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Deja Vu?


Dan Froomkin has a good summary of the "same song, second verse" campaign going on among neocons in the Bush Administration with regard to Iran.  Emptywheel sums it up, thusly, at NextHurrah:

Basically, the report appears to be the first salvo in a fall campaign to justify a war against Iran (with Andy Card gone, they’ve perhaps forgotten that you don’t introduce a new "product" in August). Only this time, they’re not just presenting us with shitty intelligence and telling us we have to go to war (though the report does serve that purpose too). They’re also saying, "the intelligence is shitty, so we cannot negotiate and therefore have to go to war."

Is it me, or did Bill Kristol just get all tingly with excitement?

The NYTimes reports on the issue today, but fails to catch what Dafna Linzer does in the WaPo

The 29-page report, principally written by a Republican staff member on the House intelligence committee who holds a hard-line view on Iran, fully backs the White House position that the Islamic republic is moving forward with a nuclear weapons program and that it poses a significant danger to the United States. But it chides the intelligence community for not providing enough direct evidence to support that assertion….

Jamal Ware, spokesman for the House intelligence committee, said three staff members wrote the report, but he did not dispute that the principal author was Frederick Fleitz, a former CIA officer who had been a special assistant to John R. Bolton, the administration’s former point man on Iran at the State Department. Bolton had been highly influential in the crafting of a tough policy that rejected talks with Tehran.

Look, it’s our buddy Fred Fleitz, now working for the House Intel Committee (read:  now with his ass planted firmly there to keep an eagle eye on Pete Hoekstra for the Cheney/Addington faction) who was the person who wrote the report.  Shocking.  Shocking I tell you. 

And sloppy reporting by the NYTimes to miss this element, given Fleitz’ heightened profile after the Valerie Plame Wilson outing and his former hatchet man status as John Bolton’s former number two when Bolton was at State.  Especially given Fleitz record as a hardliner when it comes to Iran — and the questions of his involvement in some other odd moments in Bolton history.

But how much can we count on anything Fleitz says in the report after what, I’m sure, was an exhaustive investigation involving a gathering of all evidence and facts — because he’s not the sort of fellow who would ever cook the books to support an assertion and and outcome without   the underlying facts, right?.:

[The report’s] authors did not interview intelligence officials.

Oh yeah, no stone unturned. No assertion unchallenged. Every fact backed up in triplicate.  Not so much.  Jeebus, do these people learn nothing?

Laura Rozen, guest blogging at Washington Monthly, has more.

(The cartoon above is a Wasserman, who usually appears in the Boston Globe.  I found this one on another website but they didn’t have a link back to where it was found in the archives.  It was altogether too perfect for this deja vu, wouldn’t you say?)

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com