After being embarrassed over the weekend by their resident Bush administration propagandist, Michael Gordon, The New York Times saw fit to question the administration's Iran claims this morning.
Then I'll get on my knees and pray
We don't get fooled again
Don't get fooled again
~The Who, Won't Get Fooled Again
Iran and the Nameless Briefers
Before things get any more out of hand, President Bush needs to make his intentions toward Iran clear. And Congress needs to make it clear that this time it will be neither tricked nor bullied into supporting another disastrous war.Wow, that's a zinger. Not even Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is willing to buy the administrations claims. The Times continues:
How little this administration has learned from its failures is a constant source of amazement. It seems the bigger the failure, the less it learns.
Consider last weekend’s supersecret briefing in Baghdad by a group of American military officials whose names could not be revealed to the voters who are paying for this war with their taxes and their children’s blood. The briefers tried to prove the White House’s case that Iran is shipping deadly weapons, including armor-piercing explosives, to Shiite militias in Iraq.
Unlike Colin Powell’s infamous prewar presentation on Iraq at the United Nations, this briefing had actual weapons to look at. And perhaps in time, the administration will be able to prove conclusively that the weapons came from arms factories in Iran.
But the officials offered no evidence to support their charge that “the highest levels of the Iranian government” had authorized smuggling these weapons into Iraq for use against American forces. Nor could they adequately explain why they had been sitting on this urgent evidence since 2004. The only thing that was not surprising was the refusal of any of the briefers to allow their names to be published. Mr. Powell is probably wondering why he didn’t insist on the same deal.
If Mr. Bush is truly worried about Shiite militias killing Americans in Iraq — and he should be — he needs to start showing this evidence to Iraq’s prime minister, Nuri Kamal al-Maliki. He needs to demand that Mr. Maliki stop protecting the militias and make it clear that there will be serious consequences if he continues to refuse.So will the press let us get fooled again? Too early to tell but perhaps because of pressure from the blogosphere® the press will be forced to do it's job and question what this administration says.
If Mr. Bush is truly worried about Iran fanning Iraq’s ever more bloody civil war — and he should be — he needs to stop fantasizing about regime change and start trying to find a way to persuade Iran’s leaders to help rein in the chaos in Iraq.
And if Mr. Bush is worried that Americans no longer believe him when he warns of mortal threats to the country — and he should be — he needs to start proving that he really understands who is most responsible for the Iraq disaster. And he needs to explain how he plans to extricate American troops without setting off an even bigger war.
That’s the briefing the American people need to hear. And they need to hear it from the most senior American official of all, George Walker Bush.