers. If there was ever a need for a casus belli to launch a strike against Iran, it appears one is in the making.
I am reminded of a similar headline in the New York Times on September 8, 2002. That particular headline read "U.S. Says Hussein Intensifies Quest For A-Bomb Parts" and offered up the following:
In the last 14 months, Iraq has sought to buy thousands of specially designed aluminum tubes, which American officials believe were intended as components of centrifuges to enrich uranium. American officials said several efforts to arrange the shipment of the aluminum tubes were blocked or intercepted but declined to say, citing the sensitivity of the intelligence, where they came from or how they were stopped.
The diameter, thickness and other technical specifications of the aluminum tubes had persuaded American intelligence experts that they were meant for Iraq’s nuclear program, officials said, and that the latest attempt to ship the material had taken place in recent months.
It was the aluminum tubes that were a sure sign that Iraq was on the verge of going nuclear. It was better to attack Iraq first before a mushroom cloud appeared above an American city.
To emphasize the Iraqi threat, the article also offered up the chemical weapon scare, brought to us by Mr. Bush’s death squad leader White House guest:
Iraq’s nuclear program is not Washington’s only concern. An Iraqi defector said Mr. Hussein had also heightened his efforts to develop new types of chemical weapons. An Iraqi opposition leader also gave American officials a paper from Iranian intelligence indicating that Mr. Hussein has authorized regional commanders to use chemical and biological weapons to put down any Shiite Muslim resistance that might occur if the United States attacks.
The paper, which is being analyzed by American officials, was provided by Abdalaziz al-Hakim of the Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, an Iran-based group, during his recent visit with other Iraqi opposition leaders in Washington. [Emphasis added by me.]
The Bush Administration took the claims in the New York Times article and spun their false case for war with Iraq. The article was written by Judith Miller and Michael Gordon. That was then.
This is now. While Judith Miller has been much maligned, Michael Gordon has kept his credibility intact. Now that Ms. Miller has left the Gray Lady, Michael Gordon is left to carry the water for the Administration as it builds a fresh case for war against Iran.
Recently Michael Gordon let us know how he really feels on the Charlie Rose Show:
On Sunday, Calame dealt with a similar issue after Michael Gordon, the paper’s longtime chief military correspondent, spoke on the Charlie Rose show about the Iraq war. The offending incident occurred when Gordon said on the show that "I think, just as a purely personal view…the gap between the rhetoric of having a so-called strategy for victory, and then the reality of what’s going on in Iraq. And I’ve always felt that people in Washington were talking about a strategy for victory, but we actually never marshaled the resources and didn’t work effectively enough in Iraq to accomplish this.
"So I think, you know, as a purely personal view, I think it’s worth it one last effort for sure to try to get this right, because my personal view is we’ve never really tried to win. We’ve simply been managing our way to defeat. And I think that if it’s done right, I think that there is the chance to accomplish something." [Emphasis added by me.]
Clearly, a little extra effort will get us "victory" in Iraq and maybe a war with Iran.
But what do we make of the claim that Iran is supplying Shia militias with IEDs that are killing our soldiers? An astute reader might point out that up until now the reporting has been that IEDs were the weapon of choice for the Sunni insurgents and not Shia militias – that up until now we have been told that it was the Sunni insurgents that were killing American soldiers. If we are to believe Mr. Gordon, it is now Shia militias that are blowing up American soldiers with IEDs. An astute reader might question such a claim as somewhat incredible. An astute reader would be right.
It should, however, not surprise anyone that when building a case for war, small inconveniences such as facts should not get in the way. So, Michael Gordon, I say to you, carry that water – we know its heavy, but you know you can do it.