Thursday, August 24, 2006

Some Say It's An Election Year

Well, here we go again. The war mongers are getting all het up because the intelligence community isn't giving them the information they want, even though the information they want is probably bad information. The last time this happened it involved Iraq. This year it's Iran. From today's NY Times:

Some senior Bush administration officials and top Republican lawmakers are voicing anger that American spy agencies have not issued more ominous warnings about the threats that they say Iran presents to the United States.

Some policy makers have accused intelligence agencies of playing down Iran’s role in Hezbollah’s recent attacks against Israel and overestimating the time it would take for Iran to build a nuclear weapon.

The complaints, expressed privately in recent weeks, surfaced in a Congressional report about Iran released Wednesday. They echo the tensions that divided the administration and the Central Intelligence Agency during the prelude to the war in Iraq.

The criticisms reflect the views of some officials inside the White House and the Pentagon who advocated going to war with Iraq and now are pressing for confronting Iran directly over its nuclear program and ties to terrorism, say officials with knowledge of the debate.

...Officials from across the government — including from within the Bush administration, Congress and American intelligence agencies — spoke for this article on condition of anonymity because they were discussing a debate over classified intelligence information. Some officials said that given all that had happened over the last four years, it was only appropriate that the intelligence agencies took care to avoid going down the same path that led the United States to war with Iraq.
[Emphasis added]

Once again, the major US newspaper has resorted to unnamed sources for an article that contains some frightening news. Some readers, including me, find this to be totally unacceptable. Because it is clear that many within the Administration and Congress are actually pushing for an excuse to go to war yet again, and because it is an election year with November just over two months away, we need to know just who is making this push and why. It is beginning to look like the NY Times is once again allowing itself to be used by the regime to justify a war.

All of this may be nothing more than frightened Republicans looking for an edge on the fear issue they so love to haul out when things are going bad. If that is the case, then we need to know about that. Name names. Let us make the assessment.

And if this is really about another war, then we need to know that as well, but we need information we can trust, not the anonymous mutterings of some official who may or may not be in the know.

Bad job, NY Times. Very bad job.


Anonymous Toby Petzold said...

Do you disagree with the NYT that a nuclearized Iran is a threat to world peace? If not, what difference does it make whether they, in particular, say it is? What part of the evidence of that threat is so deficient that you might dismiss the whole issue?

7:38 PM  
Anonymous Nora said...

Good for you, Diane! When I read that article myself I noticed how many paragraphs you had to read before you found one name.

Of course it makes a difference who's making the statements. How can anyone make an evaluation of the validity of the person's arguments if one doesn't know whether the person speaking actually has access to information or is just talking through his or her hat? For all any reader of this article could tell, the "some" in question could be janitors, or ex-officials who have no knowledge of the current situation, or even -- and this seems highly likely to me -- members of the Administration who want to spin things a particular way and cover themselves with a potential mantle of respectability.

I had thought the Times was beginning to learn the follies of all those unnamed sources. Apparently, I was giving them too much credit

6:34 PM  

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